My Book

What if we in the West learned about hospitality from people around the globe?

Many people today feel lonely, isolated, and disconnected from God and others. We crave authentic community, but have no idea where to start. Real hospitality isn’t clean, comfortable, or controlled, but an invitation to enter a sacred space together with friends and strangers.

Invited will empower you to open your home, get to know your neighbors, and prioritize people over tasks. Holy hospitality requires more of Jesus and less of us. It leads not only to loving the stranger but to becoming the stranger. Through vivid accounts from her life and travels in Uganda and China and stories of visiting church congregations in the United States, Leslie shares stories of life around the table and how hospitality is at the heart of Christian community. 

Purchase the book here or anywhere you buy books (order from your local independent bookstore!) and you will be guaranteed to get it at the lowest price on August 13, 2019. Or you can buy the audio book. So many options 🙂

Advance Praise for Invited:

“Verner debuts with an impassioned plea for people to open their doors and invite neighbors and strangers into their homes and lives. In an age when political leaders seek to build walls, she writes, it is necessary to reinforce the common, human bonds of community … Verner’s persuasive message to “become a good neighbor” will appeal to Christians and general readers alike.”—PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

“Insightful, accessible, and engaging to its core, Invited is the nudge we need to fling open the door and let the crumbs fall where they may. Through vulnerable storytelling, Leslie Verner whittles the panic from our thoughts on hospitality, reminding us we’ve never been more equipped to connect than we are right now. Hello, kitchen island with its misplaced laundry piles. Hello, social awkwardness. Hello, leftovers. This is the bread we’ve been given, and today is just begging for a picnic.”
—SHANNAN MARTIN, author of The Ministry of Ordinary Places and Falling Free

“‘Love usurps fear in kingdom living,’ Leslie Verner writes, and I grab my pen to star the line. As our world quakes with polarization, division, and loneliness, this — choosing love over fear — is how we begin to mend the fault lines. In warm, welcoming prose, Invited offers us a glimpse of God’s unshakeable kingdom, where all are welcome — and makes it a little easier for us to imagine becoming a part of it.”
—AMY PETERSON, author of Dangerous Territory: My Misguided Quest to Save the World and Where Goodness Still Grows: Reclaiming Virtue in an Age of Hypocrisy

“I shudder at the word hospitality because it has (almost) been weaponized in Christian circles, especially for women. As a single woman, I wondered if Invited was another veiled shame message pointing out how I was failing yet again. It is not; instead Leslie Verner breathes on the embers of connection we all long for, offering hope and examples of how you can invite others into your real life and forge life-giving relationships.“
—AMY YOUNG, author of Looming Transitions

Invited is the exact message the church needs to hear today. As a culture we are fractured in silos of our own making, justifying the inconvenience extending hospitality toward those who look, think and act differently brings. This fresh, much-needed reminder of a biblical mandate, calls people to no longer view strangers with skepticism but to instead build bridges toward one another, welcoming both individual and collective healing that comes through shared community. Through personal narrative and compelling truth, Leslie invites us into her story, stretching us to reevaluate the way we live and engage others in our own.”
—MICHELLE FERRIGNO WARREN, author The Power of Proximity

“Hospitality is far more than an open home. It is way of life, the embodying of welcome in relationships and across cultures. Leslie Verner’s Invited is both an invitation to recognize our own hunger for community and a call to offer it to those around us. As you read, you’ll be inspired to lean into deeper, ever more authentic hospitality.“
—RACHEL PIEH JONES, author of Stronger than Death

“In Invited, Leslie Verner peels back the assumptions about what makes a good, safe, and hospitable life. Born out of a place of loving to go and do big things for God, Verner now writes from the thick of staying tethered to people and places–including her suburban neighborhood and her three small children. Invited is an invitation to move away from the isolating individualism of the American Dream and move towards a life that is full of community, no matter where we are planted. It most likely will not be easy–but as Verner shows, we will always end up being surprised by God, and delighted by the relationships which take shape in the shadow of our often-lonely neighborhoods.”
—D.L. MAYFIELD, author of the forthcoming The Myth Of The American Dream: Reflections on Affluence, Autonomy, Safety and Power

“Hospitality is such a powerful space where we get to practice giving and receiving, entering into mutuality and communion. Leslie Verner has experienced this larger hospitality—a belonging to the larger human family. In the pages of Invited, she has brought some of that wisdom and goodness to us.”
—IDELETTE MCVICKER, founder of SheLoves Magazine

Invited: The Power of Hospitality in an Age of Loneliness is a book for us all. It’s an invitation to practice holy hospitality in the everyday, to prioritize people and to open our doors. It’s time to create new spaces for the friend and the stranger alike and Leslie Verner is leading the way. ” — MICHELLE REYES, writer at The Art of Taleh (read the whole review here)

Invited is a extraordinary book that gives us imagination for following in the way of our relational God. In our age in which our reliance on technology often keeps us from face-to-face human interactions and conversations, Leslie Verner points us toward the sort of hospitality that goes out of its way to talk and to be with the people who surround us at any moment. A rich mix of personal stories and practical wisdom, Invited is precisely the sort of book we need to guide us in the work of cultivating diverse community in our age of loneliness and isolation. ” — C. CHRISTOPHER SMITH, editor-in-chief of Englewood Review of Books (Goodreads Review)


Leslie Verner is a goer who is learning how to stay. Other cultures, spicy food, deep conversation, running, and sunshine feed her soul. She traveled widely and spent five years in China before returning to the U.S. to marry a theatre actor. A former middle school teacher with a masters in intercultural studies, she now writes before dawn and reads too many books at once. Leslie writes about faith, justice, family, and cross-cultural issues at and her monthly newsletter. She is the author of Invited: The Power of Hospitality in an Age of Loneliness (Herald Press). Follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.


Old Firehouse Books (if you’re local to Fort Collins, CO)


Barnes and Noble


Hearts and Minds Books


Direct 2 Church