There are many ways we can practice summer hospitality that get people out of the house, that don’t cost a lot of money, and that extend sweet fellowship to other believers.
This post is written by contributing writer, Jami from Young Wife’s Guide.
Each summer is the same. We assume that we will have so much more time than we actually do. Church activities and Bible studies often take a summer break. You have more hours outside to enjoy the sun. School is out for the summer.
And yet, summer always seems to slip away so quickly and things never get done! Practicing hospitality can be forgotten during the summer months amongst busy schedules. But we shouldn’t just forsake hospitality for three months each year. In fact, summer can be the perfect time to practice hospitality.
6 Tips to Easy Summer Hospitality
1) Have a BBQ
A BBQ can be a quick and simple way to extend hospitality during the summer. Head to your local grocery store and you can easily (and cheaply) stock up on summer essentials like hamburgers, hot dogs, and watermelon.
Invite some neighbors over for a backyard BBQ, get to know those who live nearby, and spread the Gospel. The best part is you don’t have to spend time getting the house nice and clean before having others over.
Keep a well stocked freezer of hamburgers and hot dogs and invite over families you want to get to know better after church. It can be a nice spur of the moment meal for summer.
2) Host a potluck
It’s easy to host a summer potluck. Invite your Bible study group over, with their kids, to get to know them better. Ask everyone whose last name begins with A-H to bring a main dish, those with a last name I-P to bring a side dish, and Q-Z to bring a dessert. You provide the drinks and everyone gets to enjoy a nice meal for the price of one dish.
Hosting a potluck opens up the door for hospitality without putting all the strain on you and your family. You can easily have large groups (like your Bible study group) over without feeling the financial strain and having to spend days in preparation.
3) Invite friends over for coffee and cake on your patio
Hospitality doesn’t have to be practiced over a large meal. Simply inviting a friend or family over for coffee and cake on your patio can be an easy way to extend hospitality.
The summer months come with nice warm evenings. Set up a nice patio spread and welcome your guests right into the backyard. This can provide a nice, intimate time to get to know others without the difficulty of hosting an entire dinner.
Set up a coffee and tea tray, pick up your favorite cake, and you are ready for an intimate evening on the back patio.
4) Have a movie night in the backyard
A fun summer activity is setting up a projector in the backyard and showing a family friendly movie. Have families come over (after dinner time) and serve popcorn and ice cream during the movie.
Everyone is outside so you don’t have to worry about the house being spotless, and getting some popcorn and a few gallons of ice cream is a cheap way to invite families over.
5) Invite families out to breakfast
Many churches will cancel their Bible study hour during the summer, so take this time to invite families out to breakfast. Pick a couple of families you have been wanting to get to know better and ask them if they want to grab breakfast before church one Sunday.
This doesn’t put a strain on either family by hosting it at their house, and gives a good, structured time to get to know families you don’t know very well.
6) Open your house to out of town guests
During the summer, many people travel. Maybe a young pastor and his family are traveling to visit your church. Maybe an international student is traveling to your area this summer.
Open up your house as a place to stay. If you have a guest bedroom or a couch, offer it up. Many will appreciate being able to stay at a church member’s home rather than the expense of a hotel. Follow these tips to make out of town guests feel welcome.
Practicing hospitality doesn’t have to be overwhelming. At times, it can feel like we have to have a perfect house and be a gourmet chef in order to have people over. We can be paralyzed by the fear of hospitality, but hospitality doesn’t have to be intimidating. Whether you live in a big house with lots of room or a small apartment, hospitality is doable and vital to the health of the church.