A Guest: What’s It Like? (By Kraig Anderson)

I’ve been motivated and inspired by Pastor Dan’s approach to the renewal at PHBC. His message series on renewal starting with each of us individually, with me, is certainly where church renewal must start.
This morning, I was reading my current Bible reading plan called, “New Testament Epistles and Acts” from the YouVersion Bible app. In light of ReNEW PHBC, 1 Peter 4:8-10 jumped out at me: “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
So many questions of application swirled through my mind. What is this verse saying to me, to us, to our church? How are we doing in this area? Is our priority ourselves or is the priority others? Are we at PHBC to be served or
to serve?
I often find myself in new situations where I am the visitor, a guest, even an outsider. Sometimes in those situations, I feel valued, almost like a guest of honor, and other times I feel uncomfortable and like an unwanted outsider. When people come to PHBC for the first time, do they feel deeply loved as a guest, or do they feel more like an outsider?
I hope for the day when we are renewed to the point where we ALL practice hospitality and put our guests first at PHBC – above our friends, above our Growth Groups, and even our ministries. Every time we are at church, we have a beautiful opportunity to serve our guests, whether in an official ministry role or simply as a follower of Christ who is asked to deeply love others. Through loving our guests, we can help connect them to PHBC, to others, and to Christ.
PHBC can be the friendliest, deepest loving, guest-first church around, but for that to become our reality, it will first start with God renewing me – renewing each of us.