Five Habits of Highly Missional People: Eat Together

Last week, the focus of my post was on ways Christians can intentionally bless others. We can do this in three simple ways: 1) words of affirmation, 2) acts of kindness, and 3) giving a gift. Did you take the challenge of blessing three people during the week, one of whom is not a member of your church? If it slipped your mind, no worries, we have a new week coming up! Along with this challenge, I have added one more for you at the end of this post. I think you’re going to like it. 🙂

Highly Missional People Habit #2: Eat Together

Yes, you read those words correctly. Highly missional people intentionally eat together. In our highly digital world, connecting face to face is becoming a rare, but treasured feat. Honestly, I feel challenged in this area. My breakfast is usually on the run, lunch is eaten during work break, and dinner is a toss-up between a family meal and/or snacks at a baseball game. But in reality, grabbing a snack or drink with someone at a ball game is easily attainable. After all, everyone needs to eat and drink. And most of us eat at least three times a day, which equates to 21 meals a week.

Eating together has been a common practice among Christians since the beginning of God’s church. Sharing a meal together is one of the primary ways where people connect not only with God, but also with others. It’s a place where relationships begin and flourish. When we take the time to eat together, we are showing the other person that we care enough about them to live ordinary life with them. It satisfies our need to know and be known through face-to-face conversation.

In his book, Surprise the World!, Michael Frost shares a posed question: How would you complete the following sentence: ‘The Son of Man came . . . ?” There are three ways that the New Testament completes that sentence: while the first two are well known, the third is surprising:

  • “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45, ESV).
  • “The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10, ESV).
  • “The Son of Man came eating and drinking” (Luke 7:34).

While the first two oft-quoted verses tell us about Jesus’ purpose in coming—to serve, to give his life as a ransom, to seek and save the lost—the third describes his method. How did Jesus come? He came eating and drinking.

During Jesus’ earthly ministry, we see him reclining “at the table” while interacting with common people and sinners as He furthers His kingdom work. This is also where true community and genuine fellowship among His disciples developed (Luke 5:29; 7:36; 11:37; 14:15). The early church gathered regularly in homes to “break bread together” as a practical expression of their fellowship in Christ (Acts 2:46). The Apostles also exhort us to show hospitality (Rom. 12:13; Heb. 13:2; 1 Peter 4:9). (A great article on hospitality can be found here: A Meal Says More Than You Think: The Importance of Hospitality.)

Finally, God declares that eating together is important through the depiction of the great marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev. 9:6-10). Joyous, soul-quenching eternal communion with God and our brothers and sisters in Christ is detailed through the sharing of a meal together.

Weekly Challenge

So here’s our challenge for this week:

  1. Bless three people, at least one of whom is not a member of your church.
  2. Eat with three people, at least one of whom is not a member of your church. It doesn’t have to be a big fancy meal. If you’re a coffee lover, go ahead and have that cup of coffee with that person who has been on your mind.