“Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined (Titus 1: 8 NIV). In this letter to Titus, the apostle Paul talks about necessary qualities of Christian leadership. Hospitality, according to the apostle, is a critical quality. This means that the practice of hospitality is not a secondary factor, but an inherent part of the leader God uses. Therefore, it is necessary to understand three facts:
First, Christian leadership is first and foremost servant leadership. Larry Kreider, founder of Dove Fellowship, said it well, “Leaders who are secure in the love of their heavenly Father are free to serve, expecting nothing in return. They do not need their egos caressed to function as leaders. They have a healthy confidence in themselves and do not seek approval or acceptance from others. They are happy to serve because they know they are deeply loved by God.”
The practice of hospitality makes us better servants. It challenges us to overcome pride and hardness of heart, and helps us to be like Jesus and to serve his church.
Second, hospitality is taught emphatically in Scripture: When Paul directed the Romans to “practice hospitality” (Romans 12:13), his desire was to help Christians cooperate with one another in love. The apostle John taught that hospitality is the duty of those who serve Christ, being “cooperators for the truth” (John 1: 8). The Apostle Peter, however, was very strict in his writing: “Be hospitable to each other without complaint” (1 Pet. 4: 9). The author of Hebrews tells us, “Do not forget the hospitality; (Hebrews 13: 2), letting it be understood that some of those we welcome produce blessings for us. Further on the author directed: “Do not forget to do good and to share with others what you have, for God is pleased with such sacrifices” (Hebrews 13:16), making it clear that the practice of hospitality pleases the Lord. And Jesus Christ himself left a promise to those who practice hospitality: “For I was hungry, and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me a drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in… I say to you, that you have done it to me one of these my brethren” (Matthew 25: 35-40).
And finally, hospitality is an effective means of multiplication. Hospitality turns strangers into acquaintances, enemies into friends, acquaintances into comrades and members into disciples. The benefits are diverse:
- It makes us more and more like Christ.
- It makes us a stronger, united church.
- We acquire a servant’s heart.
- It makes discipleship more engaging.
- It makes people who come into our homes feel valued and loved.
- It builds new relationships and promotes existing relationships.
- It produces multiplication in our leadership.
- It makes us referential.
Always remember that a successful and multiplying cell is the result of hospitable leaders and hosts. The practice of hospitality as well as being biblical is also an efficient means of growth. It is a key that opens many doors.
This article originally appeared here.