Hospitality Is the Secret

A Message from Bishop Benfield

You might start thinking that your bishop sounds like a broken record, but once again I want to tell you a story about why it is that some churches have people coming in the door in unexpectedly large numbers: It is about hospitality.

This time the hospitality has been directed toward college students. On Tuesday I met with Jenny England and Doug Knight from Conway, along with Teri Daily, the vicar at St. Peter’s Church.

Jenny and Doug have had tremendous success in attracting college students who meet at St. Peter’s Church for dinner once a week. Everyone at St. Peter’s will tell you that it is not because of the physical facilities; for ages Teri has wished for a better and larger kitchen.

But the secret has been hospitality. The folk at St. Peter’s, Jenny and Doug chief among them, have made hospitality their hallmark. The recurring question is, “What can we do to show hospitality to the stranger who walks in the door?”

It works not only for college students, but also for any congregation. Keep your eyes open for ways to be genuinely hospitable, and people will want to be a part of what is taking place in your congregation. As I have previously said, people are looking for other people to join in a journey toward God. And for many college students in Conway, they are finding what they are looking for.