It takes planning and preparation to have people into our homes. Perhaps because of this failure to plan, hospitality—even to our friends—is becoming a lost art in many Christian homes. We have become so consumed with our very busy and hectic schedules, that we fail to prepare for the act of hospitality. Here is a practical suggestion for practicing hospitality—start a Hospitality Notebook.
The Hospitality Notebook helps you with the planning part of inviting your guests. Each section comes with a free printable you may print and copy to design your own Hospitality Notebook!
Section One: Monthly Calendar
Take a moment to think through the upcoming month. Fill in all scheduled events, church events, and holidays. Now challenge yourself to have guests over at least once this month. If you are needing inspiration for who you could invite, read this article to see who is on the Lord’s guest list. Can you think of an international you could invite? A new church member? The poor? The handicapped? A lost coworker? Write your intended guests’ names at the bottom of the calendar.
Section Two: Guest List
This section is to record any food allergies your guests may have. You can write notes about each food allergy to keep on hand for later.
Section Three: Menu Planning
This is where you can collect easy recipes. Are you at a stage in life where it is harder to entertain because of a demanding job or perhaps you have very small children? Collect quick and easy recipes! Spaghetti, a nice soup and salad, or even a chili night are all great ideas. Use your tried and true meals. Are you at a stage in life where you can devote time and energy into a special and elegant looking meal? Collect recipes that will inspire and push you to greater heights. You don’t cook? Collect the numbers of pizza delivery companies and other restaurants that cater.
Section Four: To Do List/ Shopping List
Now that you have selected your menu, inventory your food supply and make a shopping list. Don’t forget to think about the non-edible essentials like plastic plates, plastic cutlery and cups, napkins, (if you are using disposables of any of those items) soap, and toilet paper.
Make your to do list of what you would like to accomplish before your guests arrive: clean the dining room, the living room, the bathroom, the entry way, etc.
We are a little over one week away from a new month. Why not start planning today!2