Each weekend, I explore a little more of the WOW – ‘Woke on the Wonder’ of worship. This week, it is about being around the table together.
One of the weaknesses I had in the way I raised Calvin was my lack of an organized dinner hour. We probably spent more time gathered around tables at restaurants then our own kitchen table. I am not blaming anyone’s cooking skills, it just kind of happened that way. Yeah, I know the statistics of how kids are better prepared for life with a family that eats together – sue me – I think Calvin has done okay. Even today, our apartment doesn’t have room for our kitchen table – only the kitchen serving bar serves as a gathering place – and it doesn’t fit all three. But we try to find a way.
This scenario also spilled into the way I did ministry. (Note the past tense – not that I don’t do ministry anymore, but I have learned to be better in the way I do it). I know I could’ve done better at ‘breaking bread’ with church family members. (Yep, I listened to you Cindy F – You hit home with this insight to me). My early ministry was more of a behind the scenes, getting the ministries to run smoothly, be the detail person. And when I was senior pastor – it was a smaller church with me as the only full time staff member. This is a hard issue for small church pastors – we end up being the one that makes sure everything runs smoothly, doing all the odd jobs – even when it really cuts into building relationships with our church family.
Our busy-ness can be unhealthy to building those all important relationships.
We should never sacrifice relationships over traditions, nor people over programs. Slow down – spend time with the church family – get to know each other – share life together. If you can’t do it around a table – find somewhere to do it – just do it (sorry Nike, I had to borrow this phrase).
We should never sacrifice relationships over traditions,
nor people over programs.
Worship is also about fellowship. It is a significant purpose for the existence a local church – it entails spending life together. Call it community, call it connections, call it engagement – it is fellowship. Fellowship is not individuals coming together to stay individuals in a larger group – it is blending of lives, a sharing of life together, a family bond that goes deeper. Andy Stanley talks of the progression of welcoming people to be like a ‘foyer-to-living room-to-kitchen’ movement. Real life, real fellowship, happens in the kitchen. It is in the kitchen, around the table, that we find relationships that leave a mark – that make a difference – that impact us and others around us. It is here we laugh, cry, celebrate, discover, and yes, argue, and yet bind in a unity that the world needs to see. A unity grounded in the very love of Christ.
The early church worshiped this way – Acts 2:42 – Yes they continued in the apostles teaching – but they also met for fellowship.
How does your church promote this deeper fellowship? Is it seen in the church’s culture, the very life of the church? How does it invite people to connect with others in this deeper, life-sharing way?
This week, spend some time breaking bread with some church family. Spend life together.
NEXT WEEK – for next weekend the WOW moment will dig deeper into this ‘spending life together around the table’.
Imagine if you will, that worship is like gathering around a table. Now I am not referring to communion – I am referring to just hanging just hanging out and spending time with people – with a purpose to bring us closer to each other and each one of closer to God. That would be … (Come back next week for more)
EXTRA NOTE – did you know the National Spelling Bee was won on the word ‘koinonia’ – the English transliteration of the Greek word for fellowship – booyah!