Every once in a while, in every church, everywhere, you will hear people say things like: “I did not like the singing today,” or “That service went way too long,” or “The preacher was really boring today.” You may also hear something along the lines of, “No one ever visits me,” or “Why is there not more stuff for my kids?”
Why do people make comments like that? Well, at least partially, it is because they see themselves as “guests” to be served, rather than “hosts” with a responsibility.
If I am hosting someone in my home, I will go out of my way to make sure that they are looked after and enjoying themselves. In fact, I will give up just about anything (my food, my space, even my bed) if it means that my guest will be cared for properly. When I am the host, I take responsibility and work to make things as nice as possible.
As a guest in someone’s home, I often sit around and wait to be served.
In the Fall 2012 issue of “Leadership Journal,” Charles Arn observed: “The world is divided into guests and hosts. You probably know people who are perpetual guests. They never take the responsibility of a host for people’s needs, feelings, concerns, comfort or hospitality. They seem to exist to be served, not to serve – others are always responsible to take care of them.
“When we become Christians, we are no longer guests in this world. We become partners with God in hosting life for others. And what do hosts do? They welcome people into their lives. Their first concern is that their guests enjoy themselves and feel acceptance and love. They make their guests feel welcome. They make their guests feel important.”
It is a simple question, but a profound one: Are you a host or a guest?
“You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:42-45).