Oct 29, 2020.
We live in a day when there are so many Christian groups doing so many Christian things that it’s hard to discern Christianity’s MAIN THING. Is it worship? Is it teaching the scriptures? Is it providing a place for believers to meet and grow? Is it to build beautiful campuses that impresses the townspeople? Actually, the life of Jesus cut right through all the religious noise of his day – right from the beginning.
#JesusStories: Luke 2 captures a wonderful moment when the boy Jesus demonstrated unusual clarity of eternal things. His parents were returning home after making their annual trip to Jerusalem for the Passover feast. Mary thought the 12 year-old Jesus was riding in the caravan with dad, Joseph thought he was traveling with mom, when actually they had left their boy behind. So in a nervous frenzy they returned to Jerusalem to find Jesus in the Temple discussing mature topics with the temple teachers – who were very impressed by-the-way. When Mary saw him, her pent-up anxiety spilled all over the boy – as any mother would do. Jesus’ response was very unexpected: “Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” Verse 50 records that they were baffled and did not understand what he was talking about.
I’m afraid many church leaders today are similarly mystified; they just don’t understand how invested Jesus still is – in The Father’s Business. And recent translations of scripture don’t help. They have replaced the word ‘business’ with the word ‘house’ in this story. I know that every house in that culture had a family business and the terms house and business could be interchangeable. But imagining God’s world as a household rather than a family business has not served us well. In recent decades convenience and comfort have become the assumption of the Church, whereas intercession and sacrifice was the assumption in ages past. We have really needed the reminder that every church is supposed to be engaged in the Family Business. And according to Jesus’ parable about leaving the 99 behind to go save the one lost lamb, it’s clear that the God Family is in the ‘rescue business’. May the 12 year-old Jesus steer all of us back into the FAMILY BIZ.
#DinnerChurchQuotes: “The disciples inability to comprehend the significance of Jesus’ meal strategy is symbolic of their failure to understand his entire mission.” -L.E. Klosinski
#PracticalStuff: A buffet table loaded with food is the best metaphor of the gospel we can use today; there was a reason why Jesus spent so much time around food with lost people. Do you need some help getting started with meal prep? The Dinner Church Handbook (available on this website) has 13 menu’s in the back that are impressive, inexpensive, big-group-able, and can be prepared by a hack cook in a lousy kitchen.
Blessings & Boldness,
Dr. Verlon and Melodee Fosner have led a multi-site Assemblies of God Dinner Church in Seattle, Washington since 1999 (www.CommunityDinners.com). In this decade when more churches in the U.S. are declining than thriving, and when ninety-six churches a week are closing, Verlon and Melodee sensed that a different way of doing church was needed for their 97-year old Seattle congregation. It soon became obvious that they were not the only ones in need of a different path. They joined the FX team in 2016 and founded the Dinner Church Collective. And then in 2019 founded the Dinner Church School of Leadership. There is a lot to be gained when church leaders begin to see open doors in the American landscape that they had previously overlooked. Therein lies the journey for those who will forge a new future for the American Church.