Your home is one of the most powerful community-building tools that God has given you. It doesn’t matter if it is large or small, rented or owned, if you have a space that you call your own, God wants to use it to build His Kingdom.
Invite another person or family from your church into your home sometime in the next week. Doing this assignment on a weekly basis ALONE is guaranteed to build your sense of community. It doesn’t matter if you don’t feel like a good host, or if you are afraid of small talk. People are far more forgiving than you think and are just honored to receive an invitation.
That being said, here are a few tips on hosting someone in your home to help put you at ease.
- Simple is best
You don’t have to plan a whole adventure. Some Uno cards and a pizza have helped create some of the best friendships of my life.
- Skip the Small Talk
As soon as possible, move from asking “How’s work?” to “How’s God working in your life right now?” Brainstorm some good general questions to keep the conversation flowing. It is best if you never have to use them, but just in case, look up some common job interview questions. They can spark your imagination and curiosity about the individual or family that you invite to your house. Asking a kid what they want to be when they grow up and asking an adult the same question can lead to some interesting answers.
- A host is not serving if they are not at ease
Remove the pressure of performing from yourself. Sometimes the thing you learn from inviting someone over is that you are not going to invite them over again. That is time well-spent for both of you to learn. Like we learned on Day 4, you can’t be best friends with everyone. If it doesn’t go well, learn from the experience, but don’t give up. Friendship is a two-way street, so don’t feel obligated to drive the conversation 100% of the time.
Inviting others into your house is a learned skill. You might find it to be a natural experience, and you may have spikes of anxiety as you read this. Don’t be overwhelmed, and remember, it will be worth it. God has called us to be united to each other as the Church. One thing that the Church has historically been able to do is to break bread together. Keep that tradition alive, and fight to turn dinner party guests into brothers and sisters in Christ.