Matt and Sara
Why is hospitality important?
Sara: It’s a way to love people well because relationships matter. It’s just a way of loving people.
Matt: It landed on us that relationships are the most important thing we can invest in. To make space for that and to foster that requires initiative. And that starts with an open door. If relationships are the most important thing, then we have to do something about that.
Sara: Sometimes we need to let ourselves be interrupted by God and be willing to be interrupted and consider it to be God’s timing. Making your life available for that kind of interruption takes intentionality.
Matt: This is modeled in New Testament life when the God of the universe shows up to make relationships with people it’s modeled often and regularly around the table— around food and around gathering.
Who inspired you to be hospitable?
Sara: We were inspired to be hospitable when we went through a marriage class in Denver when we were in seminary. I don’t think we really saw it modeled before that. Hospitality was something we purposely did. We had a new family over every week.
Matt: It was modeled for me in and around camp ministry. I got to see the value of hospitality take shape in a larger community and some of the disciplines it would take to do that. I remember some people helping clean the community space and volunteering to do dishes and I hadn’t seen that before. And I saw folks enjoying the process of sharing work and that felt fresh and new for me.
If you were going to encourage in starting to live a hospitable life how would you do it?
Matt: We would start inviting them to our house. We would invite them into the space that we created for hospitality. I am not a fan of trying to convince someone to love what I love. I like to give them a taste for what I love. That is the way to transmit this for me.
Sara: It is a mix between the intentionality and the spontaneity of hospitality. My kids even ask, “Why do we have to clean and why does this space matter so much?” And I say because to me it’s that I really want our guests to feel valuable and loved. One kind of hospitality is the table I set and the food I prepare. And the other kind is that my house is always open to you, you just get to have pancakes and do life with us. It doesn’t have to be so planned out. Just be hospitable.
How do you teach it to your kids?
Sara: Having them be a part of it. They get the physical space ready, they help with the food. We ask them to be thoughtful about what they want to ask our guests and what they want to know about them. It helps them not think about themselves so much.
Matt: We have also asked them to rearrange their own social calendar to be present especially if folks are bringing kids and to be a good role model for the younger kids.
Is there a recipe you would share with us?
Sara: Fajitas or something that has options so guests can customize it to their preferences.
Matt: I also pre-make and freeze venison burgers, which is a special recipe, so all summer at a moment’s notice we are ready to throw 8 burgers on the grill and have people over.
Recipe for Freezable Venison Burgers
10 lbs. ground venison + 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1 pkg. mushrooms
1/2 lbs. cheese cubes
1 bulb of garlic
5 pieces of break crumbs
1/2 bottle teriyaki sauce
1/4 C. Spices
1/2 C brown sugar