Seen the inspiring movie, Julie and Julia, yet? If not, what are you waiting for? This part of my blog is in deference to the ladies and the blog that inspired the movie…
That said, I will be taking time out, each weekend, to share “recipes” on how to do ministry better…I’ll be reviewing books, interviewing church planters or other leaders in the missional movement, and the like.
I thought I’d start off ‘simply’ by reviewing an excellent book by Anna Robbins, a lecturer in Theology and Contemporary Culture at London School of Theology. The book, entitled: Sharing the Feast: Recipes for Evangelism and Discipleship for Today’s Church and was published by Spring Harvest in 2005. I highly recommend its purchase, it is one of those “need-to-have-it-in-your-library” books.
The premise of the book is a simple one (and catchy, too, if you enjoy thinking about these issues in terms of table-fellowship): “The way we relate the gospel to the world today is much like hosting a dinner party, or serving up a feast.” We are serving up a “feast” for others; some will be familiar with our offerings and hence, will come to the table readily, while others, culturally unfamiliar with our ‘food’ will be hesitant or no-shows to our fêtes if we continue to serve nothing but the standard, boring fare we have been for centuries. Robbins acknowledges that the thought of trying to present the gospel to “unfamiliar taste buds” can be a daunting one, but that it is a necessary part of evangelism and discipleship.
Unfortunately, there are many who find comfort and peace in having their “pearl onions” every Christmas- tradition is important- and Robbins stresses that there is much there is much that is good that should not be discarded simply because it has been sitting around for a long time in the cupboard. She emphasizes the need to be able to distinguish between the “staples” of ministry and doctrine from the “seasonal produce” that may or may not need to be added to make the “dish” palatable to a certain audience.
And so, Robbins sets forth a set of principles with regard to “cooking up” opportunities for evangelism and discipleship within and outside of the church utilizing a healthy and fresh combination of “staples from the cupboard’ and “seasonal items”.
More later...In the meantime, buy the book and we can read it together.
Rice and Peas~