Let me paint the picture . . .
Imagine pulling up to a home on a crisp evening in a suburban neighborhood in Denver, Colorado. As you park your car and open the door, you can smell the smoke from the fire pit in the backyard.
As you walk up the front walkway you see the door to the home is wide open, and you can see a festive gathering inside. Upon walking inside the home you see a coffee table with artichoke dip and crackers, you see a kitchen table with all the fixings for smores, as well as nachos just pulled out of the oven.
Just outside the kitchen on the back patio is a table with wonderful candles and lighting, a crackling fire, and wonderful seating with an outdoor heater to keep it comfortable.
There was more than this . . . the wines were top shelf, and next to each bottle was a description and its Wine Spectator rating. There was even (for those who wanted to try) a blind Whiskey tasting which is both a delicacy as well as something most have not done. If you were one that wanted something other than alcohol, there were a variety of choices, from Perrier to Izzes.
You know a person is used to having people over when they have 5 spare propane tanks! The heater ran out at one point – not a problem, there were spare tanks ready to go!
The home was inviting, the home was open to the guests to go anywhere. There is Monday Night Football on in one room, shuffleboard downstairs, and little dishes with goodies and chocolate spread throughout the home.
It is not easy having 20 people come to your home when they don’t even arrive until 10:00 PM. Ken and Shannon Tankersley rolled out the hospitality “red carpet!” Thank you, thank you, thank you – we were all so blessed!
Here are 5 things I saw the Tankersley’s do that we could all mirror if we want to “Be Hospitable” to those around our lives:
- Plan and Prepare. Wow, it was obvious that we were planned for. There was no sense of scurry, “last minute,” or frenzy in this home. Everything was either out on the table, prepped, or somewhere “on deck.” This house was also very clean and inviting.
- Scratch the itch. What I mean by this is to think about what YOU would want, or better yet, what your guests would want – and have those things available.
- The art of the big greeting! There is no question that the riskiest moment in going into a party or an event is the first 10 steps in. What happened on my first 10 steps in? “Sco! Sco! So glad you are here! Get a drink and something to eat and get comfortable!”
- Difference makers. It is amazing how you feel when the “little things” are done. Drinks are easily accessible, candles are lit, and music is both easy on the ear and at the right volume. By the way . . . outdoor fires ROCK.
- Work the tables. The host and the hostess did a superb job of moving around and giving attention to all their guests. This is key to being able to pay attention to the needs of your guests. It is in the working of the tables that you will see who needs a jacket, a fresh drink, a napkin, etc.
Thanks Tank and thanks Shannon! I learned a lot about hospitality from both of you!
“Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” Romans 12:13
Bless you all!