By Pastor Mitch Miller
“And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” Acts 2:42
When we started officially revitalizing in 2015, one of the first things we implemented, or re-implemented, were church-wide meals. Back then, we did these once a month AND on most holiday weekends. Now the schedule works out a little differently, but it still feels like we’re always eating a meal together.
In fact, we just got the calendar finalized for the first half of the year and there are several church meals already on there, including one this coming Sunday after the evening service.
Why do we make such a big deal out of eating together?
The early church started with a bang. If you read Acts 2, you’ll see about 3,000 new converts are added right after Jesus’ ascension. That’s a big number! What’s interesting is that, though there are a lot of new saints, they’re not looking to remain strangers. The Scriptures tell us in a number of ways these people were connected. They were in community.
Acts 2:42 says, “And they continued steadfastly…in fellowship.” Steadfastly means purposefully and continually. Fellowship means relationship based on a common bond. That common bond was their salvation.
We eat meals together for the same reason. In short, you could say our rhythm of regular meals keeps us in fellowship. It keeps us in relationship.
Church doesn't just happen while we're sitting in the pews continuing our relationship with God, it also happens while we sit at the table and continue our relationships with one another. No one at our church should feel like a stranger. Not when we have such a bond as the blood of Christ. What unity!
The Scripture tells us that we’re more than just congregants. In fact, we’re like a big family. We all go our separate ways during the busyness of life but there should be a time, a regular time, where we come together to laugh, swap stories, check in with each other, have meaningful conversations and get to know fellow church members we still haven’t met yet.
This helps keep us from feeling lonely in a crowd or feeling exiled among those who have been brought into the fold. It helps keep us feeling like family.
So come in, sit down, eat all you can, and share your story. Don’t be a stranger.
Mitch Miller has served as the pastor of Griggs since the fall of 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @mitchmillerme.