Pause with Pastor Joel – May 15, 2023

We recently held a community meal. We had a dozen workers that gathered at Sims Cafe to help serve food to those that would come.
We were there from 4 PM to 6 PM and in that time we served (drum roll please) eight people. Yes, it was not a tidal wave of people. It can feel a bit demoralizing when you have more workers than you have people to serve.
I’ve been reflecting on that event because right before I arrived, I had just finished reading a book in which the author said that we are now in a time when the church has to stop playing host to others and instead be hosted. He says this is important because fewer and fewer people are interested in engaging with churches and so if we hold events, they may just not come.
I had just read that and then was at this event that we hoped people would show up for and we only had eight people.
We had even held in outside the church hoping that would be less threatening. Still, we may have missed the point completely. Maybe we don’t need to serve a meal to people, maybe we need to go and sit at their tables and let them serve us.
That’s what this author believes. Why? Because at this point, trust in organized religion is at an all-time low, so they won’t come to an event that a church puts on. However, if Christians go to an event that’s already happening and rather than be the host, simply are hosted, we have the opportunity to build relationships and in that process to build trust.
We don’t go with the intention to evangelize. We will get there once we have peoples’ trust. We go to build relationships and to build trust. If we don’t do that first, we’ll never have a chance to share about our faith, Jesus or our church.
It’s a completely new idea to me. I’m not sure I fully get it yet, but after that community meal with eight people, it rings true to me.
How might we go and sit at others’ tables? Be hosted? Be served? Build trust?

Recent Pause with Pastor Joel Columns

Leave a Reply