KingdomInsight

Creating a Learning Network for Community Builders!

Being DELIBERATE in Breaking Bread together. How we do it and the awesome OUTCOME!

Breaking of Bread…

 

            How often do you break bread with other believers, with Christ in the center?   I must say, for my husband and I ~ I can’t say we ever had a consistent time to break bread with other believers with Christ at the center with the exception of gatherings at our workplace that we call ‘Clusters.’    In our home, no…    We did have fellowship dinners as part of home church gatherings, but church happened ‘before’ the dinner.  The dinner was just for fun for the most time.

           

            Now, all that has changed.   The journey to ‘get here’ has been interesting.   I can say we are ‘there’ – we have regular Christ centered meals, plus one in our home almost every Friday night.   It is a larger gathering, between 8 and 18 gather.   Everyone pitches in.   The time in Christ is rich, deep.     We are connecting authentically to each other and the Lord.   We share the Lord’s Supper.   I hear afterward from those involved:   Wonderful time!  Enjoyed it!   Thinking about doing this in my part of the community!   Love it!

 

            I can tell you, doing this didn’t just ‘happen’.   It took intentionality.   I am writing this to you so that

1)   You can rejoice with us and what we are experiencing

2)   Too many feel disconnected.   Maybe that is you.   And, maybe you are IN a church, but that hasn’t helped.   You don’t have to continue this way.   You can do what we have done.

3)   I am writing to encourage you ~ unless you are regularly and consistently living out the ‘DNA’ of the Kingdom, it is TIME.  Passed time!   The DNA is the basic core things we focus on…   we are being INTENTIONAL in living out these basics with one another:   Loving God, Loving Each Other, The Great Commission, The Apostle’s teaching (scripture and being living letters from God to others), Prayer, Fellowship (partnering in serving Christ), Breaking of Bread.  Read more on this HERE.

 

How we got here…  It was a bit unusual.   Our good friend Zsiphora is a completed Jew.   She has come to see the Jesus is the Messiah.  She and her husband,  Michael, because of her background always celebrate the start of the Sabbath.  The Jews call this Shabbot.   Zsiphora and Michael have been staying near us for the last few months.   We began celebrating Shabbot and inviting a few friends over.     We had a wonderful time and have begun developing a meaningful-for-all tradition.   This is what we do…  

 

Please note, I am not sharing so to tell you what to do, but so that you will get a picture of our time together.   If you are inspired, God can show you how to live this out with Christians you are connected to or want to connect to.

 

We invite those we are connected to and people we want to more deeply connect to.   The purpose is to connect to each other and to God, to encourage each other, to bless each other and to bless the Lord.

 

We are deliberate in creating a memorable evening.   We set a lovely table with candles and fresh flowers.    With our large group, we typically set two tables.  We plan a nice menu ~ everyone brings a dish to pass.

 

During Shabbot, the Jews typically start with the lighting of candles.   Why?  Because it is night and getting dark.  <smile>.   Then they continue with a blessing over the bread and the cup.   We do this as the Lord’s Supper.   We move from the Lord’s Supper to sharing.   Since our sharing time can take from fifteen minutes to an hour or so, we have appetizers on the table that people nibble on while sharing happen.  We share in different ways, most recently we pass a basket with common objects.   Each basket has 3 objects, we ask that people pass the basket first to look at the objects and then again – if they see something they’d like to share to select and use the object to share.   Plus, we invite people to share anything God has put on their heart, to give Thanks for what God has done, to share unmet needs.   Last night, someone spoke about glasses – thanking God for helping with his cataract issue, another from a tiny collection of 5 empty gift boxes spoke about the Ephesians chapter 4 gifts, another took a set of keys and talked about how God opened doors in his life, on and on. We usually have a song or two, prayers, thank you’s to God and other things that edify and encourage.

 

Toward the end of the meal, we pass a book, we call this the ‘Household Journal’.   We have written the “Planner” for next week’s Koinonia Dinner (as we call it).   Each indicates if they are coming next week.   If you are planning a special meal, it is important to know who is coming and how many!   Then each signs up to bring a food item:   Appetizer, Meat, Bread, Veggie, Wine/Juice, Starch, Salad, Dessert, Candles; each signs for work:  Prep (3), Setting tables (1), Clean-up (4);  everyone has an opportunity to sign up for offering the Lord’s Supper, doing a teaching, or a song.   We try to have a good balance between spontaneous and planned.   Both are important.

 

The outcome of all of this?   Real human connection to each other AND connection to God.   It is great.   I’d dare say that, as believers, we ought to be sharing in corporate meals every week.  That would be DEVOTING ourselves to Breaking of Bread!   

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Replies to This Discussion

I can attest to everything that Juanita has posted above. My wife and I've now participated in a number of Shabbat (Michael's, Zsiporah's, Johnny's, and Juanita's) Koinonia dinners. The Shabbat celebration brings tears to my eyes every time since it's all about my Jesus, His Dad, and His Holy Spirit. It begins with blessing the wine and breaking a loaf of bread and blessing it. Wow, the celebration commences with Jesus' communion and then sharing a meal together. What's really surprising is that mainstream Jews are not even aware it's about their Messiah and His sacrifice. Over the past month special bonding and relationships have happened that go deeper and broader than what I've experienced in a church, even though I've been in church ALL my life. This is a special combination of familial-level and community-level bonding that I've never before experienced. I can't wait to host a weekly dinner at my house to bond Christian brothers and sisters in the east end of Tioga Co. I can't wait to take this to my church and community.

Blessings, Dave

Thanks, David!

          Just to clarify...   we started these dinners when Michael and Zsiporah introduced us to the Jewish Shabbat Celebration.    Since that time, we have decided that we want to have a regular time of 'Breaking of Bread'.   And, that is what I think we will be calling them...  a time of Breaking of Bread,  sometimes we will focus on Shabbat (entering into the Sabbath rest of the Lord), sometimes we will focus on koinonia,  Paul, in his times of Breaking of Bread is currently focusing on creating a Family Charter.   Plus, the Clusters we have are also a time of Breaking of Bread.   :-)


Dave Knauss said:

I can attest to everything that Juanita has posted above. My wife and I've now participated in a number of Shabbat (Michael's, Zsiporah's, Johnny's, and Juanita's) Koinonia dinners. The Shabbat celebration brings tears to my eyes every time since it's all about my Jesus, His Dad, and His Holy Spirit. It begins with blessing the wine and breaking a loaf of bread and blessing it. Wow, the celebration commences with Jesus' communion and then sharing a meal together. What's really surprising is that mainstream Jews are not even aware it's about their Messiah and His sacrifice. Over the past month special bonding and relationships have happened that go deeper and broader than what I've experienced in a church, even though I've been in church ALL my life. This is a special combination of familial-level and community-level bonding that I've never before experienced. I can't wait to host a weekly dinner at my house to bond Christian brothers and sisters in the east end of Tioga Co. I can't wait to take this to my church and community.

Blessings, Dave

Juanita,

No problem. I understand perfectly. It's not the Shabbat celebration that exclusively yielded the results. (Hope I didn't erroneously infer that.) But rather it is practicing and devoting oneself to the basic "DNA activities" of God's Kingdom--that is, overall koinonia--fellowshipping together, breaking bread together, communion together, and praying together ON A CONTINUAL BASIS.

Blessings, Dave

David... it has been a real blessing to break bread with everyone.   You did a wonderful job encapsulating the experience in what you wrote (below).  Thanks for sharing!

Dave Knauss said:

I can attest to everything that Juanita has posted above. My wife and I've now participated in a number of  Koinonia  (Michael's, Zsiporah's, Johnny's, and Juanita's) dinners. The Shabbat celebration brings tears to my eyes every time since it's all about my Jesus, His Dad, and His Holy Spirit. It begins with blessing the wine and breaking a loaf of bread and blessing it. Wow, the celebration commences with Jesus' communion and then sharing a meal together. What's really surprising is that mainstream Jews are not even aware it's about their Messiah and His sacrifice. Over the past month special bonding and relationships have happened that go deeper and broader than what I've experienced in a church, even though I've been in church ALL my life. This is a special combination of familial-level and community-level bonding that I've never before experienced. I can't wait to host a weekly dinner at my house to bond Christian brothers and sisters in the east end of Tioga Co. I can't wait to take this to my church and community.

Blessings, Dave

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