Today's post was written by a member of our Women's Ministry Team.

I am a self-diagnosed introvert whose hospitality score is in the gutter on every spiritual gifts assessment. I started my hospitality-free life by spending childhood in a single-wide trailer in the woods, with little exposure to birthday parties, sleepovers, church, or Sunday fellowships. As I grew into a young adult, friends who planned events and received guests with ease and grace surrounded me. These events made me nervous, but remarkably, my friends could balance a tray of petit fours and a pitcher of iced tea while simultaneously smiling and chatting about some upcoming event or Easter service. Not having these skills, I quickly determined that entertaining wasn’t for me, and I avoided hosting, as I often reminded others that “it wasn’t my gift.”

Then I got married to a husband who is outgoing and enjoys opening our home to guests. Fear, anxiety, and worry are only a few of the emotions I felt while examining our less-than-plump secondhand sofa and tiny apartment. My over-cooked box cupcakes and lemonade mix seemed grossly inadequate.

But God gently nudged my eyes open to a valuable truth through the words of a seminary professor. He felt God’s call for years to teach but was terrified of public speaking and, therefore, resistant to the profession. But God was calling him to obedience. Could it be that God calls us out of our fears and equips us for the things He asks us to do?

Romans 12 lists hospitality as a mark of a true Christian. It involves receiving and loving guests—not squeaky-clean floors and hors-d'oeuvres. This isn’t just for the entertaining élite any more than mission trips are strictly for missionaries. I can show hospitality through a fellowship at Starbucks or at a Chick-fil-A playground. People have a desire to be known and loved. They need a welcoming smile, encouraging words, and loyal friendship. Our society’s view of entertaining teaches that location and menu are top priority, but biblical hospitality reminds me that the gospel and people are of far greater value.

Prayer, patience, and practice have helped me become a better host. My friends now would probably be surprised to know that hospitality was ever such a fear-gripped struggle, which is such a testimony to God’s grace in my life.

This story highlights one fear related to the subject of hospitality. Join us for our Women's Gatherings on June 11 or on June 22 where we address misconceptions and learn more about "Popping the Pinterest Bubble and Redeeming Hospitality." For more information, visit this site.