hospitality in college ministry (a new series for a new year)

And… we’re back!

Over my break, I’ve been working on a possible book – only this one’s not about college ministry, it’s about the weird, intriguing, magnificent time I spent visiting 165 weekend church services during my yearlong road trip. Yes, the main purposes of that trip – and by far most of the hours spent – were all about exploring American college ministry. But I’m kind of a church geek, so I took the chance to visit a jillion churches on the weekends. It was pretty stinkin’ interesting, to say the least.

Anyway… a real focus of that book is how churches think about hospitality toward visitors (whether newcomers or longtime attenders). And that’s something that needs to be thought about constantly within our field, Collegiate Ministry, too.

So since I’ve been mulling those sorts of thoughts, I figured I’d make a blog series out of them; the start of a semester or quarter is a great time to think about Hospitality anyway. And since this is the first entry, that’s actually what I wanted to ask: How much have you thought about hospitality lately?

Sure, I imagine you’ve got some “plays” designed to welcome guests, and you designed some other things (maybe awhile back) to make your Large Group Meeting fun and inviting. But when’s the last time you really thought about how well it was accomplishing those purposes – and all the other purposes that make up true “hospitality”? Can you even list out what a truly “hospitable” college ministry might look like in your context?

Or what about your small groups? Do the leaders there think regularly about hospitality?

Have you identified students and leaders within your ministry with the spiritual gift of Hospitality? What roles do they play in your ministry?

In the days to come, I’ll be looking closer at some of these areas – and I’m sure a few more, as well. But for today, I’d encourage you to ponder (and even pray about) what role Hospitality – as a disciplined, purposeful pursuit – has played in your campus ministry… and what role you want it to play in the future!

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