Once you have known the love and mercy of Jesus in your life, there is no greater joy than sharing His love with someone. Jesus commands us to go into all the world and make disciples, and nothing brings greater fulfillment than stepping out and helping a person grow in their relationship with Jesus. (Matthew 28:18-20, John 20:21) I want nothing more than to obey my Savior and tell someone else about how much He loves them and what God has already done for them! But have you ever found yourself feeling ill-equipped or maybe you just don’t know where to start when it comes to discipling someone or even sharing Jesus?
When my family came to Florida to start a church, we did not know anyone. We had no team, no church to invite people to, and wanted a way to form relationships and share Jesus with people who so desperately need Him. We had always loved having people over to our house to eat, and we decided to continue using this approach to building relationships and see what God would do through it!
Meals are a practical and powerful means of connecting with people.
Jesus used meals as an opportunity for ministry throughout His life. Robert Karris said, "In Luke's Gospel Jesus is either going to a meal, at a meal, or coming from a meal.”
Luke 7:34-35 says, “The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is justified by all her children.”
God is constantly using the everyday world around us to show us things about who He is. So, it makes sense that Jesus used every opportunity to teach those around Him, including meal times. It is amazing to note the number of times we hear some of the greatest teachings of Jesus come from a time sitting around a dinner table.
The act of inviting someone into our home is becoming more rare as people are busier and connecting more and more through social media and texting rather than face to face. We have had many people tell us that our home was the first “real home” they had been to in years! Tim Chester wrote a book on this subject called “A Meal with Jesus.” “Few acts are more expressive of companionship than the shared meal….someone with whom we share food is likely to be our friend, or well on the way to becoming one.”
We eat an average of 21 meals per week.
It is a reasonable and attainable goal to plan out 1-2 of these meal times each week to connect with someone for the sake of discipleship! In a natural setting, eating a meal is an intimate and comfortable environment for real conversation.
So be encouraged that this is something you can do! Sometimes we may feel like what we are doing is not enough, or we feel at a loss in how we can better pour into someone’s life. This is a great starting point. Just as Jesus used meal times to pour into those around Him, we can begin to look for ordinary opportunities to do the same!
Recommended Reading: “A Meal with Jesus” by Tim Chester
Listen to a message I taught at Redemption Church on this subject: “Be On Mission with Meals”