In college, I joined a club that sought to foster a sense of community through secrecy. We sought to build fraternity through exclusivity, private ritual experiences, and of course, password-handshakes. The idea was that relationships grow deeper by cutting others out and surrounding ourselves in mystery and darkness.
Sometimes we can treat Christian worship like an insider’s club. And who doesn’t want to be included in a family-like brotherhood and sisterhood? But the New Testament blueprint for worship gatherings has little room for secrecy. Rather, hospitality rises to the top of the values we want to characterize our Sunday morning services.
So what is hospitality? And how does it relate to corporate worship? We often associate hospitality with serving food or accommodating lodging. For example, these two components make up a massive economic force called the “hospitality industry.” And while food and shelter are integral components of practicing a habit of hospitality, the apostle Peter gives us a bigger picture of what it means in the Church.