Dr. Christine Pohl, an Asbury Theological Seminary professor, author, and student of hospitality says most congregations aren’t persuaded about the importance of this ancient practice.
In this interview, Dr. Pohl shares her insights into the practices needed to become more hospitable and to build healthier congregations.
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‘If there’s room in the heart, there’s room in the house’ – yep, hospitality is rarely only an issue of practicality and is much more a matter of the mind and will. Here are my notes from the interview:
Responding to the Welcoming of God
What’s our motive for hospitality? Gain members? Increase donations? Dr. Pohl says paying it forward, giving back what God gave to us, is a sound theological foundation upon which we build our hospitality.
Really Share Eucharist
For some churches the Communion meal can become rote and void of meaning. How about mixing it up one Sunday, and having folk give bread and wine to one another as a way to emphasize that communion is community?
Real Community = The Ultimate Attractional Model
While some congregations emphasize celebrity speakers and rock star musicians, Dr. Pohl says what really attracts people for the long run is authentic hospitality and deep community.
About Christine Pohl
Christine Pohl is the Associate Provost and Professor of Social Ethics, Asbury Theological Seminary, in Wilmore, KY where she has taught for twenty-three years. She holds degrees from Emory University, Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary and Syracuse University. Her books include: Making Room: Recovering Hospitality as a Christian Tradition, Friendship at the Margins: Discovering Mutuality in Service and Mission (with Chris Heuertz), and Living into Community: Cultivating Practices that Sustain Us. She has led a four-year grant with the Lilly Endowment on Sustaining Pastoral Excellence in Community and is a sought-after speaker in the area of hospitality.
Sponsors I Mentioned
Turnaround 20/20 – Learn from experts who have conquered obstacles to growth and watched God turn things around. Turnaround 20/20 is a unique congregational development conference that brings together 20 experts who speak for 20 minutes each. People like Nelson Searcy, Charles Arn, George Hunter, and Elmer Towns will focus on a specific area of congregational development and are out to spark new ideas and innovations for you and your church. Turnaround 20./20 is Tuesday, October 23 in Nashville, TN.