Read Romans 12:13
13 When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. (NLT)
We sometimes hear people remarking how friendly is their church or social group. Sadly, sometimes it just a case of those who belong to such groups being friendly with one another. Nothing wrong with that of course, but we can wonder how friendly those who belong might be to those who do not yet belong.
When the Bible speaks of hospitality, it is to do with the welcoming of strangers or guests or visitors. It is not about having a jolly good time with those whose company we already enjoy. If we want to measure how friendly our church might be, we need to ask how it welcomes those who are not yet members.
Sometimes our church and social groupings can resemble tight-knit circles, meaning those on the outside never get to join in. Far better to have flexible or open circles, allowing both for meaningful relationships with those in the circle but also for others to join the circle.
Some of us have had the painful experience of attending a church and having no one take any interest in us. Everyone else seems to be enjoying everyone else, but it seems no room for the visitor or stranger. May we have open circles rather than closed circles.