Tuesday 8 April 2014

Love feasts update

I just had the privilege of meeting with Tom Bloomer through a Google Hangout. He met with a group of missionaries and gave an insight into the background to Love Feasts. His message referred back to the history of the Love Feasts and gave the team the feedback that, although Youth With A Mission (YWAM) has different expressions of this, there is no need to make a 'copy' of what happened 40 years ago in one operating location. Rather, see what the elements are of good fellowship - being honest, asking tough questions, forgiving and seeking forgiveness - can be present in our meetings.

Tom emphasised the importance of eating together as a primary focus for some deeper interaction. Referencing studies of teenagers who regularly eat the evening meal together are less likely to engage in illicit behaviour - drugs, alcohol, anti-social behaviour etc - and they would be mentally and physically more healthy.

Studies have shown that teenagers who regularly eat dinner with their families are less likely to engage in illicit behavior involving drugs and alcohol and more likely to get better grades and be mentally and physically healthy.

A study done by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse revealed that teens who eat fewer than three family dinners per week compared to those who eat five to seven a week are twice as likely to use alcohol and tobacco and one and a half times more likely to use marijuana.
(ref: Psychology Today Blog)

I think I can learn a lot from this Elder in our mission, whose passion is to serve Jesus, whatever it takes, and has a legacy of doing just that. Hearing the simplicity of what we need to do - invite people into our homes and share food with them, I'm inspired to apply that to our own ministry.

It was something that we felt strongly when we came to Muizenberg. We felt God say: open your home and make people in your midst feel welcome. Having people to dinner has always been a blessings, and somehow, there's always enough food. May God increase our capacity to welcome people into our house and be willing to share and be vulnerable in the community - to continuously humble ourselves and raise Him up.

Tom ended the Hangout with a challenge to try and have a meal together with our teams once a week; to step away from fast food; to take our time over eating and fellowship with one another.

No comments: