EDMOND— Members of the PCG family sometimes travel considerable distances to attend services and to be with one another. And perhaps now more than ever, PCG members appreciate the opportunity to gather together, knowing it can be here one week and gone the next. One great way to build these relationships and have a lot of fun doing it is to host nearby brethren at your home. If you are not in the habit of hosting, here are some ideas that can spark some ideas for occasions that will add a new richness to your life.
“As we see ‘the day approaching,’ we should place higher and higher priority on gathering together with our spiritual brothers and sisters in God’s Church.”
—Gerald Flurry (The Book of Hebrews)
Many members use the Sabbath as an occasion to dine together. Restaurants are great, but give hosting a try. It takes a little extra effort to prepare the food and environment ahead of time, but it offers the comfort and personal touch of sharing a meal in your home rather than in public. Serving a simple, quality meal is something you might be able to manage, whether you are single or married, young or old, down the street from other brethren, or a little farther away. Feel free to ask your guest to contribute drinks, a salad and/or dessert. You could even invite a group over for something simpler: just dessert, for example. That is all it takes to host the brethren!
It’s not necessary, but if you like, you can add one of almost endless flourishes to make the meal more special. You could try a higher-quality food, a unique beverage, soups night, tapas, wine and cheese, chili night, sushi night, build-your-own pizzas, make-your-own waffles, breakfast for dinner, smoothies, fresh salsa-making, a bake-off, or a meal featuring dishes and perhaps a decoration or two highlighting a certain international cuisine or another theme.
If this adds too much pressure or effort, though, don’t worry about it. Getting together over a simple meal works great, and that’s far more important than fancy frills.
Along with your meal, dessert, drinks or snacks, you can try enhancing your table setting. Perhaps use placecards with something written underneath: a scripture, a riddle, a question about the guest’s past, or some other conversation starter. Take advantage of the opportunity for “iron sharpening iron” (Proverbs 27:17). Tidy up the rest of the house as well to put your guests even more at ease and comfort.
You can try mixing and matching some of these ideas with other activities as well: board games night, table topics, documentary movie night, watching the game, karaoke, a team cooking challenge, book club, drinks and painting, candle-making, kids costumes, a Lego challenge, puzzles, origami, knitting, quilting, jewelry making and more. Maybe a member in your congregation has a talent for calligraphy or harmonica and would love the opportunity teach you and other guests how.
You could also host an outing around or near your home: backyard bocce ball, croquet, cornhole, a pool party, a campfire, fishing, pickup soccer, scavenger hunt, a picnic, a barbecue, frisbee golf, gardening, cycling, tennis, rollerblading, kite-flying, or another similar activity might work great for getting together beyond services and getting to know other members of the PCG family better. You could also ask your minister if you could offer to host members to work on some type of fundraiser. Or perhaps you could get together to make something for senior or other member you know could use it. If some teens need time (and prompting) to work on Teen Talent Contest entries, perhaps that too (and tacos) would be a good occasion for getting together. Or the activity could be something as simple as taking a walk down a trail, through the park or to a nearby cafe.
Whether it’s an elaborate kids’ party, a craft night, or just some drinks and hors d’ oeuvres, bring the brethren into your life, and you will actively build God’s Family. Take time to really enjoy giving to others and place a high value on their company. Hosting is a great opportunity to not forsake assembling together, to grow closer to fellow brethren, and to build the Family of God.