By Chad Blake, Executive Pastor
Anyone who has influence is a leader. Leaders have the ability to shape the destiny of an organization or movement. You are that type of person. That said, did you know that Shepherd’s Grove is your home? Yes, it is God’s House, but He has entrusted its care and keeping to you and me as leaders and ambassadors of His Kingdom.
I believe when we consider what it looks like to be a physical representation of our Lord in His House, we are compelled to go out of our way to make others feel welcome. At SGPC, we call this radical hospitality. Radical hospitality requires that we give up our right to be guests and instead assume the role of host.
When we move from passively “taking in” church to proactively considering the needs of others, we become hosts. Just as we make special considerations when we invite people into our own homes by preparing food they enjoy, cleaning the bathrooms, and creating a comfortable environment, so it should be when we come to our church home. Though it means we don’t always get our way and it requires purposeful attention, the payoffs of becoming radically hospitable are huge! Not only do we share in the joy of blessing others, but we have the honor of being a tangible representation of Jesus to them.
From this posture of servant leadership, the Holy Spirit moves in our midst and draws many people to relationship with Him. Then, He draws them to relationship with us, both as individuals and as a church community. When we become radically hospitable hosts, growth happens because people want to be a part of our family. In other words, even unchurched people are compelled to join in what we are doing — becoming a radically hospitable church that unchurched people love to come to!
To get started, here are a few tips to help you cultivate hosting skills:
- Get out of your zone. Even if you have a favorite place to sit or you volunteer in a specific area, don’t stop there. Look around to see where the needs are and proactively meet them.
- Don’t complain, do something. When things are in flux and don’t go the way they usually do, instead of registering a complaint, ask yourself what you can do to meet the need.
- Over-serve. Do more than people expect. When someone asks you where the restroom is, walk them to it OR introduce yourself to a person you’ve never met and find out their story. Even better, invite them to lunch after church!
You are a leader who has been entrusted with the awesome privilege of stewarding God’s House at Shepherd’s Grove. I am thankful for you and I am proud of all the good things He is doing through you and through this church body as a whole. God loves you and so do I!