Becoming a Mealtime Missionary

by Jul 19, 2011

On Sunday morning we were commissioned by Jesus to join him in his mission of proclaiming the kingdom to the small slice of the world he’s given us as a mission field.

Still feeling intimidated? Maybe it’s because the task still seems too extraordinary. Here’s some great advice from Tim Chester’s new book A Meal With Jesus on using your everyday meals as an opportunity for mission:

Meals bring mission into the ordinary. But that’s where most people are—living in the ordinary. That’s where we need to go to reach them. We too readily think of mission as extraordinary. Perhaps that’s because we find it awkward to talk about Jesus out- side a church gathering. Perhaps it’s because we think God moves through the spectacular rather than the witness of people like us. Perhaps it’s because we want to outsource mission to the professionals, so we invite people to guest services where an “expert” can do mission for us.

But most people live in the ordinary, and most people will be reached by ordinary people. Even those who attend a special event will, for the most part, have first been befriended by a Christian. For those looking to connect with people in the local community it isn’t that hard if you really want to. Just invite people round, let them know they can go home if they need to and then enjoy a meal together. You’re going to eat anyway, so why not do it with others!

People often complain that they lack time for mission. But we all have to eat. Three meals a day, seven days a week. That’s twenty- one opportunities for mission and community without adding any- thing to your schedule. You could meet up with another Christian for breakfast on the way to work—read the Bible together, offer accountability, pray for one another. You could meet up with col- leagues at lunchtime. Put down this book and chat to the person across the table from you in the cafeteria. You could invite your neighbors over for a meal. Better still, invite them over with another family from church. That way you get to do mission and community at the same time; plus your unbelieving neighbors will get to see the way the gospel impacts our relationships as Christians ( John 13:34–35; 17:20–21). You could invite someone who lives alone to share your family meal and follow it with board games, giving your children an opportunity to serve others through their welcome.