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Why is food important when it comes to church planting?

Photo credit: CarbonNYC (Creative Commons)

A post about food seems appropriate after the amount I've eaten over the past two days!

Food is very important in the context of seeing multiplying churches. Luke 10 is our signature passage on how to reach out to those who don't yet know the Lord. It tells us that we are to look for people of peace–those who have influence and are open to our message. We can identify them because they offer us hospitality.

Luke 10:7-8 says this about the person of peace:

Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house. When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set before you. 

What is the importance of food?  Why is it important to eat what is set before you?

Food creates relationship–in every culture of the world.  If someone offers you food, they are generally offering friendship and relationship.  

There are very few times when the same concept is mentioned in two consecutive verses in the New Testament. This is one of them.  It's not just an optional extra.

If you reject food, you are doing far more than saying you don't want to eat.  You are rejecting friendship.  There have been times when I would have preferred to refuse food.  (You try eating a hamburger you have just watched a cockroach walk over!)  If you want to see disciples made in the harvest, swallow your squeamishness and eat what is set before you!


4 replies on “Why is food important when it comes to church planting?”

Dan and Laurel Hubbell emailed me with this response to the post that is well worth reading:
Over the past 32 years of traveling on missionary journeys throughout the world, we have found this spiritual principle to be so true.
We learned to eat what was set before us with gratitude to our hosts in whatever nation we were ministering. As you stated in your article, eating with our hosts has opened doors of opportunity that we would never have otherwise.
To our amazement and to His glory we have never been ill from food (stomach upset, diarrhea, etc.) on the mission field.
We have eaten about everything there is to eat, i.e., worms, grasshoppers, monkeys, cats, dogs, etc.
This simple act of courtesy to their hospitality always endears us to them and they become so open to hear what the Lord has to say through us.

…and from the other side, a invitation to share a meal in our home is seldom rejected by unbelievers, and has opened the door into many relationships. It is a natural, unthreatening beginning of a friendship, and an introduction into our family which we hope reflects Jesus.

Janet, great thoughts again. At least in the American culture, most people invite others to a restaurant for a meal. A home is far more personal and I think you are right, will lead to a friendship…

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