There’s just something missing from the church nowadays. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it until the other Sunday when I was sitting in service and looking around at all the families that were there. I suddenly realized that I really don’t know that much about these families. Sure, we greet each other on Sundays with a hug and a smile, but what about the rest of the week? What are they dealing with? Who is hurting? Who is hoping? What dreams are they dreaming up? What are their kids struggling with?
I wanted to know.
We’re not put here to simply absorb what we’re given and let it stop there. We are here for a much greater purpose. This is our chance to share the love of God, and we are much stronger when we are together. I also noticed when I looked around our church that day that there was a family that was no longer visiting the church; and I knew that one of their children was going through some problems. We have sure had our fair share of problems, and there were plenty of times that we pulled away from the church. I would have given anything if, when we were going through our tough spells, someone would have reached out to us and given us some support. It’s funny, isn’t it? When you most need the fellowship of others is when you’re most likely to pull away from it.
I realized what was missing in church—intimacy.
That was when I decided to start up monthly 3D nights. All that means is getting together as families for some Dinner, Devotion, and Dessert.
The love of God becomes most real to people outside of the church walls. It’s when you pay for someone’s dinner or stop to talk to someone while you wait in line at Stuff Mart. It’s going over to your neighbor’s house to clear their snow or simply inviting families to come over to your house for some home cookin’. It’s so simple, really. And it’s fun as all get-out!
Here’s how it works:
- Pick a night during the week that is pretty open. It turns out Thursdays work well for us.
- Invite a few families that you know (and kinda know). You can start with just a few families in your church and let it grow from there. Make sure you look outside of your church, too. Maybe a family in your neighborhood or a coworker.
- Don’t over think it! Just set out some food, let friends bring some grub, and dig in.
- Plan a devotion and don’t over think this either. You can just read a few verses out of the Bible and share your insight. Or if you don’t feel comfortable doing this, then just get a devotion book and read straight out of that. Do what feels right for you.
- After the devotion, it’s time to eat again. But this time, we’re whipping out the dessert, Mama.
You don’t have to do anything formal or fancy. If you think too much about it, you’re going to keep putting it off for another time. Go ahead, obligate yourself. Call up a friend right now and say, “Hey, if you’re not doing anything next Thursday, do you want to come over for dinner?
She’ll say, “Sure! Do you want me to bring anything?
That’s your cue to say, “Yes, bring dinner!”
Okay, maybe not the entire meal, but if someone offers, don’t be a goober. Take them up on it! It’s all about the fellowship, not how delicious your food is, not how clean your house is, and fortunately for me, not how well-behaved your kids are.
Especially during this holiday season when there are so many who don’t have family reach out to those around you and share some love, even if it’s just having a movie night and a pot luck dinner…your heart and theirs will be full of joy!