Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Open Table

As I was sitting in a meeting today one of the ladies was talking about a retired executive.  She mentioned how a lot of people tell her they miss him because of how social he was.  He would roam the building from time to time getting to know people.  Not just getting to know their names, but getting to know who they are.  He would even make an appoint to ask them about it the next time he saw them or had time to socialize some with them.

As I listened to her talk it made me realize even more how people desire to be known.  People desire relationships, yet for one reason or another we tend to isolate ourselves. 
I would not by any means call myself a socialite.  In fact, I probably tend to isolate myself more than I should.  I do enjoy being around people who I can actually talk to, but sometimes its hard to find that point of interest that actually gets a conversation started.  

I have a couple friends who I love to be around.  The more I think about why, the more I realize it is because they are always asking questions about me and act as if they genuinely care.  It's not that we don't talk about other things and that I don't ask about them, but they want to know me.

I also know a few people that no matter what the situation, they have something to say.  They enjoy talking about themselves and their lives so much that it sometimes comes across on dominating or self centered.

The more I think about these different situations and circumstances the more I am reminded that God designed us to live in community.  He designed us to need each other.  Each situation lends itself to prove that need.  I know I need it.

These last few months I have been talking to my wife about starting a small group to really get to know people.  As I look at the desire God has for us to be of one mind as Christians I can't help but think that it would mean gathering together more than just on Sundays.  I think living a life as a community means being in the community, getting to know people in the community, inviting people over to get to know who they are.
I found this study that I really want to try.  It's called The Open Table by Donald Miller.  If you have been reading long you will know that he has become one of my favorite authors, if for no other reason than he challenges me to look at life differently.  He is different.  His friends are different.  He isn't "doing church" the same way its always been done.  Instead he spends a lot of time really getting to know people.  I admire that.

What I find interesting about The Open Table is that anyone can join.  You don't have to be a Christian. People from all walks of life can sit down and talk about who God is or isn't to them.  It's a starting point for a friendship and a relationship.  It gives you a non-threatening opportunity to just really talk to people.  Better yet, he has people on video who give their views to even start the discussion.

Anyway, I would really like to purchase the series just to see what it is like, but I haven't done so yet.  I don't really know what I am waiting on other than I want to make sure others are interested.....but I know people are interested, so really I don't know why I am waiting.

Maybe it's because I am nervous for the commitment it takes to spend time with people and really get to know them.  Maybe it's the thought of being rejected.  Maybe its because I don't know if I am ready to take on extra work.  I love people, I really do.  Maybe it's just time to take that first step.


Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. Ephesians 6:19-20 NIV


  1. I love this idea! In fact, God has really been pushing relationships on my heart lately. We go to church and work and school with people we rely on, but don't really know. For crying out loud, I sing in a band with people I love dearly, but don't really know. And it is something I crave. TO satisfy someones need to be known and for someone to know me as well. I say go for it! I'm in.

    1. Thank you for the thoughts! All the more reason I am really considering doing something like this. I know so many want it, but it takes people who are willing to do something to make it really work. Thank you again!