dimensions of discipleship guidesLooking for resources for your small group ministry? We have a new set of discipleship guides available… one guide for each of the 8 areas shown here on the tree of discipleship.  (You can double-click the tree to enlarge it if you’d like.) Designed to be interactive, these guides include short excerpts to read, scripture passages, exercises, and discussion questions. You can choose one guide where you’re interested in growing or you can get the whole set of 8 guides  (at a discount).

Below is an excerpt from the Generous Living Guide

Generous Living, Part 4: Showing hospitality without favoritism

Key question: How are you showing hospitality?

People are often surprised to find hospitality as a part of generosity. Too often, we think of generosity as simply giving money. Such a narrow definition guts generosity of most of its life. Generosity begins with an impulse of the heart to invite. We invite people into our lives, to share our food, our space, and our time with us.

Remember too that hospitality isn’t only for our friends. Hospitality means taking in the stranger and providing for practical needs. It does not depend on us having a large or lavish home. It does not depend on our cooking skills. It does not depend on our having spotlessly clean living quarters. Often people find simplicity more comfortable and authentic anyway. After all, when we invite into our home, we are inviting into our lives… warts and all.

“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” ― Mother Teresa

How can we practice hospitality in simple ways? We can invite someone for coffee. We can bring a meal to the sick. We can invite those that others don’t invite. We can extend a lunch-hour invitation to a coworker. We can throw a party. Although the classic means of inviting someone over to your home for dinner is wonderful, it’s hardly the only way of showing hospitability. As you engage in this study with a few other people, consider some means of hospitality that would work well in your particular situation and context.

Brainstorm

List as many different ways of showing hospitality as you can. Consider the word “invitation.” What can you invite people to?

This week read and reflect daily on the scripture below. Open a natural flow of conversational prayer with the Holy Spirit as you meditate on the scriptures, inviting him to reveal himself to you. Then gather with those who journey alongside you and interact over the discipleship questions.

Scripture passages:

  • Matthew 5:46-47
  • Matthew 22:1-10
  • Hebrews 10:1-3
  • 1 Peter 4:8-10
  • 3 John 1:5-11

Discipleship questions:

What does the word “hospitality” mean to you?

  • How do you see it used in these scriptures?
  • Tell about a time when you were intentional about showing hospitality. What happened?
  • When is a time when you experienced someone else’s hospitality? What was that like?
  • What might hospitality look like in our culture?

Action steps 

  • In light of this, what is God asking you to do?
  • How will you do this?
  • When will you do this?
  • Who will help you?

 

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