In church planting, there will be events in your home.
Some women are comfortable with this, and others aren’t.
I know women in ministry who open up their homes to everybody – to people they know, people they don’t know, homeless people, dogs, crying babies, you name it. These women seem to invite this type of traffic with a smile, a plate of cookies and a pitcher of ice cold lemonade.
I’ve had my share of parties and Bible studies, and lived in a church parsonage for several years, but I can’t compete with wives like these. For me, preparing to open my home to people is somewhat different. It often looks like I’ve been caught up in a small scale tornado. I’m yelling for help, toys and clothing are flying, and my family is unable to calm the situation. Of course, once I open the door, I wipe the sweat from my brow, and my smile returns. The problem is, getting to this point can be scary.
How do you feel about preparing for an event in your home? Do you struggle, like me? Are you like hospitality wonder woman? Do you fall somewhere in between the two extremes? However you feel about these occasions, there are several things you can do to make the time leading up to them better.
1. Allow others to help.
I’m probably the worst example of this. I never know what to tell people when they walk into my kitchen and ask, “How can I help?” However, this is one thing that is easy to improve on. Plan ahead. Leave some of the easy-to-hand-off tasks until last, and then when someone offers to help, you have a few things ready to delegate. Better yet, if it’s a meal at your house, make it a pot luck. People love to contribute. Then, all you have to do is straighten your house. I’ve even allowed people who come early to help me vacuum.
2. Keep it simple.
There is no reason why every meal at your house has to compete with the Chopped kitchen from Food Network. Don’t be afraid to buy prepared foods, or even order pizza and have someone else pick it up. People aren’t coming over to judge your food quality and presentation. They’re coming for fellowship and spiritual growth, and the last time I checked, Little Caesar’s Pizza won’t interfere with this process.
3. Don’t be embarrassed because you aren’t perfect.
Nobody is perfect, so there’s no reason why your guests are expecting perfection when they walk through your doors. Don’t be afraid to be imperfect. If you need practice, let your kids clean the windows. Streaks will be left behind. When you’re not focused on perfection, allowing others to help is easier. When people see your imperfections, it just might help them to feel better about themselves. You never know, maybe then they’ll offer to have the next event at their home.
4. Know when to say, “No.”
There are times when it doesn’t make sense to have an event in your home. Maybe you need a break, and it’s important for you to be able to say this. Suggest another family have the event at their house. Most of all, be honest about what you can handle. Let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no.
“But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.” James 5:12
5. Remember why you’re doing this.
Most importantly, remember why you are opening your home for a church event. You’re doing this for God’s Kingdom. People who come over will enjoy fellowship, hear the word of the Lord, and pray with each other. Don’t become so worried over your appearance that you lose sight of your ministry.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if you had time to pray before people came to your house? If you follow some of the suggestions above, maybe you’ll have time left over to pray before people walk through your doors. If not, you can pray while wiping down the toilet seat.