Search Results for: label/hospitality

Hospitality Resources

This post is part of my ongoing series on hospitality.

As my hospitality series draws to a close, I wanted to share some of my favorite resources with you if you’re interested in continuing to grow in practicing hospitality!  These are not in a particular order.

Favorite books:
The Art of Hospitality by Yvonne G. Baker (practical, and filled with recipes and menu plans)
Practicing Hospitality by Pat Ennis and Lisa Tatlock (biblical support for hospitality, plus recipes)
A Handbook for Minister’s Wives by Dorothy Kelley Patterson (not all about hospitality, but that’s definitely a big part of the book)
The Christian Homemaker’s Handbook edited by Pat Ennis and Dorothy Kelley Patterson (great book for any Christian woman; includes extensive sections on the home and meal planning)
Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist (nothing will make you want to throw open the doors of your home quite like this book… truly inspirational, plus it includes some of my very favorite recipes)
Homemade Memories by Marita Littauer (about creating family memories in your home, but includes many menu plans that are perfect for hospitality occasions)
The Hospitality Commands by Alexander Strauch (thorough biblical support for WHY to show hospitality)
Open Heart, Open Home by Karen Burton Mains (I haven’t read this one yet, but my mom recommends it)

Favorite blogs/posts:
practical tips for practicing hospitality at Generation Cedar
hospitality posts at Radical Womanhood
hospitality posts at Girl Talk
top 13 ministry meal ideas at Comfy in Kitchen
how to start a weekly meal ministry at your church at Comfy in the Kitchen
creating a hospitality and entertaining notebook at A Plate at My Table
how hospitality helps or hinders relationships at Moms in Need of Mercy
top ten ways to save money on entertaining at The Family CEO Blog
10 budget-friendly dinner party ideas at The Local Cook
how to feel at home in your house and your skin at A Holy Experience

And don’t forget that I will continue to be pinning great ideas for showing hospitality to my Hospitality Pinterest Board!

Do you have any favorite hospitality resources to share?

Hospitality Basics

This post is part of my ongoing series on hospitality.

While you can certainly show hospitality on paper plates (I encourage doing this often!), it actually becomes more cost-effective over time to invest in some great dishes and serving pieces for showing hospitality.  Here are my top picks for the basics!  (I won’t call these essentials because you don’t have to have them in order to practice hospitality… but they are nice to collect over time!)

To start with, buy enough to serve as many people as your dining room will hold.  (Work up to this over time if money is tight.)  For me, this is sixteen.  Sixteen people in my dining room is totally pushing it, but we’ve done it twice (once for a ladies Bible study dinner and once for a youth Christmas party).  I recommend and use white Corelle dishes.  I bought most of mine at an outlet store before we got married and the rest were a gift.  I have two patterns (plain white and white with a raised swirl design), and no one cares that they aren’t a perfect match (I actually like the look!).

Buy enough to serve as many people as your dining room will hold.  We received lovely flatware as a wedding present, and it is one of our most-used gifts!

Buy enough to serve as many people as your dining room will hold.  I’m still working on getting up to sixteen matching glasses, but I have twelve that match plus another similar set I could use in a pinch.  I like the $4.79/6 red wine glasses from IKEA.  They are lovely for serving ice water and they are SO cheap that if one breaks it’s just no big deal.

-Bread basket
Useful for chips, bread, rolls, or buns, this can be as simple as a basket from the dollar store lined with a napkin, or it can be something fancier (handmade basket, fabric liner, etc.).  I just use a simple basket lined with a colorful paper napkin.

-Serving platters
I’ve been collecting white serving platters so that I would have the appropriate sized plate/platter to serve food on.  I love getting serving pieces as gifts, so I’ve acquired some that way as well.

-Serving dishes
I was blessed to receive a whole bunch of beautiful white serving/casserole dishes when we got married, so I definitely put those to work on a regular basis!  Dishes with handles are great for serving meals family-style.

-Water pitcher
I like to leave the water pitcher on the table so that refills are easy.  I have several beautiful pitchers that are appropriate for almost any gathering.  I also have some plastic pitchers for more casual gatherings.

-Cloth or paper napkins
We use cloth napkins all the time at home, so I often use those when we have company too.  But because some people aren’t used to using cloth napkins (and it causes parents of kids to stress out a little bit), I often use cute paper napkins too.  This is a fun way to add some color or seasonal inspiration to your table!

I use swirly “wrought-iron” trivets and green woven trivets to keep hot dishes off the table.  The woven trivets are useful for passing dishes as well, since they can act as a potholder.

Depending on your “style,” tablecloths can be a nice addition to your hospitality collection.  I have a really
long table, so it’s a little harder to find tablecloths that are long enough.  I have a few in neutral colors that I use regularly (the white one is my favorite), but I don’t always use a tablecloth.

-Decorative items
I like to have a pretty centerpiece on the table that is appropriate for the season and the occasion.  I usually just utilize items I have on hand (candles, vases, a pretty cloth napkin, etc.).  Sometimes I can afford to get some fresh flowers for the table.  Of course, if you garden, you can use flowers more often than I can!  In the fall I will use a pumpkin and some beautiful leaves.  I like to bring in holly or evergreen branches in the wintertime.  Get creative using what you have, but also watch for clearance sales after holidays when you can pick up pretty seasonal items on the cheap.

Here are a few of my favorite places to shop for the above items:
-IKEA (glasses, paper napkins, candles, vases)
-Ross (serving platters and dishes, tablecloths, decorative items)
-T.J. Maxx (baskets, serving platters and dishes, decorative items)
-Marshall’s (serving platters and dishes, decorative items)
-Home Goods (paper napkins, baskets, serving platters and dishes, pitchers, decorative items)
-Target (silverware, cloth napkins, serving dishes, pitchers, decorative items)
-Dollar Tree (baskets, woven trivets, some seasonal decorative items)

Where are your favorite places to shop for these hospitality basics?

Hospitality: The Conversation

This post is part of my ongoing series on hospitality.

A reader submitted this question to me:

I wanted to put in a post request if I could — could you talk about what should actually occur during a get-together {besides eating}? Meaning, what should we talk about? And, how do you know the evening was a “success”? What is the goal or purpose of hospitality — other than giving of your time, resources, etc.? You touched on it a bit, but was hoping you could go into a bit more detail. In particular, you talked about building community and sharing our lives. Do you have any thoughts on when your guests don’t reciprocate with an invitation to their homes or when you just rarely see them after they’ve come over and the “building” and “sharing” stop?

Great questions!

What should we talk about?
If it’s a family/individual/couple you don’t know very well, start with basic “get-to-know you” questions.  Examples: Where did you grow up? For a couple: How did you meet? What is your occupation? What are some of your hobbies? What books are you reading? What brought you to such-and-such church? Where did you grow up?  Do you have siblings?
Learn to engage people and ask good follow-up questions.  Keep them talking!  As your relationship progresses, you can ask deeper questions.
Examples: What are some lessons God taught you through ___ (parenting, job, ministry, etc.)?  Of parents: Do you have any parenting advice for me regarding ___ (an issue you’re currently dealing with with your kids)? What is God currently teaching you?
Something my parents have done over the years is ask: How can we be praying for you? as the evening draws to a close.  Whether you have a prayer time at the end of your visit is up to you, but just asking this simple question can really help you get to a deeper level with the people you are showing hospitality towards.  I know I need to be more intentional about doing this!

How do you know the evening was a “success”?
If you’re just starting out showing hospitality, just doing it is a success!  But regarding the conversation, I would say that if you feel like you’ve gotten to know the other person or family better during the evening, it is a success.  If you have been a blessing to someone else, it is a success.

What is the goal of hospitality?
I think there are several goals of hospitality.  First, it demonstrates obedience to God’s command.  Secondly, it should be a blessing to the recipient.  They should feel Christ’s love in a tangible, physical way.  Thirdly, we want hospitality to be a vehicle through which we share our lives with one another.  By asking how we can pray for one another, we are opening up our hearts and sharing what’s truly going on.  This is something that rarely happens on a Sunday morning chatting after church, but can happen in our homes because of the comfort level and lack of time restraints.

What if they don’t reciprocate?
Sometimes you’ll “click” better than other times.  It’s okay if you get together with someone once but they don’t invite you over in return.  We give in order to bless others, not to receive something back.  If there is a strong connection, it’s fine to invite them again even if they haven’t invited you to their home.  This is more about biblical love than about social convention.

Your turn… what are some questions you like to ask people when getting to know them better?