One part of Envision’s DNA is hospitality. This a core piece of who we are as an Envision Site. But what is hospitality, and why do we want this, of all things, to be a description of who we are? Why is this characteristic up there with discipleship, ministry, and partnership, characteristics that sound much more “missional?”
First of all, hospitality is something we as followers of Christ are called to. 1 Peter 4:8-9 says, “Above all hold unfailing your love for one another, since love covers a multitude of sins. Practice hospitality ungrudgingly to one another.” Hospitality is something the Church is called to practice ungrudgingly!
But what is hospitality? What are we supposed to do in order to fulfill this biblical command? Paul writes in Romans 12:13, “Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.” Both this passage in Romans, and the 1 Peter passage seem to consider hospitality as a form of sacrificial love. It is a kind of love that forgives in the face of wrongs, is unending, meets needs, and applies to strangers just as much as it does to our friends.
In a polarized world where most fight for their own interests, put up walls, and ignore the other, the Church needs to be an example of what hospitality and love look like. John 13:35 says that we will be known by our love. A hallmark of the Christian life should be our love and hospitality as these characteristics reflect the character of our Father. We see many instances in Scripture when Jesus demonstrates radical hospitality! Consider the time Christ washed his disciples’ feet (John 13), when he fed the people people listening to him speak (Matthew 14), or even the time he invited himself over for a meal at Zacchaeus’ house (Luke 19). Hospitality is powerful and holds eternal influence.
We as the Aroma want to be known for our hospitality. Whether it’s by offering free English lessons, serving a cup of coffee with a smile on our faces, hosting teams or interns from around the world in Taipei, or simply inviting people into our homes, we want to imitate our hospitable God. Hospitality is missional!
– Nathan Conklin