By Mario Vega
Some spiritual gift authors write about the gift of hospitality. I’m not sure if such a gift exists, but I do believe that certain spiritual gifts make it easier to host a cell group. For example, those with the gift of helps, service, pastor, giving, or mercy normally make great hosts. And I believe that God has placed an abundance of the gifts of helps and service in the body of Christ. Those hosts who possess “hospitality type” gifts make excellent “permanent” hosts. Yet, I also believe that people can grow in hospitality and learn to become better hosts. Here are a few tips to grow in this capacity: :
- Welcoming attitude: It can be daunting to show up at a new home, so effective hosts are welcoming, encouraging, and make people feel comfortable.
- Seating: Arrange the seating so each person can see every other person in the group.
- If the host house is spacious, it’s best to move the chairs into a close circle, thus occupying only a portion of the room.
- Surroundings: Make sure smells don’t distract: Pets, things children spill in odd places, heavy perfumes, the evening dinner, even room deodorizers, can irritate noses. Remember also that the temperature in the home increases as more people are packed into a room. Members can become agitated and uncomfortable for the lack of fresh, cool air.
- Lighting: The lighting should be bright enough for everyone to read, but low enough to feel cozy. If it’s too dark, people will have a harder time following the worship sheets and other handouts.
- Refreshments: A host should either provide the light refreshment or make sure it’s provided. Refreshment time isn’t something tacked on to small group ministry. It’s a vital part of it.
- Distractions: Great hosts turn off TV sets, telephone ringers, radios and computers during a meeting. Don’t answer the phone unless it’s an emergency. Put pets in another room or outside
- Start and stop times: The best hosts have everything ready before the first person arrives. In other words, they are not still cleaning or preparing when it’s time for the cell to start. Although the leader has a lot to do with starting and stopping on time, the host can also play an important role by discussing and planning the start and stop times.
The Bible contains over fifty “one-another” commands. Even though you might not have those gifts that make hosting easier, I would encourage you to open your home at least occasionally to host a cell group. This will give you the opportunity to serve God through serving others. God will also bless you as a result.