Tonight we began our second term of Taste & See at Hope Church. Preaching, praise, food, Bible study, fellowship and laughter together make for really blessed and happy Sunday evenings. So what’s Taste & See?
We begin at 5.30, and top and tail a shorter sermon (25 mins max) with praise and prayer. At about 5 past 6 we have a simple meal together –soup and a roll, hotdogs, jacket potatoes, that sort of thing – and ask a £1 contribution to cover costs. At 6.30 we’re ready to break into our study groups, where we learn, share and pray together for an hour. We’re then ready to enjoy coffee and cake.
We believe that the whole church should come together, so we welcome the church’s children, and have a session for the smaller ones called BookWorms, where they learn Bible stories, and then join us for food.
Last term in the preaching we looked at the Life of Abraham, as the lens through which we learned about Christian faith. In our Bible times we studied Ephesians.
And we love it. These evenings are precious times for learning from God’s Word, and for really getting to know each other, and share the joys and the priorities of the Gospel. In my study group tonight there were eight sharing, four of them between twelve and fourteen, a nineteen year old student, and three crusties! It was thrilling that the younger members were so keen to study, and were asking great questions, and being so honest about the struggles they have in getting to grips with God’s Word.
We’ve only just started this pattern of ministry, so it’s too early to make real evaluations. The strengths of the work are obvious, though:
- we give a lot of time to learning from the Bible. This is a sermon and a Bible study in one evening, each of them concise, and people are motivated to get the most from each.
- people love eating together. Christians should do a lot of it. Our food is very simple, with minimal prep time and minimal mess, and our people appreciate that coming together as church will feed body as well as soul.
- we focus on each other. Time under God’s Word in the sermon, and then sharing it in groups, coupled with chatting over food and refreshments, means that people can really enjoy each other’s company.
- Sundays are special. Taste & See gives us all something we can really enjoy on the Lord’s Day. And week by week we learn that Psalm 34.8 is true.