Radically Ordinary Hospitality 

What is Radically Ordinary Hospitality?

With each passing year, our culture becomes increasingly disconnected from one another. People are more divided and hostile to the gospel of Jesus than ever before. And yet this is nothing new, since we know that Jesus himself faced anger and antagonism in his culture. But how did he overcome that? One meal at a time. In story after story, we read of Jesus eating and drinking with people both in and outside the faith community. In doing so, he set a timeless practice into motion. This practice is what the New Testament writers call “hospitality.” While the Greek word literally means “the love of a guest,” the practice of hospitality is directed at those inside and outside the church. Hospitality is expressing the welcome of God the Father to all through tangible acts of love. This typically looks like giving food, shelter, and relationship to those around us. 

Our Practice for the coming week is incredibly simple: follow Jesus’ example of eating and drinking with somebody who has yet to experience the Father’s welcome. And the beauty of this Practice is that anybody can do it. All it takes is a table.

How to Practice Radically Ordinary Hospitality:

“Radically ordinary hospitality those who live it see strangers as neighbors and neighbors as family of God. They recoil at reducing a person to a category or a label. They see God’s image reflected in the eyes of every human being on earth. Those who live out radically ordinary hospitality see their homes not as theirs at all but as God’s gift to use for the furtherance of his Kingdom. They open doors; they seek out the underprivileged. They know that the Gospel comes with a house key.”

– Rosaria Butterfield
Part One: Ask God Who to Invite (Listening Prayer)  
  • If you can, get somewhere quiet and comfortable. Then take a moment to quiet your mind. If you’re having a hard time getting quiet, start with writing down all the to-dos and thoughts running through your head. Then set that paper aside to look at after you’re done. 
  • Invite the Holy Spirit to give shape to your imagination. Ask him to bring a name or face to mind for you to share a meal with in the coming week(s).
  • Contact that person and invite them to share a meal with you. 
Part Two: Share a Meal with Them
  • This next part is pretty straightforward – eat and drink with somebody! But here’s a few tips:
  • Ideally, open your home or apartment. If that doesn’t work, invite them to a third space (a restaurant, café, etc.)
  • This might be a great time to learn how to cook a few good meals. A quick search of the internet will yield loads of easy-to-prepare, super delicious meals. (Our family’s go to is themodernproper.com)
  • As you host the meal, think of creative ways to express the love and welcome of Jesus toward your guest.
  • During your time together, ask questions, listen and don’t be afraid to share meaningful conversation. At the same time, view small talk as a form of hospitality, of creating room for the guest. Just focus on loving them, not on “selling them” on Jesus. 
  • Pray for your guest before, during, and after your time together. Whatever you want to see God do in their life, pray into that.
Part Three: Tell Us How it Went
  • As a body of Christ, we are invited to share with each other what God is doing in our lives. These stories aren’t about us, they’re about encouraging others that God uses regular people.
  • Share your story and read others at vchurch.org/stories