From tentmakers in Germany:
I kept an Olympics medal table updated on the white-board at work as a conversation starter with all the countries represented in our department. It gave me something to talk about with the Dutch guy when the Dutch gymnast won the balance beam, for example. To counter it appearing that I was bragging on the US, I consolidated all the European Union medals into a group which ended up larger than the US. This got co-workers more interested in the Olympics and opened up some conversations.
For my birthday I made some American treats to take to work, which were well received. I made Pumpkin pie, which most of them had never had before, and Scotcharoos (a rice crispy-peanut butter thing covered in chocolate for those of you that don’t know). I gave the recipe to several people already. Though some commented that American food was unhealthy, they managed to enjoy them anyway and to eat all of them.
Another hospitality idea from an actively evangelizing friend:
Fred and his wife host an open dinner every Thursday night. Anyone is welcome. Students they’ve connected with from the local university come regularly and bring friends. In addition, he regularly walks to and from downtown a few blocks away and chats with people along the way. He also visits the same coffee shops and restaurants regularly to get to know staff. He observes people’s expressions and asks how they are doing. When they share a need or struggle, he asks if he can pray for them right then. He then does so in a natural way with his eyes open. One woman he prayed for during a crisis had moved away from the coffee shop. But when she saw him walking one day, she crossed the street to thank him. In these ways he meets, cares for, shares Christ with people. He draws more people to his and his wife’s Thursday night open dinners. Nonbelievers are impressed by what they see and often comment and ask questions.
What variations of these ideas could work where you are? And what other ideas do they stimulate in your mind? Don’t be afraid to try things and learn. It always works when we make people really feel welcome, appreciated, and loved.