Visiting Churches

Reflecting on Church #39: A Different Twist on Sharing a Meal

The Value of Eating Together

With our journey of visiting fifty-two churches over, I can reflect more on the complete experience. Today, I’ll add to my thoughts about Church #39.

Many churches share a meal or food after their service, but this one put a new twist on it: we head off to a restaurant, en masse. Though not everyone goes, a significant number do, including my wife and me.

52 Churches: A Yearlong Journey Encountering God, His Church, and Our Common Faith

As we form a line at a nearby fast food joint, one of the church members passes out coupons to everyone.

Though it’s great to spend time together outside of church, I wonder what kind of impact we make on the restaurant staff, with a bunch of church folk descending upon them, all bearing coupons and looking for a deal.

Once we have our food and sit down, the people from church sit at tables all around us, but no one joins us or invites us to sit with them. Though they are all having a great time moving from one table to another and bantering back and forth, Candy and I are left out.

We are all alone in a group of people. It’s not the first time, and it won’t be the last.

However, midway through the meal, one woman gets up from her table and slides into ours. We have a great conversation and feel cared for.

Again, one person made all the difference between us feeling included and being ignored. Isn’t inclusion the purpose of sharing a meal?

Building community within a church family can take on many forms. Often this involves food, such as when sharing a meal. Eating together, however, is only one way to connect with those you worship with. Working together on service projects or community initiatives is another.

[See my reflections about Church #38 and Church #40 or start with Church #1.]

My wife and I visited a different Christian Church every Sunday for a year. This is our story. Get your copy of 52 Churches today, available in e-book, paperback, and hardcover.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

2 replies on “Reflecting on Church #39: A Different Twist on Sharing a Meal”

In reading this post, was wondering – did you consider being the one to get up and engage others in conversation?
Or was the expectation that others would come to you?
Just thinking…..

Hilma, that is a great question.

All the other tables were full or had engaged conversations already taking place. My wife and I both felt it would be rude to interrupt and try to insert ourselves into those situations.

Had there been a person sitting solo or a couple who looked approachable, we would have taken the initiative.

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