True Christian hospitality
Occasionally, I have attended churches with “hospitality programs” or “welcome committees” where friendliness seems little more than a phony act to get newcomers to join the church. At such places, hospitality typically follows a secular model-such as the neighborhood Welcome Wagon of the 1960s, which, for all its friendliness, was essentially a way to promote certain stores and products. In some churches “hospitality” appears to be a code word for promotion, with the church as the primary product. Hospitality is an instrument used for another end: to sign people up as pledging members.The emphasis above is mine. Hospitality is one of the values of King of Peace.
True Christian hospitality is not a recruitment strategy designed to manipulate strangers into church membership. Rather, it is a central practice of the Christian faith-something Christians are called to do for the sake of that thing itself. Hospitality draws from the ancient taproots of Christian faith, from the soil of the Middle East, where it is considered a primary virtue of community. Although it is a practice shared by Jews and Muslims, for Christians hospitality holds special significance: Christians welcome strangers as we ourselves have been welcome into God through the love of Jesus Christ. Through hospitality, Christians imitate God’s welcome. Therefore, hospitality is not a program, not a single hour of ministry in the life of a congregation. It stands at the heart of a Christian way of life, a living icon of wholeness in God.
In the archives are the blog post Welcoming the Stranger and the sermon The Value of Hospitality.