I was reading this passage this morning and thinking about how important it is to care for our missionaries who are traveling through our church. You will notice that this is what is being talked about here. The leader - pastor? "Gaius" is being commended of his love toward brethren that were going forward with the gospel. Evidently, they were showing great care for these missionaries.
V.8 says that when we care for their needs in such a hospitable way, we are becoming fellowhelpers of the truth. Raising missions support right now is very tough. American churches are feeling the grip of the economy and have become in some ways unhospitable in their attitude toward those trying to reach the field. It is common for a missionary to be treated poorly or coldly when they call churches. It is common to never have an opportunity to talk to a pastor, but to be shut down by the secretary.
I have felt the frustration as a pastor about missionaries. My parents are missionaries now, and they tell me what it is like. I also realize the feeling of having no funds to support new missionaries and having to be careful with funds even to be hospitable to those passing through.
All of us need to see the bigger picture of the heart of our Lord that commends all hospitality to those called to give his gospel. Even if it is small, we need to do the small things that we can.