Last week we talked about the cost required to make your home a hub for community. This week, we will discuss how to best prepare.
Preparing your Marriage
All of our families have their own brokenness. All marriages have their own tensions. If we all waited to get our households together, none of us would ever host anything. But there are some things we want to do to prepare each element of our household as a hub of community. The fruitfulness of your community will flow from the fruitfulness of your family. And the fruitfulness of your family will flow from the fruitfulness of your marriage, so it is important to examine where your marriage is right now.
Three specific areas that can put a strain on your marriage as you are regularly opening up your home to be a hub for community are: conflict, communication, and logistics.
Conflict - how quickly do you recover from conflict? Learning to recover from conflict quickly is a learned skill most of have to practice for decades.
Communication - how often are your surprised by decisions that have been made by your spouse? Surprises should be an exception, not a rule. An open door requires lots of communication.
Logistics - After having people over, I recommend always having a debrief. "What went well? What was clunky? What should we do different next time?"
Preparing your Family
Whether your family includes your kids or is just you and your spouse, it is important everyone is on board with the "why" behind having wide-opened doors.
Cast a vision - I like to say, "We are an outpost of the Kingdom." It is critical my kids know why we are continuously striving to have people over. I also know that vision leaks, so it is important to remind them of it regularly.
Win hearts to the vision - Part of my role as a husband and a father is to win my families hearts to our family's vision. Doing so uncovers fears and misaligned values.
Sacrifice for the Vision - Leading your family doesn't mean barking orders or making decisions, it means support others to own the vision for why your family exists. Be prepared to sacrifice for the vision. Take the hit yourself when others don't want to.
Preparing your House
Lower your expectations - You're home doesn't have to look like you have Joanna Gaines on speed dial.
Raise the standard for readiness - While you shouldn't feel pressure to make your home look immaculate, if you are regularly piling up dishes in the sink, and are putting off simple daily chores, part of "sacrificing for the vision" may look like raising your standard of normalcy.
Consider the space - Most homes are not really made for community. Ideally, we would have an indoor meeting space, an outdoor meeting space, and kids play area, an indoor child care area, etc. But that's not reality. Consider how to be the best steward of the space you have.
Preparing your Team
Lastly, consider who you want to partner with this in. A few helpful roles:
Family - your spouse (and kids, if at home) are the most important members of your team. Make decisions together. Discuss logistics and vision together. Debrief and celebrate together. Dream and pray together.
Partnering Families - Other families can help you serve, clean up. You may want to partner with another family to share hosting responsibilities. Other families may have more gifts than your does.