• Larry & Janet Neville

The Disciple-Making Table

Jesus gave many if not most of his teachings will at a table.


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1. The Importance of the Table in Life of Jesus

Matthew 26:20, When it was evening, he reclined at table with the twelve. 21 And as they were eating, he said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” 22 And they were very sorrowful and began to say to him one after another, “Is it I, Lord?”


Matthew 9:10, And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples.


Matthew 26:7, A woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.


Jesus is restoring Peter, as Jesus fed them Breakfast.


John 21:12-14, Jesus said, “Breakfast is ready.” Not one of the disciples dared ask, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Master. Jesus then took the bread and gave it to them. He did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus had shown himself alive to the disciples since being raised from the dead. 15 After breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”


The fastest way to find common ground with an enemy is to sit at the table and break bread with them.


The First Church

Acts 2:46–47, They followed a daily discipline of worship in the Temple followed by meals at home, every meal a celebration, exuberant and joyful, as they praised God. People in general liked what they saw. Every day their number grew as God added those who were saved.


I’ve seen the power of The Table all over the world. I have sat or reclined at tables with people all over the world. Something happens when people eat together, connecting.


2. The Missing Table in life and ministry today.

In the US culture today, there is not much that happens around the table. Many families seldom eat around the table together.


2018 Cigna National Survey on Loneliness*

"Only around half of Americans (53 percent) have meaningful in-person social interactions, such as having an extended conversation with a friend or spending quality time with family, on a daily basis."


"In a survey of over 20,000 adults in the US, nearly half reported “always feeling alone,” while one in four Americans claimed that they “never feel as though there are people who really understand them.”


"Even worse, two in five adults say they “always feel that their relationships are not meaningful” and as many surveyed claimed they “are isolated from others.”


3. Challenge to THE MINISTRY OF THE TABLE.


Why not, setup a table and transform some lives?


"Barna group: 38% of practicing Christians say they have no non-Christian friends."


“This means they are fishermen who aren’t anywhere near the fish.”

Do you desire ministry?

What does ministry look like to You?

Preaching? Pulpit? Position? Head usher? Worship Leader?

One of the fantastic things about table Ministry is that anyone, anywhere can.

You don’t need an organization, education, formal training.

You don’t need to launch a bunch of groups.


Consider: Offering hospitality. Invite someone to a coffee shop, a few co-workers? Neighbors?


Ministry is asking God how we can gather and care for the people right around us and create the place for spiritual conversations.’*


(1.) The Table is about the small group

Jesus, Two or Three gather in my name . . .


(2.) Table Involves HOSPITALITY


"Bernice King speaking at an event commemorating the 2015 massacre at the city’s Mother Emanuel AME Church. King said that if the diverse groups in Charleston were serious about loving and understanding one another, they needed to be more intentional and meet more often or have dinner together."*


To love the whole world For me is no chore; My only real problem’s My neighbor next door.


Matthew 9:10, And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples.


(3.) Table is about expanding our friendships.

Get comfortable with the same ol friends.

Expand our friendship.

Get over selfishness.


4. The Reward of The Ministry Table

A table is a place where everyone helps everyone improve.


"I was thinking about what you said about “The table”and how I got saved. It wasn’t at a church or outreach or any church event. It was simply around a lunch table. The maintenance guy were I taking care of the landscaping simply asked what time to you take lunch maybe we can have lunch together. He began to ask me questions like what kind of music do you enjoy. I naturally said “ rock in roll, like Kiss man” He said I’ll bring you some rock in roll, have you heard Petra or Striper. Bring it man I’ll listen to it. Low and behold we became friends and he was a pastor of a all Spanish church. I drove to his church out of town for the longest time until he said I needed to go to an English church and 35 years later here we are. It still true today and there is evidence all around us. I am visiting a person in the hospital and am going to be seeing a person that has been stuck at home since he got COVID-19 about three months ago. As you said “if we look hard enough and chose to be available there’s people out there that needs some encouragement and prayer “ Floyd Villaescusa

"Couple days ago neighborhood had a group call talk about forming a neighborhood watch. My wife got idea, End call she said, we are going to be walking our dog outside a while tonight welcome to join us, dozen neighbors joined for over hour walked, talked. Guitar, two getting together." Joe Olsson


John Maxwell, "Because I’ve always wanted to make a difference, I have worked to help people for most of our lives. Through the years, I’ve approached that goal in many different ways. I’ve counseled people one-on-one. I’ve taught. I’ve created staff training programs. I’ve hosted conferences and seminars. I’ve spoken at large events. I’ve built organizations. I’ve written books. I’ve created resources on paper, audiotape, videotape, DVD, and internet platforms. After more than fifty years, I’ve come to a conclusion: transformation happens one table at a time."*


Blessings,


Larry


* Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.