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Meals As Ministry (pt3) by Daniel Williams

Meals open doors for God to work in and through our relationships with others, and we have been looking at specific ways we can see this at work! Today, we will look at 2 areas we can see in the Bible where God uses meals as an opportunity to serve and teach one another.

Meals are an opportunity to CELEBRATE

Culturally, we celebrate things with meals and food. Not only big holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, but most special occasions tend to incorporate food. Jesus celebrated with people because the gospel was good. Christians should be celebrating as well and should be throwing the best parties because we have the best reason to rejoice! Our salvation! Jesus never leaves us or forsakes us, He is for us…so we should continually be excited and thankful!

Luke 5:27-29 says, “After this He went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax    booth. And He said to him, ‘Follow Me.’ And leaving everything, he rose and followed Him. And Levi made Him a great feast in his house, and there was a large company of tax collectors and others reclining at table with them.”

Invite people over to a party and celebrate God’s goodness! 

Deuteronomy 14:26 says, “And you shall eat there before the Lord your God and rejoice, you and your household.”

When we have people in our homes, it allows people to see what our lives are like. The kids arguing or making a mess is part of real life! People can see that we don’t celebrate because we have everything together, but because God is so good and we rejoice in HIS goodness!

Meals are an opportunity to CARE FOR PEOPLE

Sometimes, we can forget that there are people in need of something as basic as food. We know it is a problem in the world, but we can forget how much providing a simple dinner for someone can make a difference for them. John wrote in 1 John 3:17-18, “But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” 

Opening your home to people not only meets a physical need, but can also meet the even more important emotional need to feel loved and accepted. There is nothing worse than feeling out of place or unwelcome. When we open up our homes and our lives to people and make them feel at home there, they feel it. People know when they are truly welcome in your home and loved.

Hospitality is a very big deal for Christians, because LOVING PEOPLE is a very big deal! 

Romans 12:13 says, “Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.”  Being hospitable is even a requirement for elders in the church. We should be looking for opportunities to show hospitality to people! And watch how the Lord uses these times to show His love and mercy to people through you. You may not see the impact in that moment, but you can be sure that God will use it!

So, let me challenge you to ask God what opportunities you have to use meals to show His love to someone. Look for ways that you can share COMMUNITY and CONVERSATION (see part 2 of this series) with someone, CELEBRATE the goodness of God by having a gathering, and genuinely CARE FOR SOMEONE in need through hospitality. God will use you!

-Pastor Daniel

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Meals As Ministry (pt2) by Daniel Williams

In Part 1 of this series, we talked about how using mealtimes as an opportunity to encourage someone is something we can all do! In the following post, you can read about several important ways that the Bible helps us view even our meals as opportunities for the gospel and discipleship.

Meals are an opportunity for COMMUNITY

Community is a real need that we all have. Having been made in the image of our triune God, we can see that God designed us to need one another and to meet this need through His people. We were made for community!

Genuine community takes time. 

Relationships with people do not develop without time and effort. Welcoming a person into our day, listening and sharing experiences—each of these things build on each other to create a friendship. Jesus did not only teach his disciples from messages—he traveled with them, ate with them, and shared experiences with them. Jesus is our perfect example of how we can use every opportunity to demonstrate the love and truth of God. 

Building friendship and establishing a sense of community will happen one step at a time. Even if it feels awkward in the beginning, every relationship has this stage of establishing common interests, getting to know the other person better, and finally feeling a sense of community and comfort with one another.

Remember that when we give our time, we show people that we love them. When a person feels loved by you, they will be much more open to allowing you to speak into their lives, and this will open doors for ministry to take place where it may not have before. 

Meals are an opportunity for CONVERSATION

Meals force us to be people oriented rather than task oriented. Sitting and eating with one another is an opportunity that we have to be still and have conversation. When we can no longer hide behind a project or busyness, we expose who we are in our conversation. We know that out of the heart, the mouth speaks which allows us to really get to know people through conversation. 

Let God fill your conversations.

God can use our conversations to help demonstrate His heart for people and encourage them. Proverbs 16:24 says, “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” So, consider meals as an opportunity to love people with your words. Speak about the goodness of God. Bring up the promises of the Bible. Mention how you are seeing God at work in your own life. We are bombarded constantly with the lies and half-truths the world offers; we need to be hearing the truth of God more! 

So, remember to pray beforehand, that God will prepare you to speak His words during your time together! Once you begin to view meals as a way to be used by Jesus, you will be much more intentional about doing it! Look for Part 3 of this series for a few more ways to view mealtimes as opportunities for ministry.

-Pastor Daniel

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Meals as Ministry (pt1) by Daniel Williams

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!

Be blessed,

Pastor Daniel 


Recommended Resources:

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”

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