The most valuable earthly possession a person can have is a warm, supportive friendship. People without relationships are miserable people, but relationships can- not be purchased. They arise from our innermost needs, grounded in our God-given ability to love and care for others. A growing, healthy church nurtures healthy relationships.
In all cultures, friendships are developed through hospitality. True hospitality is a spiritual ministry. In today’s busy world, a counterfeit hospitality often undermines our desire to meet this basic human need. People think, “I’d really like to have someone over, but…” Fear of being inadequate in time, skills, or a suitably furnished home creates in many Christians a reluctance to undertake hospitality.
Adventist congregations face some real challenges in becoming caring churches. These include a reluctance to get too friendly with secular people which results in few friendships with non-Christians. Adventist standards for leisure activity may pose a problem. And many homemakers work outside the home, resulting in very little time to prepare for “entertaining.” In order for the gospel commission to be realized, the Adventist church needs a renewed spirit of Christian hospitality.