It started out with a 40 pound turkey.
Had I ever cooked a turkey? Let alone one that weight the amount of a small child? Neg. Did we even have an oven that would allow for that much bird? Barely. We’d been on campus 2 months and needed an excuse to use all our new wedding gifts. So we sent out a mass invite for a “Fratty Thanksgiving Dinner” to all any and all Greek students who looked hungry.
We crammed that huge turkey in our tiny oven and crossed our fingers that even though it wasn’t COMPLETELY dethawed–minor oversight- it would still work out. At that point the ministry was approx 8 students who had a weekly Bible study but they were excited trying their hand at mashed potatoes and inviting their friends to have a home-cooked meal. That night our house was crammed full of students both physically and spiritually hungry and we’ve been craving that atmosphere ever since.
A really fun element of our ministry–especially now with young kids–has been opening our home to students and staff 24/7. I saw an “open-door policy” modeled by Chris and Jen Lipp, our Cru directors when I was at Marshall. I remembered that feeling really special and it was something that stuck with me into my own ministry.The great thing about students is they aren’t there to be entertained (entertaining= “come let me impress you”), whether or not they know it, they are in your home to experience true hospitality (hospitatlity=come over and see Jesus at work in our home thru the good bad and dusty!) Thankfully, when it comes to college students, if you feed them, they will come. But what do you feed the masses? You know the ones that say they are coming and never show and then the ones who send you a text when they are sitting out front in your driveway…
Pantry items to have “on hand” for those home-sick students who need to show you their senior prom pictures. (Miss you, Jaime! Glad you married him :)
- Mixed Nuts
- Frozen Cookie Dough (obsessed with THIS recipe)
- Chips & Salsa
- Chocolate Fondue-chocolate cake icing, pretzels, mini-marshmallow, canned pineapple and fresh strawberries if possible (just warm up the chocolate icing in the microwave-it makes the most amazing chocolate fondue to dip the items listed above and anything else that might be good that you have on hand!)
- Pancake Mix and Syrup-Breakfast, lunch or Brinner, students will never turn down a pancake and it costs pennies!
- Anything you can involve them in making! Most of my students are clueless in the kitchen, so showing them how to prepare a dish is an awesome element of holistic discipleship!
Here are some of my faves when you know students may or may not be coming…they can all be bagged up in Freezer Ziploc Bags and thrown in the freezer if people don’t show!
Soups & Chilis:
- Loaded Baked Potato Soup
- My Chili Strategy: Cook 4 -5 lbs of ground beef and onions, then throw it in 2 crock pots add a bunch of tomatoes, sweet corn, beans, chili powder, Rotel and Dales seasoning and whatever else you have on hand!
- Chicken Tortilla Soup
All things crockpottable:
- Crock Pot Chicken Alfredo
- Crock Pot Tacos w Cilantro Lime Rice
- Sweet & Sour Chicken
- Mississippi Roast
- French Dip Sandwiches
- Maple Dijon Glazed Chicken
- Beef & Vegetable Soup
- Stuffed Peppers
- Flavorful Turkey Breast
- Cranberry Pork-loin
- Chicken Fajitas
- Coconut Curry Chicken
- Cheesy Chicken Tater Tot Casserole
- Savory Pepper Steak
Hope this empowers you to open your home to love some disciples! Be them students, singles or senior citizens! See all 31 Days of Following Him & Loving Them by clicking HERE!