Welcome back for our chapter 7 discussion on Practicing Hospitality: The Joy of Serving Others by Pat Ennis & Lisa Tatlock. This is part 7 of an eight week discussion on this book. Past chapter summaries can be viewed here: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4 , part 5 & part 6.We are so glad you decided to join us! I Even if you are not participating in the study, I encourage you to keep reading. Chapter 7 focused on Hospitality & Culture.
Understanding culture is important to hospitality because Scripture clearly teaches the priority of including the stranger or alien in our hospitality endeavors (Ex. 22:21; Lev. 19:34; Deut. 10:12-21; Ps. 146:9; Heb. 12:2). The nations of the world are coming to America. In fact, in many cities of America, internationals outnumber Caucasians. You do not need to go to a foreign country to be confronted with different cultures and peoples needy of the gospel. We have immigrants, students, and those who are here on business purposes surrounding us if we simply look around.
When international students come to our country, for example, nearly 90% never enter an American’s door! They are new to our culture, surroundings, and experiences, and need love and compassionate people to befriend them and guide them in the process. Many come from closed countries…most are the brightest and best representing their country. Could we make an impact that could result in the spread of the gospel to the nations?
“To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some” (1 Cor. 9:22). Paul communicates the importance of adapting our methods of communication to fit our audience in a relevant way for the sake of the gospel!
“Hospitality is missions. Hospitality is a tool you can use to love people and make ‘disciples of all nations’ of the world (Matt. 28:18-20). Consideration of culture is a key element in practicing hospitality as you endeavor to model Christ’s love – so ‘that they may be saved’ (1 Cor. 10:33).” (page 200)