What do you think of when you picture a table? I see people talking, passing food, multiple conversations happening at once, someone giving thanks for God’s provision, unwritten rules of etiquette and manners being observed, and last but certainly not the slightest – real connection. Ahh, yes, connection.
Society craves not only food but tables. Our world is longing for a connection that answers our deep questions:
Do I belong?
Am I beloved?
Solomon said, “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not easily broken.” Only tables have the power to tie people into a cord of strands. Microphones and stages cannot knit hearts, but tables are robust in kingdom dynamics.
There is a divine wind for followers of Jesus that is urging us to the simplicity of hosting tables. Setting tables and building relationships have exponential Kingdom impact. Our team began a ministry called “The Cohort,” and built it on one idea: set the table. We make it accessible, convenient, and encouraging. Most of our tables meet on zoom, and others meet in person. We call it a place for leaders to connect, and we go after two things: better rhythms and deeper relationships. Our tables provide the food of God’s word, and people pass the food around in many different ways. We have learned that when we set the table, the Holy Spirit does the transformation.
Let me offer five practical tips on setting a table:
- Invite a few people and put it on the calendar
- Focus on Jesus and His word
- Be vulnerable to share your story
- Have fun and laugh
- Pray often for one another
In his book, Master Plan of Evangelism, Robert Coleman says, “Jesus’ concern was not with programs to reach the multitudes, but with men whom the multitudes would follow….We must decide where we want our ministry to count—in the momentary applause of popular recognition or in the reproduction of our lives in a few chosen people who will carry on our work after we have gone.”
What’s the real secret to transformation? A Table. Jesus did most of his ministry at a table with a few and taught us to follow Him. If we want to be revolutionary in our disciple-making, we will be wise to set tables. May we accept the invitation to dine with the King. He says: “I stand at the door and knock, anyone who hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and dine (at a table) with Him and he with me.”