Treating Others Like VIPs
Nancy Rolinger says showing hospitality is not about cleaning the house, cooking all day, and then cleaning up. Rather, it can be done anytime, anywhere, by anyone.
Nancy has a passion for hospitality. She practices it, teaches it, and loves it. Hospitality is more than inviting people to her home. Hospitality is her life. She is hospitable at the grocery store, in a hospital room, at church, and in her apartment building.
Growing up at Lake Geneva Youth Camp in Wisconsin (her dad was the director), Nancy learned hospitality at a young age. Many speakers, staff and volunteers came into their home. But most importantly, Nancy learned that hospitality was not saved just for “company” but was shown to the family as well.
Her favorite family times were when her dad would tell a Bible story each evening after supper. One night when she was five years old, she realized her sin and her need for a Savior. Since then, she has experienced sweet fellowship with God, and knows that she will be welcomed into His home when her life’s journey ends. For Nancy, hospitality is quite simple – it is the outpouring of her daily love for the Lord.
JBU: What does hospitality look like?
NANCY: It is treating others like VIPs. It’s not any more complicated than that. God showed hospitality to us by treating us like VIPs. When I see all He has freely given us in Christ, I want to let God touch others through me whether I am next to them at work, in school, in the checkout line, or at home. It isn’t about me, how good a cook I am or how nice my home is. It is creating a safe place to build authentic relationships.
JBU: What about the single mom who works full-time, or the elderly widow on fixed income?
NANCY: Hospitality looks different for each person, but it is a ministry for everyone. It is not limited by income or age. It’s for teens, dorm students, adults, elderly, single, or married. All can invest a few hours to touch someone for eternity. In this economy and busyness, it’s important to put money and time where it counts for eternity. Showing hospitality can be easy, yet significant.
JBU: What are some everyday ways to show hospitality?
NANCY: There are many ways to invite someone into your life without hosting a dinner party. You can meet somewhere other than your home. You can take a basket to someone at work or in the hospital. You can give goodies to someone who is remodeling their house. Don’t forget the elderly person who feels the world is happening “out there”. It doesn’t matter what or how much you have, but it’s all about what kind of atmosphere you create. (Tip: Use each of the five senses – sight, touch, smell, sound, taste – to create an atmosphere where people feel loved and can relax. The book The Reluctant Entertainer listed below has some practical ways to create an inviting atmosphere.)
JBU: What ideas would you give to the woman who wants to show hospitality but her husband or family are not on board?
NANCY: Look for ways to get the family involved without knowing it’s “hospitality.” Think about activities they enjoy doing, and include other people. Talk about how to make it special, uncomplicated, and fun. Later talk about how you extended hospitality, and what you would do again or differently.
JBU: What makes a good guest?
NANCY: A good guest behaves as she would want others to behave in her home. Honor your host by offering help, recognizing their boundaries and respecting their property. Be gracious and thankful.
JBU: What are some ways you practice hospitality in caring for your 90-year old mother?
NANCY: My mom was the hospitality queen, so it’s an honor to return to her what she taught me. As I care for her 24/7 in my home, I treat her like a VIP. I do my best to make life joyful for her. I try to not speak an unkind word but to speak sweetly. I turn every occasion into a lovely time whether it’s a trip to the doctor or going to bed at night. The Lord Jesus is waiting to give her an abundant entrance into heaven and I am working to give her an abundant exit.
JBU: How does one develop a desire to be hospitable?
NANCY: The Bible says hospitality starts in the heart. You can’t get it from a recipe book or from growing up in a hospitable home. Hospitality is intertwined with thankfulness. When I start thanking God for the people and situations in my life, He works in me and I really do become thankful and love pours from me. (I Peter 4:8-9)
Resources Nancy refers to for hospitality:
· Reluctant Entertainer by Sandy Coughlin (It’s also a Facebook page.)
· Real Love for Real Life by Andy Ashworth
· The Hospitality Commands by Alexander Strauch
· Open Heart, Open Home by Karen Mains
· Hidden Art by Edith Schaefer
· Shaping of a Christian Family by Elizabeth Elliot
Websites for recipes:
To Contact Nancy: