The Hebraic Roots Movement is primarily based on home gatherings. Therefore hospitality in-home gathering is an important area to explore. Whether you are spiritually gifted in hospitality or simply in a situation where you are the hostess, there are a lot of ideas and help to facilitate hospitality in your home as a joy.
Hospitality in the Home Gathering as a Joy
Indeed, being gifted with hospitality enables a natural joy in the fulfillment of using your Yah-given gift. There is always more to learn and perfect. However, gifting enables us to have a sense of satisfaction and greater tolerance for some of the difficulties providing hospitality in-home gatherings can bring.
Similarly, as one gifted with hospitality, you may find yourself frustrated with those who are not. We need to be very careful to not fall into judging others in this area. With HRM being such a minority, non-gifted hosts are necessary.
Additionally, you may be in a position to mentor others in this area. Furthermore, you can help them find the joy in it also. If you are ever tempted with pride or perfection (which is a high probability for all of us with this particular gifting), turn it into loving mentorship or service instead. Besides hosting in our homes, we can come along beside other host and serve with them to lighten the load.
When Hospitality in the Home Gathering is a Burden
Meeting in homes develops an intimacy within a fellowship that really can’t be found in other ways. Spending long hours of Shabbat learning, worshipping and visiting deepens relationships and understandings. However, not everyone is able to find joy in hosting these events.
“Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.”Romans 12:13
Truly, as the Body of Messiah, we are all called to some level of hospitality. Hosting gatherings may feel very burdensome. But we need to follow hard after Yahshua in all we do. Clearly, our path was never promised to be one of ease. Hospitality in the home provides a way to mature and grow as well as die to our fleshly desires.
It may be that those with the home most conducive to the gatherings are not gifted in hospitality. Or it may simply be too large of a burden for them to overcome. There is definitely a downside to home gatherings. Finding a good fit between the group and the location is necessary for a shalom-filled outcome.
Some warnings that hosting situations are a burden:
- when both host spouses are not on board (this is of utmost importance that a couple is in accord as to opening their home)
- leadership and hosts are not on the same page
- guests are not given clear parameters for meeting in the home
- the groups expect too much out of the hosts
- when the groups do not help carry the monetary burden
- groups can become so tightknit and comfortable with one another that boundaries are forgotten and the host’s rights are violated.
Hospitality is a Matter of the Heart
“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers”Hebrews 13:2
Opening your home for home gatherings can be a joy when your heart approaches it as a delight. While hospitality is clearly a physical way of serving it must come from the heart. Whether you have a small apartment or a rambling ranch house, Yah can stretch its walls and use it to His glory.
A group functioning as His body can ease the burden on the host by sharing repair costs and help with upkeep. Others can provide any consumables the groups use. In addition to the hosts need to choose a heart for hospitality. As a group supporting one another in each of our areas of service can be a huge blessing.
Ways those not hosting can help
- host a gathering in the park during good weather
- donate consumables to the host
- donate time to help maintain and repair the hosts home
- come alongside the host during gatherings and help serve
- be discerning and thoughtful in not overstepping boundaries
- follow what used to be common etiquette (more on this in the next paragraph)
- ask about house rules
- be aware of your children at all times and don’t allow them to make messes or cause issues – train them well.
- make sure your whole family cleans up after themselves
Is Etiquette Still a Thing?
In hosting of home gatherings we have noticed a drop off in the understanding of what used to be considered common politeness. Please make a note of this: it is our culture that is at issue, not individuals who truly don’t know better.
“Show hospitality to one another without grumbling”1 Peter 4:9
So, how as the one opening your home, do you deal with sticky-handed children and your white walls without offending the easygoing parent? Well, that can be a sticky situation! (sorry, couldn’t resist!)
Clear expectations from the get-go are the easiest and most successful answer. Starting meeting in homes with clarity in what the rules and guidelines are can save a lot of hurt feeling, let alone damage to properties.
However, most of us are already involved in ongoing fellowships where issues can come up. You may be dealing with some right now.
Here are a few tips we have found helpful in protecting our home and sanity while hosting all-size groups for Shabbat, Feast and other gatherings.
Signs that Inform – “please remove shoes”, “clean hands and feet please” (with baby wipes close by for ease of use) “Food in the Kitchen please” “Trash cans located here and here” and so on. The easier you make it for your guests to know what you want the more restful and shalom filled for all.
Modeling your expectations in love as you offer hospitality in home gatherings helps.
Establishing an Authentic Culture Where Truth is Welcomed with Humility
Speaking up when necessary. Though our culture of easily being offended has infiltrated even the home gatherings of the Hebraic mindset, we must not stand for this. Authentic relationships do not happen where sin cannot be confronted and truth speakers are ostracized.
Ideally, all members of the group will be choosing to be a part of the body of Messiah. As such, they should recognize all have sinned and fallen short. Including them. And you. And me. If as a body, we must be humble enough to hear each other, in love. And respond and communicate in love. There should be the ability and comfort for a host to speak up when they are feeling violated in any way.
This culture I am describing may sound crazy and too good to be true. It is, however, what being the body together should look like. We encourage all to strive for a genuine Bible following atmosphere where truth in love is respected by all.
Hospitality in the Home Gathering is Not the Same as Entertaining
“Hospitality is focused on the other one’s needs. Real hospitality is when you transfer your focus on others and welcome someone in. The person entering your home, if truly seeking connection, is not checking the dust bunnies in your corners, the dishes that might be stacked by the sink and the chocolate on your two years old’s face & shirt. People want to be known and cared for.”Pursuing Hospitality, Hospitality is NOT Entertaining
Outgrowing Meeting in Homes? When Hospitality in the Home Gathering Moves On
There does come a point where home groups can outgrow home settings. Consequently, a choice has to be made to either break into smaller weekly groups, coming together as a larger group for Feasts or investing in renting a larger space for weekly meetings.
Clear Organization and Leadership Make Hosting a Joy
At The Weightier Matters, we are advocates for clear leadership, accountability, and structure. With these in place, it will provide a way to support your hosts and help a burden become a delight. Hospitality in-home gatherings can be a blessing to all.
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