During the month of October I’m joining The Nester’s 31 Day Challenge and writing “31 Days to Building Community”. I’m passionate about building relationships and growing in community together. To see all the posts in the series click here.
When the group started to grow and we moved to our house I insisted on one change – that we share a meal together each week. So we moved the start time to 30 minutes earlier so that we could eat before our planned Bible Study and discussion time, and I truly believed this changed everything.
Now we have this time at the beginning that seems to be more flexible. If folks arrive a few minutes later it’s fine, we’re just eating and catching up on each others week. We are supposed to start our discussion time at the same time each week, but usually the meal time just blends into it and we roll right into that time pretty easily.
And then after the discussion time and prayer, ya know what happens? Everybody STAYS and hangs out. It’s AWESOME! We’re really getting to know each other and what’s going on in our lives. And I do not live under any false suspicion that it is because of our house or our hospitality. I truly believe that adding the meal time just gives us all the chance to relax and enjoy each other’s company.
This can be true for any number of groups, families or individuals. If you want to build community with them, invite them for a meal! If we look to Jesus’ example, he is frequently surrounded by people and food. The scriptures often use the phrase that Jesus was reclining “at table” with any number of people – His disciples, groups of followers, tax collectors and sinners. Let’s learn from him and invite others and join others other “At Table” as we build relationships and community.
Do you feel like eating together is a good way to build community? When are some times you have done that?