Host Family Hospitality
Welcoming people into your church is not just about door greeters, although the greeters are very important. There are multiple ways and layers your church should consider creating a warm and welcoming environment for guests to get to know your church family.
Host family ministries are a wonderful way for churches to practice biblical hospitality (showing brotherly love toward strangers). Within your church family, you should identify how many host families you will need to engage the number of guests and new members you want to reach.
1) Host families for college students – At the age of 19, I became a member of First Baptist Church, Weatherford, Oklahoma. This church does an amazing job ministering to college students who move there for their 4 -6 years of academic studies. They organize their church family to become host families to these college students by:
Showing up at the university with carts and manpower to help incoming students move into their dorms.
Inviting students over after church for Sunday lunch and laundry day.
Inviting students over for holidays when the student can’t go back home.
2) Host families for guests and new members
Identify 15 – 25 Host Families Willing To:
Invite guests and new members who have joined that day out to lunch after church (either in the home or at a restaurant) Frequency of service: 2 or 3 Sundays a year.
Host a quarterly pot luck dinner in the host family home inviting 3 new member families so new members can get to know each other. The schedule is set up so that once a quarter the host family will have 3 different ‘new member’ families in their home, and that each ‘new member’ family that joins will have the invitation and opportunity to be in 4 different host family homes within the year.
Single people need to be part of your host family program. One of the most rapid growing demographics are singles across all age groups. If guests and new members can see that your single leaders are engaged in church leadership and hospitality, they will feel more accepted into your congregation. However, if you are only giving leadership and fellowship opportunities with young family emphasized, the growing single adult Christian will not feel like there is a place for him or her. For more information on making room for singles in your church, click here.
Who Are Your Host Families?
The bible is actually pretty clear on the qualities of leadership within the church. For pastors, elders, and deacons, refer to 1 Timothy 3:1-3, and Titus 1:5-9. While we have traditionally looked at these qualities for deacons, and elders, these are the characteristics of mature Christians who are ready for leadership roles. Notice a repetitive quality mentioned is someone who is hospitable. Again, that word coming from the original Greek language, PhiloXenia, showing brotherly love toward strangers.
Hospitality In Action Tip #9
Create a host home ministry, connecting newcomers with their new church family.