When Christians think of hospitality, we think of inviting people we know into our homes and feeding them. But what if instead we made hospitality an attitude that spilled over into how we do business? After all, the idea of hospitality is making the journey easier for someone else by offering what you have. In the Greek as used in the Bible, hospitality literally means entertaining strangers, not friends and family. This gives us even more of a reason to treat our business associates, who are generally people outside of our usual family and social circles, with generous hospitality. In fact, having a business and drawing in “strangers”, gives us an opportunity to regularly practice hospitality.
You can do this by acting as a servant-leader in your businesses. As you build your business and seek to reach customers and clients, readers, listeners and viewers, consider how you can give of yourself to meet their needs.
Depending on the type of business you own, be creative as you consider how you can offer your version of a refreshing cold glass of lemonade on a hot, dusty day. If you have a physical establishment, you could indeed offer actual refreshments to customers and clients.
If you operate an online business, you could regularly offer clients and customers a word of encouragement. This can be done in text messages, emails, image quotes or audio. Even virtual clients can be sent tokens of appreciation by postal mail.
Birthday offers are another opportunity to give of yourself to honor others. My birthday is coming up on Friday and I enjoy seeing the gifts roll in from local merchants. From a free ice cream cone to a free sandwich from Chick-Fil-A, these small tokens make me feel appreciated and cared for.
1 Peter 4:9 tells us “Use hospitality one to another without grudging.” The Greek word for hospitality here refers to having a fondness for guests. Have you noticed that the one of the most successful fast-food establishments, Chick-fil-A, refers to their customers as guests? Many other retail establishments now do this as well.
Ask God to show you how to use hospitality in your business.