Lord richly gives us all good things to enjoy” (I Timothy 6:17).
Dinner on the grounds. Sunday pot luck. Wednesday night dinner before service. Sunday morning continental breakfast. Notice a pattern here?
Food is (has become) an ingrained part of
church life… and many of us enjoy it that way.
Not everyone agrees. Many preachers will jump all over this with
is why revival tarries.” “Their belly is
their god.” “Carnal people go to church
for the food.”
That over-the-top spirituality.
about FOOD and the KINGDOM of God. Shall
we serve food regularly. There’s a continental
breakfast on Sunday mornings. On
Wednesday nights an evening dinner is served to the teenagers and the adults
who serve in that ministry. On Friday mornings
we serve breakfast to our clean-team (the group of volunteers who clean the
building each Friday in preparation for Sunday services). During the holidays we change things up and
have holiday meals together. Then there
are the Sunday pot-lucks we do from time to time (i.e., had one a few weeks
ago, and have another one coming up next Sunday). During the warmer months we have church-wide picnics
on the grounds on Wednesdays. Chili
cookoffs, Boston Butt BBQs, etc. You get
Some might say, “They’re just coming for the
Maybe so, but let me tell you what I observe
during these times:
I see people hugging each other, having great
conversations, and a few will be praying together
For some of these people, it is the only time
of the week that they will be sharing a meal with Christian people
I see community taking place, and I see
friends hanging out together.
So yea, it’s worth the effort of gathering together
over a meal. It represents ministry.
Let me offer
some Biblical precedent…
The early church had a problem. One morning the membership was 120
people. By that evening it had exploded
to over 3000 people! This small group of
believers had a problem on their hands and needed to find a way to disciple the
larger group in a hurry.
What did they do?
“They devoted themselves to the apostles
teaching, and to fellowship, to the BREAKING OF BREAD, and to prayer” (Acts 2:42).
And then we read…
“Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple
and BREAKING BREAD FROM HOUSE TO HOUSE, they were taking their MEALS together
with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all
the people” (Acts 2:46-47).
Don’t miss this…
A huge aspect of the discipleship of the
thousands of people saved on the Day of Pentecost was to share meals together!
Eating together can be a holy
experience. The disciples shared a last
supper together with Christ, and in Luke 24 they shared a meal with Him after
His resurrection and were forever changed.
It’s a false spirituality that disparages God’s
people for coming together (in His house or in His presence) to share a meal.
A TRUE STORY.
In my last pastorate we had a once-a-month men’s breakfast on Saturday
mornings. One or two of the guys thought
we needed to do something more – something worthwhile – to justify getting together. So we took on a project to build a basket
ball court. Here’s how the morning would
unfold: We would have breakfast, then
the chairman would call the meeting to order.
We would then “conduct business” (having discussion, making motions, taking
votes, calling for ‘points of order’, and other parliamentary procedure
nonsense). All of this just to build a basketball court!
I hated it.
It was a waste of time, not to mention it killed the fellowship. It felt like
another day of work.
I happen to believe if men gather to just have a meal together, (with no agenda – no speaker – no business – no nothing),
and sit around the table swapping stories over thick bacon, sausage, scramble
eggs, coffee, and biscuits, it’s AS GOOD AS IT GETS.
It’s a false spirituality that insists
fellowship has to produce something more.
A relaxed meal with godly friends can
accomplish more than we realize.
To sum it up…
Food is good.
And I seem to remember something in Scripture
about a marriage feast thrown in Heaven for believers. (See Revelation 19:9, among other places).
“Whether then you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all for the glory
of God” (I Corinthians 10:31).