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Dinner Time Discipleship

One of the features of the Gospels are the times Jesus engages with people, both close disciples and others around meals.  As we seek to follow and imitate Jesus, it might be good for us to have a go at the same thing.  Afterall, imitation involves following Jesus' habits not just his words. 

Now I am not talking about converting your evening meal into a mini Sunday service or a bible study or leaving no room for talk about football or the latest clothing sale.  I would like to suggest some simple practices that are light weight but can lead to rich outcomes.

While you are eating just ask people (adults and kids) to share some highlights and lowlights from the day or week.  This can lead naturally and easily into brief prayers of thanks and intercession. 

Ask if there is anyone they know who is going through a hard time - it can lead to prayer and a discussion about how you could help.

Ask people to share what struck them at a recent service, kids church, youth event or what stood out when reading the bible recently.

Now you don't need to ask all of these at one meal - just one of them and use a different questions at different meals. 

If you have some non Christians with you the first two questions are easily accessible to them and you can do the prayer in a way that they don't feel they have to participate eg have one adult pray a short and simple prayer.  Including the prayer is often a place at which we can baulk and hang back.  But with a brief explanation, this is can be a way of letting them see the faith part of our lives in a gentle, simple way.

David Wanstall, 24/09/2013