On Sunday, some of our small group leaders gathered together for a meeting. One of the topics we discussed was the art of hospitality and how this was a critical trait in being a good small group leader. As we went around the room some of the characteristics that we felt like described a welcoming home were food, feeling comfortable, good handshakes, humor, welcoming, people knowing your name (sounds like 'Cheers'), sharing, and being real with each other. In 1 Peter chapter 4 it says, 'Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.'
I think hospitality is the practical application of loving people. It's not about the house, or the furniture or the decor but rather it's about the spirit of the host. If someone is genuinely glad you are there and engaged in knowing you and making you feel at home, then you want to stay there all day. As we meet people in general, are we welcoming and real? Do we help create an environment where people can truly be themselves? Do we like people and genuinely and practically care for them? As Christians, showing this kind of hospitality to our friends, neighbors and new people creates an environment where people can experience the practical love of Jesus and perhaps some may even give their lives to Him.