Creating a Culture of Hospitality

Hospitality is a biblical subject that has always fascinated me. Are Christians expected to be hospitable? The answer is yes! I’ve loved exploring the topic throughout the Scriptures on the topic and realizing that the Bible says the words “one to another,” “together,” and “shared” SO many times. It’s hard to live life like that without being hospitable!

Two of my very favorite bloggers, Heather Patterson and Vanessa Hunt, sisters who co-author the blog At the Picket Fence, recently published a gorgeous book called Life in Season: Celebrate the Moments that Fill Your Heart and Home.

life in season

The book is one of my new favorites- the sweet ladies cover the topic of hospitality and so much more. They divide the book into sections according to seasons and give wonderful ideas for creating a beautiful, cozy, and welcoming atmosphere in our homes. I’m sure we’ve all been in homes- beautiful homes- where we were invited but yet felt like we were intruding and a bit unwelcome. I SO don’t want my home to be like that- for my own family especially, but also for people we host. (And we do A LOT  of hosting!)

I was so fortunate to get an interview with Heather and Vanessa- I hope you’ll enjoy what they had to say about creating a culture of hospitality in our homes!

Me: My husband is a pastor just as your dad was when you were growing up. What did you learn about hospitality in your growing up years as the pastor’s kids?

Heather and Vanessa: Our parents, and mom especially, created such a warm home for us growing up. As a pastoral family, the practice of hospitality is happening every day in so many different ways. We watched our parents warmly greet guests to our church; connecting them and making them feel welcomed. Our mom is the “queen” of making others feel loved and giving them a sense of belonging from the time they walk in the doors.

It is the responsibility of the pastoral staff and church members to actively seek out those who are on the fringes and find a place for them to experience connection and community within the church. Both of us have carried this into our adulthood and feel a passion to connect people to their local church and the Body of Christ!

me: How do you encourage busy moms to find time to be hospitable? 

Heather and Vanessa: Today we wives, and moms, feel pulled in a million directions. We seem to barely be able to take care of ourselves, our families and our daily duties let alone throw large gourmet dinner parties, in a spotless and perfectly decorated home that should grace the cover of a magazine. The pressure for perfection feels too much, so we decide to leave the art of hospitality to others, or think…someday when the kids are gone and we’re retired I can start inviting people into my home.

But in truth, as Christians we are commanded to practice hospitality now, right where we are. So how do you do that and keep your sanity? Well, you look into the true heart of what it means to be hospitable. Yes, it can mean having people into your home. But a slow cooker meal, or a pizza, and fellowship is not only acceptable but perfectly fine! People are hungry to connection and community, not a gourmet, 5 course meal. Dim the lights, light some candles, give your home a quick vacuum, shut rooms off and order pizza!

Hospitality can also take place outside of the home. Organize a group of moms to meet for coffee, be sure to include not only your BFF’s but that new mom that has just moved to the area or how about that single mom, that stays on the edges because she doesn’t feel a part of the “couple scene.” Schedule a play date and meet up at the park, bring sack lunches and share in some encouragement and fellowship. Pray for and over each other. These are just a few simple acts of hospitality busy moms can practice. Remember Connection and Community. Make it about people not perfection. (I LOOOVE that quote! -Kelli)

creating a culture of hospitality life in season

me: What do you think it means to truly be hospitable?

Heather and Vanessa: Did you know that the word “hospitality” translates into Greek literally as, “the LOVE of strangers?”

So often Christians, and really society in general, takes an “us four and no more” approach to hospitality. It’s easy to invite our best friends and family into our homes for fellowship, it’s so much harder to reach out to a stranger…gasp! “You mean I am supposed to invite a stranger to fellowship with me, to have a meal in my home?”

The thought unnerves us, especially in this day and age when it’s easier to criticize a stranger behind the safety of our keyboards and screens, instead of inviting them into our homes. But scripture, doesn’t give room for those thoughts. In Titus we find one of the criteria of an elder, or overseer, in a church is… “instead he must be hospitable to strangers.” Titus 1:8

me: What verses in the Bible encourage us as Christians to be hospitable? 

Heather and Vanessa: To us, these two scriptures sum up the art of Christian hospitality perfectly. They encompass both the stranger AND the saint!

In these passages we find the admonishment to offer hospitality to strangers, by doing so we may be entertaining even the angels without even realizing it! What an amazing thought!

“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” Hebrews 13:1-2 and “Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.” Romans 12:13

We must not though, neglect showing hospitality and helping with the needs of our fellow saints as well! This scripture tells us to contribute to the needs of the body of Christ, this means actively seeking out ways to help those within our own church and asking the Holy Spirit to reveal those needs to us.
me: Heather and Vanessa, I’m so thankful that you not only wrote this book but took the time for this interview. I’m humbled by it, convicted, and inspired to practice hospitality even more! Click here to buy your own copy of Life in Season!

creating a culture of hospitality pinterest

About Kelli Hays

Kelli Hays is a wife, mother, writer, and friend. She has been blogging since 2008 and loves sharing inspiration for the everyday woman!


  1. A great blog post!
    God’s Blessings!!