Disciple Now weekends: We all love the great conversations that happen when you spend a full weekend unified as a group- focused on the same passage in Scripture! I’ve stayed in MANY different homes since I started being a leader in college. Earlier this week I asked a few people I love for tips on being an awesome Dnow leader. Today, I asked some more people I love how to be an awesome host home. Mine is at the bottom. Enjoy!
Authenticity is everything!
Women and moms can be afraid that they are not cool enough to work with students. Students can smell someone faking it from a mile away. Be who you are and care about them! They just want to be cared for and seen. Kaley, Girls Minister, Richardson, TX
Being a good host home is entirely about making everyone feel welcome!
I've been in several host homes throughout the years, both as a leader and a student, and the ones that have been the most enjoyable were the ones that didn't stress! Try and remember that these kids don't care if your home is the cleanest or has the most well prepared snacks, it's all about the bond they're forming. So try to ignore the mess, the odd hours, and the massive amount of junk food these kids are eating and enjoy the opportunity to watch students grow closer with Christ.
P.S. The other key is coffee, lots and lots of coffee. You can do it!- Landry, Student, OU
Help the students feel at home.
Provide a space where they can have all distractions removed. Have clear rules spelled out for them so there are no surprises as soon as they get to your home. Welcome them, show them what will be “their” space for the weekend and empower the leader in your home. The other great thing that makes a great host home is consistency. Have the same group over their entire time in the student ministry, or through high school or junior high and you’ll be amazed at the relationship they build with you and your family. I had a leader on Sunday tell me his 9 year old son has been counting down since our D Now last year. He can’t wait for those boys to be in his house again this year. So the biggest thing that will help you be a success isn’t the size of your house or the variety of chips you have out on the table—the things students will remember was that they were welcomed into your home and had a space where they were able to grow in God’s word and goof around together. -Erin, Girls Minister, Prosper, TX
If we're being real honest, food is a big deal here.
Food is crucial to any successful Dnow event! On a more serious note, just the fact that you're even welcoming 10+ teenagers into your home is a big deal and means a lot! Your hospitality is the place where great conversations are held!- Rachel, Student, Texas A&M
First, here are a few things a DNow host home does NOT have to be: a mansion, stocked with a bed for each girl, perfectly spotless, decorated like Joanna Gains did it herself.
If you are considering hosting a group for DNow, please don’t fall for the lie that your house needs to be perfect, adorable, and overly spacious! If you love the Lord and love students, you are well on your way to being an awesome host home!
Most importantly, keep in mind that your home may be the first godly home some of the girls have ever stayed in! Kate, Girls Minister, Dallas, TX
The key to being a great host home is communication.
Communicate with the leaders at your home, communicate with the students, communicate with the church. If you don't want the students to play with all the china in your china cabinet, tell them! If you want to sit in on some of the sessions in the home and maybe give some input every now and then, tell the leaders! If you have an issue, a concern, a question, or some encouragement, tell the church staff! Without communication, you will be left with a lot of unmet expectations which isn't fun for anyone.- Katie, Student, Texas A&M
Host Homes are where real life happens. Community is built within the ministry that happens there.
As a Host Home, you get to open your space to students and partner with the Student Ministry Staff to see life change happen. Your willingness to serve in this capacity is no small feat. Serving as a Host Home is truly a way to offer your possessions to the Lord. We trust the Lord blesses your willingness to serve, but more than that- we trust God does amazing things in the life of the students in your home.- Hayley, Girls Minister, Ruston, LA
I’ve had wonderful (a girl got saved!), delicious (have you ever tried “walking tacos”?!), generous (you bought me a gift? aww), terrifying (wait, the visitor just drove back home at 11 pm??), and overall fantastic (too many to name) times in host homes. One of my favorite things to do is get a nice thank you card and maybe a small gift like a cute $5 succulent at Trader Joe’s. Sunday morning as everyone is getting ready make sure every girl writes on the card and then as a group give the family the card and the gift and thank them in front of the girls for sharing their home with you so girls could be discipled. This models thankfulness to the girls and any children they have living at home. This also blesses the family who has blessed you all weekend!
Hope you enjoyed these ideas! We would LOVE to hear some ideas you have! Our final post in this series will be a weekend prayer guide! Praying for you! - Amy
Check out Walking Tacos on our Pinterest board. Such a cool idea!