Some people, when they become Christians expect to become pastors or have big roles in ministry. They feel like if they’re not doing extraordinary things then they are missing something. Some people don’t become Christians because they’re afraid of what may be required of them.
There are several stories in the New Testament where after Jesus changes someone’s life they ask him, “What now?” And Jesus tells them to go home, tell your friends and family what happened. He tells them to go back to their life, their jobs, their friends circles. Go back and do what you were doing, but tell the people around you what I have done. They weren’t told to go start a church or Bible study. They weren’t asked to be missionaries or follow Jesus and leave anything. They were told to go home.
I think this is the case for 90% of people that meet God. He doesn’t require them to be anything other than ordinary because their story and life change is enough. The people they will reach won’t be listening to the pastors or attending Bible studies. The people at work, the family at holidays, the friends at the bar and in the neighborhoods. Most of us are told to go home and tell our story to people we already know.
This is what I think of when I think about the Mercy Table. Going home, talking to people in our lives. Sharing meals, hanging out, living the life we already live because it’s not about us doing the extraordinary that people will notice or be curious about but us doing the ordinary. Our story will allow the extraordinary to happen because most of the powerful, life changing moments aren’t done by us. It’s God working through us. Our stories will stir thoughts and questions that allow a space for God to introduce Himself through our ordinary lives.
One of the most mundane things we do is eat, but some of the best talks, deepest connections and open conversations we have are over food. First dates are at restaurants, holidays are celebrated around a table, helping the homeless is synonymous with food donations. The mercy Table reaches out through the most mundane avenue but opens doors that pastors will never find. It will open doors that people in the spotlight will never see because they will never know the people around you like you do.
Go home. Tell your story. Be proud of the mundane and ordinary, because when we give God the opportunity to use our lives as they are, He will do the extraordinary. A lot of the ministry Jesus did was around meals, food, hanging out in people’s houses. He preached to the the masses but he changed the lives of individuals. There is nothing wrong with ordinary or mundane. The best position to be in to truly reach people and share Jesus and see lives change is where we already are.
If you’d like to connect with people around you, but don’t know where to start, try food. Invite them to a meal or provide them with one. Start talking, tell your story and ask them about theirs. Just live life in the ordinary and watch for the extraordinary because when you give God room to move He will. He’s just waiting for us to join him.
Written by: Will Griffith