Pastors often have the responsibility and privilege of having people visit their homes. Whether you think you're a great host or not, here are some ways to cut down on the stress of holding events and meetings in your home.
You can also save time by shopping early and buying often-used items at warehouse clubs to keep on hand.
In other words, go with that old church standby — the potluck. If you want to do it all yourself, consider having the event catered, or buy prepared heat-and-eat foods from a gourmet market or warehouse store.
Paper and plastic plates and silverware range from the generic picnic variety to elegant themed pieces. Purchase dinnerware appropriate for the occasion and save cleanup time.
Maybe you can be the host of the home and someone else can plan or bring the food. Several people might work together. In addition to food, others can take charge of decorating, entertainment, invitations, and so on.
Make people comfortable by indicating what they should wear when you invite them to your event. Be subtle but specific: "I'm just wearing jeans and a sweater" or "We'll be dressing up — suits, ties, dresses."
Only the first few guests will notice how superclean your home is. After that, the focus will be more on the people attending than on a piece of lint on the carpet or a fingerprint on the window.
Make sure everyone has something to drink and nibble on. Arrange some seating areas that promote conversation, then simply provide background music and let people mingle on their own. When you introduce people, tell something interesting about each person, or something they have in common with each other to provide conversation starters.
If anyone offers to bring food, entertain children, clean up, and so on, let them! Relax and enjoy yourself.
Ever feel like you need to wear a mask to cover up who you are? Are you concerned that, if people knew who you really are and how you really felt, they wouldn't understand?
One minister, two jobs and the family that's at the top of the list. The number of bivocational ministers, those in full- or part-time ministry who carry an additional job, is estimated by some researchers to be as high as 30 percent of ministers nationwide.
"You should see the church they attend," Lucille said, armed with bulletin and newsletter. Creases formed across my brow as celebration gave way to comparisons a trap that had sprung too many times.