Ah, summer! The season when the sun is out longer, time moves slower, and the desire to spend time outside more is stronger. Summer is usually a fun time of year for everyone, and there are plenty of opportunities for get-togethers, which makes summer one of the best seasons to practice hospitality. Let’s look at what hospitality is and 9 simple and creative ways for you to provide sweet summer hospitality to others this summer.
What is hospitality and why is it so important?
Hospitality is simply the art of making someone feel welcome in your home. It’s a gesture of friendship that you want to get to know them more. Hospitality is also a way to show love to those you welcome into your home. Peter tells us in 1 Peter 4:8-9 “’Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay (NLT).” Sharing our home with others shows love to those in need, and it’s a way to serve them when they may not be able to offer anything in return.
Being hospitable toward others is not only beneficial for those who may appreciate or need a meal or a place to stay, but also to those who may need a listening ear. Someone may be going through a hard time, or feel down, and the best way to lift their spirits is by inviting them over for a chat or a game. It most certainly makes one feel special as well. Hospitality is also a great way to witness to and encourage others in their faith. Even if your guest is not a Believer, being kind, offering comfort and a listening ear can go a long way in introducing Christ to someone.
9 Simple Summer Hospitality Ideas
Pull out your grill, get some chicken, pork, hamburger patties or hot dogs, and offer to cook a delicious BBQ meal outside, complete with baked beans, potatoes, and refreshing lemonade. It doesn’t ever have to be fancy. In fact, the more laid back and real you are, the more relaxed and comfortable your guests will feel.
2. Picnic in the Park
Pack up paper plates, silverware, and napkins, along with some blankets, maybe tablecloths, and some games (and of course food and drinks!), and head out to your local park for a picnic. You can even be adventurous and visit a state park with trails to picnic at.
3. Bonfires and Backyard fun
Some of my favorite memories over the years involved my best friend inviting my husband and I and a few other friends over to her mom’s house for a backyard bonfire, s’mores and games. The games ranged from karaoke and dancing to card games, board games, and even multi-player phone games. Invite your guests over for a backyard bonfire with some kid-friendly games!
4. Ice Cream Social
Everyone screams for ice cream! Invite someone over for homemade (or your favorite store-bought) ice cream with all the toppings out for them to use. Just make sure to find out about allergies, or offer a dairy-free ice cream.
5. Movie Night
Have a movie night! If you have a way to project a movie outside, have a backyard movie showing, with blankets and chairs laid out. Pop some popcorn and settle in to watch your favorite movie (or ask the guest what movie they would be interested to watch)!
6. Pool Party
Have a pool? Then this idea is for you. Invite your guests over for a swim. If your guests feel a little uncomfortable with the idea of swimming, have snacks by the pool and dip your feet instead.
7. Patio Tea and Sweets
Hospitality doesn’t ever have to involve a big meal. You can simply invite someone over for a cup of tea or coffee and some cookies or cake out on your back patio (or front porch!).
8. Breakfast Social
Another great way to be hospitable toward someone this summer is by inviting them out to breakfast somewhere. This is a great way to get to know someone you don’t know very well and doesn’t add stress to try to host at your house.
9. Going for a Walk or Hike
Another house-free hospitality option is inviting your guests to join you for a relaxing walk or hike in a park, neighborhood, or local trail. Not only do you get to enjoy conversation and some fresh air, but you get some exercise as well. Just make sure to take some water bottles with you.
And that’s it! These were 9 simple ideas to provide hospitality to guests in the summer. You can easily host and get to know someone more, or be a witness to someone without breaking the bank or adding undue stress. If hospitality is stressful, you’re doing it wrong.