1 Peter 4:9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.
The Greek word for hospitality means ‘a love of strangers.’ Strong’s Concordance defines hospitality as being ‘generous to guests.’ The members of the early church regularly practiced hospitality. We read from the book of Acts:
Acts 2:46 …They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people…
It would be at least another hundred years after the beginning of the church before they would have designated buildings. During the early days of the church, most congregations met in homes. For instance, we read from the New Testament:
Acts 16:40 After Paul and Silas came out of the prison, they went to Lydia’s house, where they met with the brothers and sisters and encouraged them…
Acts 20:20 You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house.
Romans 16:3 Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my co-workers in Christ Jesus. 4 They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them. 5 Greet also the church that meets at their house.
Philemon 1:1 Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, To Philemon our dear friend and fellow worker— 2 also to Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier—and to the church that meets in your home:
Many believe that Archippus was Philemon’s son and the pastor of the church at Colossae. Lydia was a business woman who opened up her home as a place for believers to worship. To whom the home belonged didn’t matter. What mattered most was that the believers had a place to fellowship and to worship.
Over the last several years there has been a growing movement within the church known as ‘small groups.’ Someone has defined a small group as [a gathering of 5 to 15 believers who do the Christian life together.] From this we see that a small group is small for the purpose of getting to know each other better. It is also a group of believers who meet together for the purpose of helping each other grow in the Lord.
I close with this word of encouragement from the Apostle Paul –
“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” (Galatians 6:10)