Most of the behind the scenes work of starting a church falls on the wife in the early years. At first, our church met weekly in our home. Adults would gather in our living room, while kids played in the garage and our daughter’s playroom.
With two small kids (we now have three), it became hard for to me to keep up with the pace of how fast things were moving. Because we were knew to town, and meeting people along the way, I didn’t know anyone well enough yet to ask them for help. Despite that, lots of women (who I did not know at the time) filled our house each week with snacks, disposable plates, and happy helping hands. Our family not only made it through that intense season of hospitality. We began to thrive.
Now I view hospitality as such a gift. It’s not only a gift to those you have in your home. It’s a gift to the host family as well.
Here are five things I learned about hospitality during that season. Most of what I learned is from those amazing women who helped me.
1- Let other people help you
It has been amazing to see other people’s gifts when we invite them over. I’m not great at cooking, but I have a few meals I feel comfortable serving when others come over. We usually ask others to bring a salad or dessert when they come. It’s amazing to see how others do things. Some bring bag salads or store bought dessert (which is totally fine! What’s what we would bring is asked). Others bring restaurant quality food. Some love to cook, and we’re happy they were able to share that with others. Allowing others to help is a great way to get to know the gifts and skills of others. It’s also fun to see what others feel comfortable bringing. If someone brings Oreos as dessert, we love that! It’s makes us feel like they are comfortable enough with our relationship together to do that.
2- Keep it simple
Meals do not have to be elaborate. In fact, the more simple you can make it, the more energy and capacity we will have to have others over. Most are not looking to be entertained with great hospitality. They simply want a home they feel welcomed into.
3- Keep calendar organized
My husband and I have different calendar preferences, which makes me a little crazy sometimes. I have to have a week at a glance, and he likes using the iPhone calendar.
This is the calendar I love that has a week at a glance I find to be a must.
We’ve also found the more our church has grown, the busier we’ve become. This causes us to constantly evaluate what our main priorities are so we can best manage our time, and our kids schedules.
Need help simplifying your calendar? Check out this family vision statement, which helps you prioritize what’s most important to your family!
4- Have simple meals
The crockpot is my best friend when I have people over. This is my absolute favorite meal that’s very easy to make. And this is the crockpot our family uses.
If you would like some ideas for some simple meals, click here!
5- Have good systems
If you have groups over every week, it makes it much easier to have a designated “hospitality” area. We have a cabinet in our kitchen where we keep paper plates, sugar, paper napkins, cups, creamer, and a box of plastic forks and spoons, etc.
Ladies (and men) who have been part of our church for even a short length of time know where they can find everything they need when they come over for small groups and events we host at our house.
Having everything we need to host in a designated spot makes it very easy to set up and clean up each week. It also allows others to feel comfortable helping with setting things out or cleaning up afterwards since everything is together and easy to find.
What are some of your hospitality tips? We would love to know!
For more easy systems, meal plans and hosting tips, check out Kristin’s e-book here!