Hassle-Free Hosting

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.

Make lists ahead of time before the pressure hits

You can also save time by shopping early and buying often-used items at warehouse clubs to keep on hand.

Divvy up the food

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.

Use disposable dinnerware

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.

Put someone else in charge

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.

Tell guests what to wear

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."

Clean a little less

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.

Don't try to entertain everyone

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.

Let people help when they offer

If anyone offers to bring food, entertain children, clean up, and so on, let them! Relax and enjoy yourself.

Article copyright © 2003, Focus on the Family.
All rights reserved. International copyright secured.
Used by permission.

This article first appeared in Rev. magazine, March/April 2001. Reprinted by permission, Rev. Magazine, Copyright 2001,
Group Publishing, Inc., Box 481, Loveland, CO 80539.