Why is food important when it comes to church planting?

Meal
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!