Last year, I hosted our church's women's Bible study winter social in my home. We live in a small, rented home in an older part of town. Our landscaping consists of two potted plants that have seen better days. The living room furniture is mostly second-hand (read: dated). But these days, give me a reason to fire up the chocolate fountain, brew some seasonal tea, and invite godly women over for a night of fellowship, and I'm on it. Halfway through a most enjoyable evening, a lovely woman pulled me aside.
"I love hosting, but I never thought of my house as nice enough. It's not one of those bigger, newer houses on the other side of town. Don't take this the wrong way, but I'm so glad you hosted, here."
I totally got what she was saying, mostly because I used to feel the same way.
When we open our homes to friends, neighbors, and our church congregation, we are simultaneously opening up to an open critique of our wallets, while revealing a precious side of our personalities. Who wouldn't feel vulnerable? Hebrews 10:23–25 notes fellowship is for encouragement, good works, and love. It does not insist that the location of fellowship needs to be a four bedroom, two-and-a-half bath colonial boasting a new roof and furnace; yet, so many of us assume hosting is better left to someone else—someone who has "room," is a "good cook," or "enjoys company." Sadly, I once was the person who had the big house, interesting recipes, and a desire for intimate relationships, but I never hosted. We were so busy keeping a house, we had no time to create a home.1