Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Meals With Gladness

We followed the careful directions around corners and down hills until we came to a house at the end of a cul-de-sac where we recognized several cars. "I had no idea this neighborhood was here!" I said to my husband as we got out of the car and I carefully carried my salad up to the door. Only the screen was between me and the house and as we walked up we heard someone call, "Come on in!" Several others had already arrived. Two were setting the table, while a couple of the guys were putting up another table in the family room off the kitchen. The husband was carving meat and the wife slicing bread. Another guest was stirring gravy. While I settled my salad on the counter which would serve as the buffet, more guests arrived. 

photo by Isaac Injeti

After we all arrived and the food was ready, we formed a line and served ourselves. We had no trouble keeping the conversation going as we settled into places at one of the two tables, even though some of us knew each other by sight only before tonight. When everyone was seated, our host got our attention and said, "We wanted to ask everyone to tell us if they had a mentor for their spiritual life and a little about that person and how they helped you grow." One by one we went around the table telling who was the most influential person in our spiritual growth, whether it was a formal discipleship relationship, or an informal friendship. It was fascinating to see all the ways God used to help each one of us grow in our walk with Him.

At our church we call these times "Meals with Gladness" taken from Acts 2:46:

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...

Photo by Hannah Injeti

It is sort of assigned hospitality. Here's how we do it:
  • We have sign up sheets at church for three Sundays for all who want to be involved--one sheet for those who want to host a meal and one for those who want to be guests
  • When the deadline for signing up has arrived we assign guests to host homes with people we think they will fit in with, but don't know each other well (yet).
  • We call the hosts to let them know who is coming to their house and ask them to contact their guests with the meal time, directions, and to ask them to bring part of the meal. (A creative host can even set a theme for the evening or suggest needed attire, if they will be outside, etc.)
  • Everyone goes to their assigned house and has wonderful time of fellowship. At some homes they answer conversation questions, play games after dinner, have a sing, or they can just visit.
Everyone always enjoys these and says we should do more than two a year. Of course, people can do hospitality more than when it is assigned and create their own meals with gladness!

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  1. Wow this is such a great idea! I like the fellowship and community building aspect.

  2. I love this idea. it's a great way to get to know your brothers and sisters in



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