I have said for a long time that “discipleship happens at the kitchen sink.” I believe this to be true for our children and for those God has arranged to cross our path on a regular basis. It is in the rhythm of ordinary everyday life that God brings about extraordinary changes in the lives of those we walk life with. While we wash dishes and do yard work God provides the opportunity for us to share the fabric of our faith with others.
I learned many years ago as a young youth pastor that it was hard to sit across from a young person and get them to open up to you, but if you were active in some pursuit with them they would open up to you. This pursuit could have been throwing a football, shooting hoops, washing dishes, setting up for an event, raking leaves for a senior or anything other of a million things we could do together.
I remember when I realized that was true with friends as well as my youth group. It was while cleaning the kitchen with a friend that I was able to enter easily into a spiritual conversation. In the flow of an everyday activity I was able to intertwine a discussion on this persons view about God and his involvement, or seemingly lack of involvement, in their present situation. This simple conversation was a springboard for a season of heart to heart discussions that would make us both grow in our understanding of God and his place in our lives.
I know that this information may not be revolutionary to some who read this, but for others, this kind of ordinary life conversation is something yet to be experienced. For those on either end of the spectrum I think that there is one thing that we need to master to make sure that we don’t miss out on a single opportunity to deepen the spiritual richness of our relationships, and that is the art of hospitality.
I believe that hospitality, while a natural gift for some, needs to become something that we all work towards. I believe this is a lost art that needs to be restored to and through the Body of Christ. I feel that Joanne and I have or at least have been able to develop the gift of hospitality. We love to have people in our home and yet there has been a dry season of entertaining and sharing life with others in our home. What has caused this season? Simply being to busy.
I recently read an article by Jeff Vanderstelt an old acquaintance from my youth ministry days. In the article Jeff addresses the lost art of Gospel Hospitality. He gives this very unique and interesting definition of Gospel Hospitality:
In light of the Gospel, we might define hospitality as the creation of a space that allows people to BE themselves, to BECOME renewed, and to DO the works God has saved them for. When we properly exercise hospitality, we welcome people to be themselves in the warmth of the light of Christ, to become renewed by being changed by the work of Christ, and to do works we have been created for in Christ.
This definition and the article as a whole has given me much to think about. I will write more later, but I encourage you to click here to read the complete article by Jeff on the Gospel Centered Discipleship website.