Church Hospitality: A Short Guide
Church hospitality isn’t just the right thing to do—it’s essential. Here are 4 practical ways to prepare for the 2 types of guests you should expect.
November 18, 2020
Editor's note: This is a guest post by John Bevere. John is an international speaker and bestselling author known for his bold and uncompromising approach to God’s Word. John and his wife, Lisa, are the founders of Messenger International—a ministry committed to developing uncompromising followers of Christ who transform our world.
In Mark 6, Jesus visited his hometown, and unlike the many other places where Jesus had ministered, He wasn’t able to perform any miracles there.
In fact, He told the people, “‘A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.’ He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them” (Mark 6:4–5, NIV).
Note that the passage tells us Jesus “could not” do any miracles. It does not say, “He would not,” which would deal with His will. The words “could not” mean He was restrained.
Think of it.
The Son of God, infused with the Spirit of God without measure, was restricted!
The answer is twofold:
First, He had not come the way they wanted—they were expecting a conquering king, not a carpenter—so they did not receive or honor Him.
Second, they were too familiar with Him.
Listen to their words:
“He began to teach in the synagogue. And many hearing Him were astonished, saying, ‘Where did this Man get these things? And what wisdom is this which is given to Him, that such mighty works are performed by His hands! Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?’ So they were offended at Him. But Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house’” (Mark 6:2–4, NKJV).
Only those with hungry, teachable, and humble hearts after God could see the hand of God on Jesus and receive from Him. He was the very Sword who divided His people and located the hearts of those who were truly after God, and those who merely had a form of godliness but were blinded by insubordinate hearts.
As Simeon said to Mary, His mother, “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too” (Luke 2:34–35, NIV).
John 1:11–12 delineates these two divided groups: “He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God” (NKJV).
This holds a fundamental truth for all of us.
Many times God will send us what we need in a package we don’t want. This very presentation will manifest the true condition of our heart, exposing whether we are submitted to His authority or resistant to it.
Jesus said, “You know neither Me nor My Father. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also” (John 8:19, NKJV). Those who know the Father recognize His authority manifested in those He sends! It doesn’t have to be explained, taught, or proved.
This explains why a minister can go to Africa and see blind eyes opened, the disabled walk, and the deaf hear, then come to America and see only a few headaches or minor back problems healed. I could give numerous examples. In Africa, the man or woman is received as sent by God, no matter the appearance or packaging.
Because the person is received and honored this way, the precious African people are blessed by God’s power and His presence. In America, if the packaging is not just right, honor is withheld.
Honor and blessing are proportional.
To the degree you receive and honor the messenger as sent by God is the degree you receive from God through the person.
Dishonor, and this will be your reception.
Give great honor, and honor will be your portion.
Be sure to pick up a copy of Under Cover: Why Your Response to Leadership Determines Your Future by John Bevere