I Know Some Servants … with the Spiritual Gift of Hospitality

The Spiritual Gift of Hospitality Defined

to warmly welcome people, even strangers, into one’s home or church as a means of serving those in need of food or lodging

Servant #1: She enjoyed hosting a small group in her home but when asked to lead the group, became frustrated and discouraged.  When hosting, she eagerly focused on making sure people were comfortable and had what they needed.  When facilitating the group, she tended to be more anxious and unsure of herself.

Servant #2:  She was there watching for me every week when I was a guest speaker at her church’s Sunday School for a series of lessons.  She not only genuinely welcomed me, but offered for me to sit with her and her husband during the worship service.  She introduced me to others within the body.  And, she often invited me to lunch after the service.

Servant #3:  He was often one of the first to spot a visitor and extend a hand of welcome.  He quickly put people at ease by his warm smile and kind words.  He helped them find their way around the church and answered any questions they had.  Here’s the catch: Nobody asked him to do these things.

All of these servants took pleasure in using their spiritual gift of hospitality.  It is what they enjoyed and did well.  They offered “hospitality to one another without grumbling” (1 Pet. 4:9).

Lesson to Be Learned:

When doing what lines up with our spiritual gifting, pulling on God’s power, we are energized to serve.  When serving outside of our gifting, it is so much easier to grumble and complain, to get frustrated or discouraged.  When serving in accordance with His divine empowerment, we will tend to serve with enthusiasm, cheerfulness, and diligence.

10 Replies to “I Know Some Servants … with the Spiritual Gift of Hospitality”

  1. I found the information to be helpful spiritually, and has inspired me to be better servant in my gift of hospitality. May God continue to bless you in administering to those that are in need of good guidance in sharing their gift to inspire others to feel at home in the house of the Lord.

    • The objective of the material on this site is to go beyond simply providing content about spiritual gifts to spurring people on to use their gifts. I praise God that is happening in your life, Twila. May He continue to equip you and provide many opportunies to use your gift of hospitality to His glory.

  2. What I have discovered in regards to the gift of hospitality is that it is never actually named in the Bible as a gift of the Holy Spirit. This is something man-made. Now, that said, the gift of ministry is named and people with this gift are very hospitable. So I wouldn’t say that hospitality is a gift, so much as it is an action. Everyone can be hospitable, but not everyone has the gift of ministry or servanthood which employs hospitality.

    You have a great site! May God bless you as you continue to serve Him.

    • Yes, Laura, I agree that hospitality is not mentioned in the key passages listing spiritual gifts (Rom. 12, 1 Cor. 12, Eph. 4). If you go to Spiritual Gifts List & Definitions, you’ll see hospitality listed as one of the possible gifts under “Misc. Passages”. As mentioned there, the context in which those “possible” gifts are found has within in it the same word in the original language for spiritual gifts that’s used in the key passage mentioned above. Hospitality is found in 1 Pet. 4:9-10. Since it isn’t clearly identified as a spiritual gift, we do need to be careful about being dogmatic about it. As you mentioned, though, we do find people who seem to be used of God in special ways through hospitality. You may want to check out: Why do different Bible scholars come up with varying numbers of spiritual gifts? Whether it’s a spiritual gift, natural tendency, or whatever, the important thing is that we are using all of who we are to the glory of God, seeking His power and wisdom to do it for eternal good.

  3. In the greater scope of scripture hospitality is the expression of God’s holy love to us. It is clearly visible in the Old Testament and clearly seen in the New Testament beginning with Jesus Christ. This Hospitality is to be expressed through every believer no matter what the gifting. It is also a qualification of eldership.
    In its most basic definition, it means love of strangers. Sounds like it is probably found in The Great Commission, the functioning of the church, evangelism, caring for those outside the church, and caring for missionaries.
    Perhaps it is more than and gift and is actually Jesus living Himself through us.

    • Thanks for your thoughts, Don Johnston. Yes, to be sure, Scripture does describe hospitality as something all believers should express. If you do a careful search, you find that true of many/most of the spiritual gifts — i.e., exhortation/encouragement (Heb. 3:13), evangelism (2 Tim. 4:5), mercy (Col. 3:12), teaching (Matt. 28:19-20), etc. The person gifted in these ways tends to devote more time and energy into ministry utilizing the gift as opposed to those fulfilling these commands/responsibilities in the everyday course of their life in Christ. And, they are also usually more impassioned about it when so gifted. Whether by gifting or simply because we are walking in Him, may Jesus live Himself through us!

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