How We Practice Hospitality
Acts 6:1-7 

“It is not right that we should neglect the word of God in order to wait on tables. Therefore, brothers and sisters, select from among yourselves seven men of good standing, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this task. . . ” –Acts 6:2-3

Written by Cassie Chee

How do you respond when someone complains about an issue to you? How does our church respond when an issue is brought to us? In Acts 6, the number of disciples grows through the sharing of Godʻs love by word, spirit, and body. In Acts 2, it says they took all that they had and shared with anyone who was in need. 

In Acts 6, it says the Hellenists “complained”, or some translations say there was a murmuring or a grumbling among them because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution of food. Instead of ignoring the issue or saying that they do not have the time to resolve it, they make a decision of generous communal hospitality: they invite seven new leaders. What is generous about their response is that they ensure the equitable distribution of food by distributing power. They let the Hellenists select leaders from among themselves and bless those leaders to not only respond to the food issue but also to lead in the sharing of Godʻs word. If you continue reading in Acts you see that some of these leaders appointed become a big part of the work of the early church. 

One of the core principals in mutual aid networks that meet basic needs is: those who are closest to the issues often have the best solutions and are our best leaders. This means that those Hellenist widows who were being neglected likely had the best solutions about how to make sure everyone had enough to eat. Today it means that those who are houseless likely have the best solutions about making sure everyone has a safe place to live. In our churches it could mean those who we seek to welcome likely have the best idea of what would make them really feel welcome. 

Our Central Union mission is “We Engage and Embrace ALL as we seek to Embody Christ.To truly welcome all, we ought to distribute leadership and power to the rich diversity of the “all” we seek to welcome. Who do we say that we welcome at Central Union? Who typically feels most welcome or comfortable among us in church? Do we have leaders that are from communities we seek to welcome? 

Creating generous communal hospitality as a church comes from good equipping and distribution of power and leadership. 

May we become clear about who we seek to welcome. May we raise leaders to create generous hospitality.
May we become better hosts to engage and embrace ALL.