The Table 2017
December 19, 2017
Whether it’s a nuclear family or a blended family, a functional family or not, we are all born into a specific family. But our earthly family isn’t the only family we can be part of. When we become Christ followers, we are born into the family of God. And it is that family that has the ability to change everything. In this message, Pastor Ed Young has us join him around the table and look at what it means to join the family of God. Because when it comes to making a lasting difference in the world, there’s nothing like joining the family!
How many of you remember eating family meals together? You remember eating family meals together? How many eat family meals together regularly today? Family meals, wow, family meals. Family meals are important. And I know in today’s society, they’re so, so busy, it’s really good to have family meals at restaurants, a lot of us eat out, and you can have a family meal, whether it happens to be at your home, or in a restaurant.
When I was a kid, we didn’t go out to eat very much, there weren’t the restaurants we have available to us today. We did, though, do a really good job, my family did, of having family meals. Back when I grew up, you could just let kids roam around the neighborhood. We would sometimes ride our bikes miles and miles away. We had a good time doing that. I wish, really wish we could do that again, but in today’s crazy culture, we can’t really do it.
I do however, remember dad calling us to dinner. He would kind of do it in a rhythm, and he has a powerful voice, he’d be like, “Ed, Ben, time for supper!”
And when we heard his voice, we would stop in our tracks, cruise to our house, and we sat around this table.
This table is almost 50 years old, this is the table where I grew up, eating around, it’s the legitimate table. My mother gave it to Lisa and I years before she passed away. Sometimes, my friends would be playing, and other parents would whistle, maybe your parent was a whistler, to bring you to the table. We also had a bell, if we couldn’t hear our parent’s voice, “Bong! Bong! “Hey Ben, is that a bell?” And we knew, we better get to the table. We had a good time around the table, my mother was a great cook.
My only beef about my mother’s cooking was she didn’t cook enough food. I don’t know why! She never cooked enough, I remember being hungry all the time, I think if I had grown up in a household that served a lot of food, I’d probably be, I don’t know, I’d probably be in Jason Witten’s spot right now. I’d be that big, about 6’8″, 245, about 3% body fat, but, I turned out the way I am.
Anyway, my mother didn’t cook that much, but the food was really, really good. I remember sitting at the table, and we would have these great conversations at the table. And something that was different about our family than other families, I didn’t know this, because when you grow up in a family, you think, “Oh, every family’s like this,” but no, every family’s not like your family.
Well, one of the things we would do at our family was that after we finished, we would talk. We’d talk for, 30 minutes, just sit and talk. I didn’t discover this until I began dating Lisa, at 14, and she would come over to our house periodically, and I remember her saying, “Wow, you guys talk! You guys sit around the table and talk!” She said, “When we’re finished, boom, we’re gone.”
Not us! We sat, and we talked. We talked about a lot of cool stuff, we would talk about sports. Dad, and even my mother, are big, big sports people, and we would talk about all sorts of sports, football, basketball, baseball, golf, you name it, we talked about it. We would talk about the church, obviously, my father is also a pastor. It’s not he was a pastor, he’s still pastoring, he’s 81 years old, and he’s like, he thinks he’s 41, but that’s a whole ‘nother subject. So yeah, yeah, so we would talk about those things, we would tell stories, we would really learn a lot, so I would have to say my parents did a great job at family meals. And dad did a great job at playing with us. It was before AAU, and all of these different little leagues that we would always play sports together, all the time, all the time, all the time, but I have a fond memory of these meals.
As I’ve studied the Bible, most of my life, as I’ve gone to seminary, I’ve discovered that God is very meal-focused. In fact, Jesus said in John 6:35, “I am,” he said, “The bread of life.” That’s what Jesus said, “I’m the bread of life, “I’m the cosmic carbohydrate. “Whoever comes to me will never go hungry. Whoever believes in me will never, ever be thirsty.” He said, “I’m the bread of life,” he said, “I’m the water.”
[Ed’s coat has a malfunction on stage] And, sometimes that happens. Isn’t that kind of embarrassing? All of a sudden, and just like that, and, no one ever says anything, I’ve had crazy things happen where I’ve tucked this in, I’ve walked around the entire service, and people were like, “Pfft!” And I’m thinking, man, I’m funny! Whoa, that’s great, and then afterwards, Lisa goes, “Honey, your coat was tucked into your pants,” but anyway. I also wore today some of the shorty short socks, you should never do that. You’re not supposed to do that, guys, you’re supposed to wear socks up here so when you cross your legs. But, I don’t know, today, I just, I was in our bedroom and thought to myself, “man, I’m just going to wear some shorty short socks,” so I did! And I knew I would sit down at the table and stuff, but I just thought, let’s go for it. Oh, man, my calves are so huge, I had a hard time.
The church is a place where we come to get fed. The church is a table where people come to get fed. God owns it, He runs it, this is God’s church, this is God’s world. I’m simply the dude with the food, I’m simply the chef. Hopefully, spiritual Bobby Flay, hopefully.
In chair one, and this is the way we’re set up, because this is what Scripture says, chair one should be those people who are either faithless or faithful, who are looking for a table, who are looking for a church, who are looking to taste the bread of life. The Bible says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”
So many metaphors of bread, of dining throughout Scripture. So many metaphors of the table. In the Old Testament, the table is talked about a lot. In the New Testament, it’s talked about over and over, and then the Bible says that we all will dine at the table in a forever feast with Jesus.
The church is a table where people come to get fed. The church is also called the bride of Christ, and Jesus is the bridegroom. When you have intimacy between a groom and a bride, reproduction is the result. When you have worship, you have intimacy. The result of worship should be reproduction. We come to the table to get fed, we’re drawn, even though we know it, and some of us don’t know it, by the aroma of the bread. God the Father draws us to the table.
What do you do at the table? Okay, you eat. What do you do at the table? You converse. What do you do at the table? Well, it gives you the nourishment, after you eat, to push away. It gives you the calories and the energy to live life. So do you eat to live or live to eat? Those are profound questions.
So, I want you to consider several things, because remember, the church is a table where people come to get fed, I’m the dude with the food, I’m the chef, God owns the restaurant, the chairs are made up of different people. Chair one would be those who are faithful or faithless. Chair two would be one who has just become a believer. The Bible says you’re born again, for example, 1961, March 16th, remember that, that’s my birthday, I’ll say it again, March 16th, 1961, that’s right, that’s my birthday, I was on born into our family. My family. When I was a child, really, I was like 10 years old, I was born again into the family of God. I was adopted, born again into God’s nucleus, into God’s family. So, you’re born twice, you die once. You’re born once, you die twice. You’re born again, that’s chair two, your faith is fresh.
Chair three would be those who are mature, chair three would be made up of people who are reproducing, who understand what it means to walk and to talk, and to feed regularly on the bread, and also to come to the feast weekly, to feed.
What do we do around the church? Well, we converse, conversation happens. Conversation is crucial. And in our house, we should talk to one another. When we have a family meal, we should talk to one another, I said talk to one another, we shouldn’t have our heads buried in our phones. How many times have you been to a restaurant, or I’ve been to a restaurant, and you’ve seen families having a family meal, and they’re like this with their heads down in their phones. Put the technology away, just for a little while, and begin to look, and to talk! “Wow, you can talk? I didn’t know it! I know you can text! You can talk!” And some kids these days have a hard time talking! It’s unbelievable.
We learn conversation around the table, I learned, “Ed!” And I still struggle with this, “Don’t interrupt! Don’t interrupt! Oops! Ed, you’re talking too loud.” I still struggle with that today! “Ah! What do you say to your mom?”
We learn. We ask questions! I’m blown away at how little we ask questions! Ask the right questions, to the right people, and you’ll get the right answers. Ask the right questions to the wrong people, and you’ll discover what the right questions are to ask to the right people to get the right answers! Ask questions around the table. Hey chair one, ask questions to chair two. Chair three, ask questions to chair one. Chair one, ask questions!
Share stories! I have a story that’s unique. You have a story that’s unique. “Well, it’s not that special.” Yes it is! It’s you! We all have stories, share! When you’re in a family situation, but especially share when you’re in a church situation. [Someone have a Kleenex? My nose is running. I have to put makeup on, I’m sorry. I have to put makeup on, because of the lights and stuff, with these screens and everything, so, I’m somehow allergic to this makeup. And you know one of the pet peeves I have of Lisa? I’ve told you this before. She is a habitual nose blower. She blows her nose, I promise you, she’s not here today, at least 15 to 20 times. This morning, I got up. And I got up early, and I’ve been doing the spinning, anybody, spin classes? I do a spin class a lot, so I did a spin class this morning, I came back from spinning class, we’re sitting back, drinking coffee, we’re in our bathrobes, and I was asking Lisa about this sermon, and she’s keeping our granddaughter, hi honey, I know you’re watching this online. But she goes, “Excuse me.” I go, wow! She goes, “I had to blow my nose! “I have a little sinus infection!” Mm, okay. So don’t tell her that I blew my nose, okay? Do not, please, do not go on social media, I’m from the South, and tell her that I blew my nose during the message, thank you very much, let’s just keep it between us, okay? Just you and me, just you and me.]
Anyway. Conversation is crucial around the table. Talk, tell stories, ask questions. Every time I ask someone a question, I’m thinking this, this is me, I’m taking a vacation in my mind. When I ask you a question, all of a sudden, I’m putting myself in your shoes, and I’m like, “Whoa! That’s a unique context! Wow!”
So everyone has a story. We must share stories, in our family of origin, also right here in this church, and I’m so thankful we have the opportunity to share stories through technology. Through people talking here. Through life experiences, so if you’re in chair one, to go to chair one to chair two, you’ve got to have a story. “Here’s what happened before I met the Lord, here’s how I met the Lord, and here’s what He’s done in my life afterwards.”
Here’s the next thing. Yeah, conversation’s crucial, but also manners matter. “Excuse me, your manners are showing.” Manners. Hey dads, what do you do? Dads with daughters. Are you opening doors for your spouse? Car doors? Restaurant doors? Office doors? Are you honoring her? If you honor her, if you respect her, your son will do the same when he begins to date, and your daughters will look for guys who respect, respect, authority figures. It’s so sad in our world today, that there’s so much hatred out there. So much hatred! And I understand, I don’t like everybody! I don’t personally, who’s in a leadership position! I understand that! I don’t throw hate on them! I’m going to hate ’em? No, I’ve got to respect their position. “Well, I’m not going to respect their position until I like the person.”
Well, you’ll never respect the position. Never! Growing up, I didn’t always like what my mother and father told me to do, or the food they served, but I respected them enough to go, “Okay, I’m going to eat it, I’m going to do it, I’m going to respect it.”
Because, around the table, we learned manners. What kind of manners? Well, one of the things we do, we don’t have napkins, do we? Are these napkins? Yeah, okay, these are napkins. One of the things we do when we sit down, and I learned this, I learned this, put your what? Napkin, in your lap! Manners. You don’t have your napkin here. You don’t tuck it in, no. “Hey, what’s up, man? How you doing?” So, you put the napkin in your lap, you have good posture. I learned this growing up. Yeah, I did. And hopefully, you’re teaching this, mom and dad. Teaching and training your children.
Also, I learned how to eat, and what utensils to use. I mean, if you’re like me, sometimes I’ll go out to these places, I’m like, which one is my bread plate? Am I the only one? “Which fork do my use, where is my water?”
Okay, here we go. ♪ We’re going to learn today ♪ Sing it with me? ♪ We’re going to learn today ♪ Okay. Alright. A BMW is a great car. I’ve had a BMW before, I love BMWs. They’re fast! A driving machine. When you sit down and eat, think about BMW, say it with me?
B! Bread plate. That’s my bread, always, to my left. Bread. It’s the bread! The bread. Jesus said, “I’m the bread of life,” to the left.
Right here’s the M – the meal. The meal.
Here’s my water – W – to my right. BMW, someone taught me that. Is that brilliant? You learned something today! “What did you learn at church?” “BMW!” Yeah, BMW.
So, we also learned too, around the table, to say please. That’s a power word! Please, do you use please regularly? If you don’t, you should, I should too. Please? And again, “Why are you saying this? Is this scriptural?”
Heck yes, it’s scriptural. Everything should be done, the Bible says, in a fitting and orderly manner. Ultimately, we’re working, we’re living, we’re serving for the owner, who is God.
Do you say thank you? Say it with me, thank you! Thank you, wow, thank you. Thank you, thank you! Thank you, thank you! Thank you, thank you! Thank you is, thank you. Thank you is commanded in scripture. It’s commanded! So, when I lived this life, and I’m commanded, I’m being obedient to say thank you! Thank you. “Oh, the bread? Thank you.” Oh, thank you!
I’m telling you, after a family meal, I had to say this to my mother every family meal. M”om? Thank you, I enjoyed it.” Hey kids, are you saying that? “Yeah, but we go out to restaurants!” Okay! Walk up to mom and dad, “Hey mom and dad, thank you for the meal, for providing it.”
“Well, why do I have to say that, they already know that.”
No they don’t! I mean, maybe intuitively down deep they do, there’s nothing like saying it.
Why do you think God needs to hear it? And wants to hear it? Thank you! Please, thank you!
As a believer, my appreciation should reflect my participation in worship! Thank you, God! Thank you for this meal. Thank you for the clothes on my back. Thank you for the bread! Thank you for the table!
And here’s one too. And I know I struggle with interrupting people all the time, I do. “Excuse me,” and then you can say something.
Here’s something else. How about honor, how about honor?
Okay, manners, manners, we’re talking. You’re sitting at a restaurant, for example. And let’s say you’re single, your date gets up to go to the ladies’ room, say you’re married, it’s your wife, and you might have four kids, screaming kids, like we had back in the day. She gets up, who else gets up? Who? I can’t hear you, what?
Yeah, dad, you better! Honor. When she returns, what do you do?
I mentioned my family of origin. I mentioned family meals. About 40% of the time, we would have guests over. That’s unbelievable, isn’t it? 40% of the time! And we would treat them like family! And I learned this. When a guest walks in, what do we do? “Hey, how you doing, man? Wassup, yeah! Oh yeah?” What? I said what? Stand, honor. “Great to see you.”
We think about the guest, we defer to the guest, we think about the menu. It’s going to be served in a creative and compelling way. We think about the venue, the table, the church. And we think about the revenue, what’s revenue? Changed lives.
We’re a restaurant, God owns it, I’m just the dude with the food! And as a chef, I’m serving the bread of life in a creative and compelling way. If you ever go to a church, and you hear a half-baked presentation of the bread of life, don’t blame God, blame the chef. I like that. I’ll say that again, if you ever go to a church, and you hear a half-baked presentation of the glorious gospel, don’t blame God, don’t say, “God, You’re boring,” no, it’s the chef.
Sometimes, when we have kids, the kids don’t dig food. I read this week where it takes sometimes 10 to 21 days for a child to begin to really accept different types of food. Someone moves from chair one here at Fellowship Church, boom, I’m born again. I’m a new believer in chair two. “Black-eyed peas? Ah!” Keep serving them, serving them, serving them, serving them, and then what happens? They’ll begin to like black-eyed peas. I in fact love black-eyed peas, Lisa made them last night! I’m just saying.
Man, where’s our camera guy? I was just on a roll with the manners. Would the cameraman come back out? Let’s give a round of applause for the cameraman! You left too early, my brother. Wait a minute, here’s a guest showing up. Where are my manners? Excuse me, your manners are showing. But in our culture, the mood is rude!
And as believers, do you realize, do you realize what we can do? Someone gave Lisa the greatest compliment two days ago. This lady was talking to me, she goes, “Your wife is so honoring, and so mannerly, and so, just, attractive, the way she talks and listens,” and I’m thinking, “Wow.” First of all, I said thank you for the compliment, but I’m thinking, the reason she’s that way is not because she went to some finishing school, which she did not. It’s not because she’s some Emily Post follower. I’m telling you, she’s seeing Jesus.
But those of us, you just think about manners, alright. Here’s something else that I want to show you. And I’m just trying to download some local knowledge to you, alright. How do you know if you’re finished eating in a restaurant? You just do like that? No. You just go, “Well, I’m done!” Nope. ‘Cause how many times a waiter or waitress comes by, “Are you finished,” you know what I’m saying to you? If they’re in one of those restaurants? Here’s what someone showed me. Take your fork. Put it between 11 and 12, with your knife, boom, you’re done. They know, then, it’s like, “Yeah, I’m done, take it away.” It’s pretty good, isn’t it? Napkin in the lap.
Oh, don’t yawn, oh my goodness, without covering yourself! And please, too, I hate to say this. Toothpicks are of the devil. Do not even think about a toothpick. If you want to do that in private, good. Having a toothpick is like, “Do you mind if I pick my nose in front of everybody?” A toothpick?
See, I can tell a lot of you are very convicted, “I’m from Texas, man, we use toothpicks all the time.” Toothpicks! That’s awful! Ooh, anyway!
Oh, we’re having fun, aren’t we? Oh, I love this, I love this, so we’re learning manners, manners matter, we learn manners here. How to worship, how to respect, how to say thank you, how not to talk with food in our mouths. That’s another sin.
And after a conversation this crucial, manners matter, then growth happens. So we have this beautiful growing entity thing, this living organism called the church, so, the church is living, it’s breathing, it is alive, it’s a family, it’s the body of Christ, it’s the bride, the church, the church. And the Bible implores us to become members of a church. In fact, you will not see someone in the New Testament who is a believer, without being an active member of a church.
Only in Western civilization do we have this phenomenon. Someone who goes, “Oh yeah, I’m a Christian.”
Oh really, are you a member of a church?
“No, I just kind of move around.”
Really? So you’re a Christian, but you’re not an active member of a church?
“No, I just go from table to table, family to family.”
Sorry, you’re disobeying 30 commands in the New Testament, by having that particular attitude. You need to become a member of a family.
Don’t you see how God used this beautiful illustration, the body, the members of our bodies are unique, they work together in concert with one another? It’s absolutely, just awesome!
Conversation! Manners! And growth happens. I look at our family and think, here we came up to Dallas, one child, and then through intimacy, groom and bride, now we have four! And then, two of the four are married, and now we have a granddaughter. They come over to the house, I’m looking around going, “Whoa, growth happens.”
Yet, the church is a bride, yet in too many churches, the bride has had her tubes tied. The church is on birth control pills. Because if you’re a biblically-functioning growing entity, living things grow. You’re going to grow. You’re going to produce. So, when you move from chair one to chair two, you have progression, you have growth, you’re born again into the family of God. When you’re born again into the family of God, what do you do? You learn how to feed yourself. You become a self feeder.
Download our app. We teach you how to feed yourself, five-minute devotional, every single day, it’s incredible. If you don’t have the app, man, it’s free! Free 99! Go to the app store, Fellowship Church, boom, get, and it comes to you every day, and we have amazing writers that take what I’m talking about here, and break it down into bite-sized chunks.
“Mm. Mm. I’m feeding myself. This is incredible! Mm. Oh.”
Do you know anybody who’s into fad diets? Have you ever thought about fad diets? They’re so funny. My father is the king of fad diets. I have never seen anyone diet like my father. Here’s some fad diets. The alkaline diet, microbiotic diet, Whole30 diet, Atkins diet, South Beach diet, vegan, Weight Watchers, Nutrisystems, on and on, and on and on, and on and on, and on and on it goes. Wow, dieting. And the research on most of those diets states that you’re going to return back to a lot of your bad habits. A diet should be balanced.
Think about the food pyramid, eat clean, 90% of the time, eat good, lean stuff, fish, and chicken, vegetables, and then 10%, have a good time. Enjoy food, though! Don’t lose your mind, and absolutely freak out over it! “Oh, I’m chasing it! Have you heard about this new diet? It’s just styrofoam. Styrofoam and carrot juice. Have you heard about this new diet? It’s the cookie diet. You eat cookies all the time, and it’s incredible. I’m now down to 4% body!”
It’s really hilarious! It’s funny! That’s temptation, that believers have. “I’m on a fad diet, whoa! Fad diet. A miracle, a miracle, I want to chase a miracle, I’m chasing a miracle, I’m chasing a miracle, chasing a miracle, oh! I’m chasing this, it’s sex trafficking, sex trafficking, sex trafficking, I’m going to go fight sex trafficking. Oh, it’s pornography, pornography, pornography, pornography. Oh, it’s abortion, it’s abortion, it’s abortion, it’s abortion. Oh, it’s speaking in tongues, speaking in tongues, speaking in tongues. Oh, it’s healing, it’s healing, it’s healing, it’s healing, it’s healing.”
Fad diets, say it with me. Fad diets. All that stuff’s great! But it’s about the table. It’s about the church. So don’t follow these other little pathways, don’t follow the superfluous and miss the significant. Fad diets. Just stay in the house. Are you a member? I mean, are you an active member of a church?
Now, I’m biased, I think Fellowship is the best church around, obviously, I want to pastor a church that I want to be a member of. But if you’re a believer, you have to become a member of a church. If not, you’re missing it! Really.
Well, here’s what the scripture says about membership. This is pretty cool. I’m going to direct your attention to Romans 12:4-5, let’s read it together, do you want to do that, I can tell you do. I can tell you do. Alright, one, two, three. “For just as each of us has one body with many members do not all have the same function, so in Christ, we though many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”
ILLUS: Oh, yeah. You know, during the month of May, I had mitral valve prolapse repair surgery. Not replacement! Repair. Just full-on, they cut me to stem to stern, cracked the chest. All over a little flap in my heart, a little over an inch long, just a piece of tissue! Who cares about the mitral valve, really? Does it really matter? Does it matter?! If I would’ve remained in the state I was in, I felt good! I wouldn’t be here! I would’ve clocked out! Punched my ticket! Died! Six feet under, don’t be telling me the mitral valve isn’t important! What?
Every member of our body is important? My pinky is important. My eye is important! Sometimes I’ll read these stories, I love to read about, I don’t know, animals and things, and sometimes I’ll read where an animal has like attacked someone, and ripped off their fingers, I know it’s kind of gross. And the writers talk about being dismembered. That’s a tragedy! Maybe you’re here and you’re like, “Man, I don’t have a great toe,” or, someone, “I had to have these fingers amputated.” It’s a tragedy! Tragedy!
Too many believers are dismembered. We’re not working in concert with the body of Christ, with the bride of Christ. We all matter. We all have to work together in unity, in harmony.
Speaking of church membership, we should join the church because the Bible says so! I mean, it’s implied, it’s like, if you’re a Christian, you’re going to be a member of a local church.
Also, there’s a cultural reason behind it, just culturally! We’re not committed to anything anymore. Spouses. Jobs. Careers. Nothing! So it swims against the current.
There’s a practical reason too. Defines who could be counted on! I’m a member of a church, I’m an active member! I’m not a mitral valve just sitting there! No, I’m I’m helping the blood flow, man! I’m a mitral valve!
That’d be like me saying, I play for the NFL. You’re like, “You’re kidding me.” I play for the NFL, your next question, “What team?” No, I don’t play for a team, I just play the NFL. “No man, what team?” No, no, no, no, you’re not hearing me. I’m in the NFL. Well, anyone who knows that, knows you’re playing for a specific team, you have to be on the roster.
The same is true with the church. I meet people all the time, you say, “Oh yeah, I’m a Christian,” really? Really? Where you go to church? “Well, I’m a Christian, I just kind of go from place to place. I’m single, and I hear there’s a lot of cute girls at this church,” and someone else, “I’m married, and my wife and I went to this church for a while, but they started talking about a couple things, I don’t know, they were kind of boring, so we went to this church, and that got kind of boring.”
You’re not always going to enjoy every single meal! I’m the chef and I don’t even enjoy every single meal! Okay? So church membership, are you a member of a church?
Membership, you might want to jot this down, reflects what the church is. We’re a body, right? we’re a family. ♪ We are family ♪ Yeah, also number two, it perfects what the church does. What does the church do, anyway? A church is a one-another entity, one another, one another, one another, love one another, pray for one another, serve one another, one another, one another, one another! That means together we’re better. If it was just my family, it’d be sad. If it was just your family, it’d be sad. If it was just four, five families, it would be sad. The church is massive, Fellowship Church is a massive church! And that’s great!
A massive church reflects heaven, because heaven’s not going to be a small place, it’s going to be a massive place! The only reason the church should be small is if the church is around a small group of people! Now, if it’s small and around a big group of people, you got to go, “Whoa, something ain’t hitting on all cylinders.”
So it reflects what the church is, it perfects what the church does. Also, it injects what the church needs. Commitment, that 10-letter word, commitment. We got to be committed to the house, and I want to challenge you to move around the chairs, I want to challenge you to share, to serve, and to sow, that’s what it means.
But talking about chair two. Many times. In chair two, we have people who just kind of sit there and go, “I’m not sure if I like the food that much.” You know what I’m saying? Well, I read this nutritionist, and she said something, if you’re a physician, you might want to write this down, ’cause this girl’s really smart. Here’s what she said, if you’re like a brand new believer, and you don’t like the food.
Number one she said, schedule meals. Well, we have a schedule here, do we not? Pfft, pfft, pfft, pfft, pfft, pfft, tsh! Pfft, pfft, pfft, pfft, pfft, pfft, tsh! Six and one, six days we do life, boom, we come together at the table for the feast.
That’s what the Bible says! In fact, Acts 2:42, let’s break it down. “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, “and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”
Now, Acts 2:46 says, “Every day!” Let’s say it again. “Every day,” let me stop! Again. And you’re telling me you don’t have our app?
Now, we have some smart people here on our team, we’re not idiots here. Most of us have our seminary degree. If you want to do something that’s scary, check out the education, or the lack thereof, of pastors in the area. I’ll just stop there. So we know what’s going on theologically. Not just me, we have a lot of people on our staff, that they’re earned doctorates. So what we serve here is not like, “Oh, yeah, that’s just what the culture’s saying! Oh, let’s just do this because we’ll get a big crowd.”
No! Heck to the no! We’re praying it, we’re researching it, the Holy Spirit is prompting us, we’re talking to people, and then we present it, whether it’s here in this series called The Table I’m doing now, whether it’s in children’s church, whether it’s at The Mix student ministry, whether it’s in our small groups. Oh yeah! There is a method to this incredible madness.
So every day, we’re sending you digitally the bread of life on our app! Let’s go back again, Acts 2:46, say it again? “Every day.” Every day, I want you to read the Bible. Every day, learn how to feed, oh, here’s some cheese, I love that. I’m telling you, all this stuff about carbs and cheese and whatever, it’s good to have a little bit of carbs, it’s good to have some cheese. Mm! “Every day, they continued to meet in the temple courts.”
Wow, okay. “They broke bread in their homes,” wow, “And ate together with glad and sincere hearts,” check this out. Let’s say it together. “Praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people.”
Man! Do you realize that this church, I just described the first church many scholars believe had like 40,000 to 80,000 people showing up on the weekends? Then, they would meet from house to house, and break bread, where? Around the what, around the what? Yeah, yeah, table.
So, schedule the meal. If your child has a hard time eating, schedule the meal, we have to schedule, and we’ve thought about you. Don’t become, mom, or dad, a short order cook. “Oh, you need this!? Oh, you’re a brand new believer, you want to study the Book of Revelations!” No, it’s Revelation. Don’t start in the Book of Revelation. Don’t become a short order cook.
Here’s the food, we introduce the food, you might not understand everything, you might not like the way it tastes, but you give us a couple of weeks, and you’ll be going like, “Mm, I love this!”
Get the kids involved in the process! Why do you think we’re all up in your grill, serve, serve, serve, serve, serve, serve, serve, serve, serve, serve, serve, serve, serve, serve, serve, serve, why? You understand the process, the beauty behind the whole restaurant.
Also, here’s another one. Have fun! Church should be fun! Doesn’t mean it’s always fun! But it should be fun! Should be exciting! The Fellowship of Excitement! How do you like that? I just thought of that. I’m joking, that’s the name of Dad’s church, that was a joke. No one here knows about Dad’s church, except maybe a couple people in the front row. Sometimes I’ll do humor just for two, three people. You might be saying, “That was stupid.” Well yeah, it was stupid, but to a couple people, they’re like, “Oh my gosh!”
It’s important to do that, but have fun.
Also to have role models! You have role models, family! You better be a role model, brother, a role model to your sister, father, a role model, mom, a role model. At the church, wow! Chair one’s looking at chair two, role model! Chair two’s looking at chair three, role model! Role model! Role model! We’ll emulate and copy those people.
When our granddaughter was born, our daughter Landra had a doula. Have you ever heard of a doula? If you’ve heard of a doula, lift your hand. Okay, a doula is a woman, I love this, who helps another woman give birth. And we have an incredible, I’m sure several doulas here, but the doula we used is named Keisha, in fact, her husband is on our staff. Incredible doula. How do you like that name, doula? Doula!
We should have, and we should be, spiritual doulas. Somebody help me out with clap right there. We help with the birthing process! Being born again! If you’re a believer, who was your spiritual doula? Think back! Who was your doula? Could’ve been your dad. Could’ve been a coach. Could’ve been someone at that Bible study in your school. Could’ve been a pastor. Could’ve been your spouse, who was your doula? Have you ever, just sent them a text? Or more importantly, called them? Written them and just thanked them for being that doula? It’s part of our responsibility. I’m a doula! I’m a spiritual doula! And so are you.