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Published on July 23rd, 2016 | by Discussion Questions

How can we as teens practice hospitality?





ANONYMOUS WRITES: I just read a book by a pastor’s wife who extolled the importance of Christian hospitality. But when we don’t have our own homes, how can we be hospitable? I can’t just invite people over for dinner without talking to my parents. And what if my parents are more introverted than me? How does hospitality work for teens practically?


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are submitted by real rebelutionaries who are looking for godly answers to tough questions and lively conversation with other young adults. You can join the conversation by commenting below. If you'd like to submit your own discussion question, email us at [email protected]



  • Heather C.

    My mum really loves having people over, but we’re usually a very busy family. One thing you could try is helping with the chores that come with hospitality: shopping, cooking, cleaning up, etc.
    My only other idea is that you could meet with people elsewhere.

  • Being hospitable doesn’t just apply to having people in your home for dinner. Have a heart that is willing to serve others, be the one to offer to get someone another drink while out or to hold the baby when a mother needs her hands free for a moment or like @Heather C. (it won’t let me tag her for some reason) said help with cleaning up. Be kindhearted towards others as you would be if they were sitting in your house. Share with others as you would if they were sitting at your table. You have all kinds of things you can do to be hospitable to others even when you can’t have them over to your house. : )

  • Okie Gal

    Having people over hasn’t been an option lately (for a couple reasons) but my mom’s gotten in the habit of inviting people to hang out at the park. Obviously that wouldn’t work as well if they don’t have little kids, but it’s just to show that you can invite people into your life without having your house together. Hope this helps, I can’t wait to read the other comments.

  • Just curious, what is the name of the book you just read?
    As far as your question goes, I don’t exactly have lots of tips. I think while you are still living at home, when your parents do invite others over, try to be as helpful to your parents as possible so that not all the weight is on them. Help with clean up after meals, be welcoming to all the guests, help prepare the meal if possible. These are some things that my siblings and I have tried to do. Even helping with young kids if the guest or your parents have young children, so that the parents are more easily able to relax and enjoy the company.

    • Haven Asnip

      I have the same question about the book. I’d like to learn more about Biblical hospitality (:

  • Olivia W.

    People seem to think that hospitality means inviting people to your house. Maybe that’s right… But I think it’s not really about that. When I look at my own life, I think of hospitality as being kind and inclusive to the new kid at church, making people feel welcome and not left out. Inviting people into our homes is a nice thing to do, but maybe hospitality is really about being willing to open our hearts to people and to invest time and energy to care for the the needs of others.

    • Okie Gal

      Nailed it! I need to work on this, thanks for bringing it up.

    • Haven Asnip

      That’s a great point Olivia (:

  • Like @disqus_MtCGzUXeU8:disqus said, it’s not strictly inviting people over for dinner.
    When I think of hospitality, I think of kindness. Hospitality is being kind. It’s going out of your way to brighten others’ day. It’s smiling. It’s sitting with those who are alone. “Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” (2 Corinthians 1:4)
    It’s opening your heart to those around you. It’s staying open-hearted and open-minded in this world. Its investing time with family and friends.
    Hospitality is putting others before yourself, just like Christ would. It’s Christ-like behavior.

  • Inviting people into your home for a meal and time together is great, and I’m all for that (although I never have people over bc our air conditioner doesn’t work properly and we live in GA). But hospitality goes deeper–it’s a heart thing. Being kind, like @disqus_RXsErh71HA:disqus said. If someone new comes to youth group, make them feel welcome (oh @disqus_MtCGzUXeU8:disqus already said that. Well, I agree, so I’m going to say it again;))

  • The Bean

    I just looked up the definition of hospitality. No, I’m not so ignorant of the English language to not know what hospitality means 😛 ! Just an excellent way to improve my vocabulary and
    Turns out, though the definition of he word “hospitality” is “the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers”, synonyms include friendliness, helpfulness, welcome, neighborliness, warmth, warm-heartedness, kindness, generosity and open-handedness. Looks like hospitality can easily be practiced without a house!
    When you sit with the “new guy” at the school cafeteria to make him feel welcome, that is hospitality.
    When you share your lunch with a needy person, that is a form of hospitality.
    When you welcome a new family at church, that is hospitality.
    When you help a refugee family make itself a place in society, that is hospitality.
    Get the point?
    Pray that God will show you how to practice hospitality where you are. He has a ton more examples, each perfectly adapted to your possibilities and situation. He will also give you the strength necessary if you ask for it.
    Hospitality in the Bible is an easily googlable subject, by the way.

    The Bean

  • The Bean

    I just learned something else : the greek word translated to “hospitality” in the new testament literally means “love of strangers”.

  • I love and, in many ways, can relate to this question! I haven’t read all the comments so forgive me if I repeat something…

    I understand the struggle of often wanting to have people in your home
    when your parents aren’t as quick to say yes to that. My parents are
    fairly good at hospitality, but not the greatest.

    One thing to point out, is that hospitality isn’t limited to just your home. Hospitality can also mean getting to know the new person at church and inviting them to hang out with your group. It could also mean just welcoming your neighbor or even inviting someone to get-together outside of your home (like meeting for coffee or something).
    So hospitality in essence is not JUST opening our homes (though that is definitely a part of it!). It’s also opening ourselves! Allowing people to get to know us and sharing our time with them. It’s inviting them into our lives; and in what capacity we do so may look different person-to-person; situation to situation.
    One other thing I find helpful with the parent thing is to (especially with mom) show responsibility and tell her I’ll help cook, keep the house clean, still do chores…things like that. That way it doesn’t feel like a burden to her! Often times this softens her to letting me have people over. ;D

    I struggle with this too. =P So what I shared above is just something that has encouraged me as I go through life. So maybe I can’t have this girl to my house; but I see her every week so I invest myself in her then…and that IS a form of hospitality! =)

    Hope this helps some!! <3

    • Musical Ragamuffin

      “Opening ourselves”!

    • Jessie

      I agree with inviting someone from church or a neighbor into my house for a get together. I think that if your parents or another adult has a hard time inviting someone they don’t know into the house, it’s because of safety. You can’t always trust the person on your doorstep, no matter how charming and nice they might seem.

  • Jessie

    I’m not the biggest fan of just inviting a stranger in your home. It is very dangerous and nieve. I don’t mind inviting someone from my church over once in a while, especially if I really like this person. My dad is the pastor so he is not afraid to ask people over to dinner or to play games and talk.

    Hospitality is used in many different ways. Just about 4 months ago, my youth teacher started doing once a month Wednesday night dinners. We have to serve drinks, set up tables, and

  • DanE

    Well, hospitality for teens could just mean inviting people into your groups and activities at school. Or like others have said, invite people into church. Love this question.

  • Kyle B.

    While I know that hospitality isn’t just having someone over, a HUGE one for me is welcoming my parent’s guests into our house.

  • My mum taught me that to have someone over to your house and feed them is entertaining. To give them a dish towel afterwards and say ‘come on them, give us a hand’ is hospitality. Hospitality is all about making people feel like they are at home and though food can be a big part of that, it’s not exclusively about feeding people. It’s about being welcoming and loving and making them feel like they are amongst family whether you are having a meal together, going out for coffee, doing homework together a the library or sitting on a park bench just chatting. Some forms of hospitality like meals and games can be more difficult for introverts but there are plenty of other ways to be hospitable that may suit your temperament better and stress your parents less 😛 Just remember though, hospitality is a biblical command.

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