Practical Christianity Series - Ministry of Hospitality

II Corinthians 3:2

Baptists have traditionally been a soul-conscious people emphasizing the need of the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost and dying world. This is in contrast to the philosophy of those who promote a 'social gospel'. Minimizing or ignoring the spiritual needs, their focus is on taking care of the human or physical needs.

This philosophy reduces the ministry of the local church to little more than a social agency to feed, clothe, and pay the utility bills for anyone who asks. I have had people literally get indignant with me because I wouldn't agree to provide them with money for motel rooms, rent, or any number of other needs.

Some have questioned why Grace Baptist Temple spends thousands of dollars on foreign missions, but does not support certain local groups. While many of these groups have proper goals and aspirations, they often do not come in line with the philosophy and doctrine of this local church. There are those who say that doesn't really matter; but I believe that it does!

The fact that I cannot in good conscience lead this church to support many social organizations, that doesn't mean that we should not minister to people in the area of hospitality. Note the following verses.

Tonight I want us to think about another area of practical Christianity. How can we be a positive influence for the cause of Christ? We can make an impact by having a ministry of hospitality to others.

I. Definition of Hospitality.

II. Three Groups of People in Need of this Ministry.

III. Practical Ways to Minister Hospitality.

Bill was a bit slow, but he was hired to sweep the streets in a small town. Every day throughout the summer he would diligently sweep the streets. An elderly widow saw him hard at work and took him a glass of lemonade and a fresh slice of cake or pie. Each time Bill came down her street, she would take him lemonade and dessert. Each time he would shyly thank her and say little else. One evening near the end of summer there was a knock at her door. There stood Bill with a sack of peaches in one hand and a sack of roasting ears in the other. He told her that they were for her, to thank her for her expressions of kindness toward him. The widow was surprised and said, "Bill, this is too much, it was nothing!" Bill replied, "Maybe it wasn't much ma'am, but it was more than anyone else did."

How is our hospitality towards others? Are we effectively ministering? Come tonight and let God have His way in our life.