Hospitality, Trinity and You
In our first year as a church plant, we went for training at a sister church plant that was several years ahead of us in its ministry. It was then a vibrant young congregation that already had daughtered three additional congregations. It was called Redeemer Presbyterian in New York City.
Their leaders, Tim Keller and Dick Kaufmann, were not a big deal (yet). And they had been influenced by some of the same Gospel training we had — by a man named Jack Miller (father of Paul Miller, a writer and a Trinity ministry partner).
What strikes me to this day is their calm hospitality. Here were seven strangers from Florida who asked to sit in on how they trained their small group leaders in Gospel dynamics — how the Grace of Jesus changes how you think, live and treat other people.
I cannot capture just how significant that training was for us and the ongoing relationships it would influence. But please don’t miss the central theme — HOSPITALITY.
Webster’s dictionary says hospitality is: “the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.”
It’s also a pervasive theme throughout the Scriptures. For instance, Romans 12:13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Hebrews 13:2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. And 1 Peter 4:9 Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.
The principle runs all the way upstream to how Jesus has treated people like us. By our selfishness, we rejected Him, our rightful Owner and Maker. But instead of rejecting us as He could, He worked — even at the cost of His own death and torment — to make a way that we could be brought back into His own home and family! There is no higher form of hospitality.
Tim Keller spoke of their sense of mission as a congregation in worship. Specifically, he saw that his role was to lead a service that would inspire his members to be hospitable. He said, “One of the most significant moments in the life of a Redeemer member is when they realize, ‘Oh! I could bring my non-Christian friends here!’ and expect they would be treated well.
That has shaped how we work here at Trinity ever since.
Starting Sunday, September 11, we will resume two services. There will be once again (if only for a little while) space for new people.
Have you ever considered how hospitality is a way in which you can share your faith? Do you believe that if you brought your non-Christian friends, family, or co-workers to Trinity, that they would be treated well? And behind it all, do you believe the greatest miracle in your life is in how the LORD Himself has shown you underserved, immeasurably generous hospitality in the Gospel?
We believe that this church exists not only for us but for our friends, neighbors, and associates who do not yet know Christ. We want to be generous and eager to share with those outside our four walls. We want to be a blessing not just to people who commit to us but to those who’ve never considered being part of a church because we are so amazed at how Jesus came seeking even us.
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