I’m going to tell you one of the most effective tools I’ve found for the work that I do over here in the Middle East. What if I told you it’s also effective in America as well? Would you want to use it?
It transcends cultural boundaries. It opens up hearts. It reaches over denominational lines. It takes people from the farthest-flung corners of the earth and puts them on a level playing field.
What is it?
It’s a simple meal.
Enter the dinner plate. Bring a cup of sugar and hot tea. Add two people, and you have the potential for a life-changing conversation. Guards go down. Relaxation ensues. Communication rises. Clarity sneaks in. Suddenly, there is a connection at the heart level that only occurs when sharing a meal together.
Do you want to transform someone’s life? Consider treating them to an intentional meal.
Why is this talked about and encouraged so little from the pulpit?
I’ve gone to a few church services in my life. Actually, more like 1500ish. Needless to say, I’ve heard pastors in many different settings preach on Acts 2:42.
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
The verse lists four aspects of the early church community.
Now consider the following: my completely un-statistical analysis of the attention given to each part of the verse in preaching.
Please tell me I’m not the only person who notices the disparity. By all means, I think we should be talking about the apostles’ teaching, and if anybody in the world wishes there was more conversation around prayer, it’s me. That being said, there’s a stark contrast to how much attention is given the different aspects listed in this verse. It’s as if ministers take for granted that people are eating together, when what they are really taking for granted is that people understand the need for it at all.
When is the last time you shared a meal with someone outside your inner circle? When is the last time you took someone out the coffee just to encourage them, pray over them, or read the Bible with them?
Stay tuned for next week as I unpack the theology of eating together. Hint: there is a reason the words communion and community are so similar.
Stay thirsty, my friends. -G