[Post from Discipleship Pastor Dick Williams]
Growing up in a Christian home in a small, rural town in the south during the 1960’s-70’s, with WWII generation parents led to a lifestyle filled with many routine practices. These practices provided much stability, for which I am grateful. One such practice was a daily family meal around our kitchen table. Usually, that meal was dinner… or supper as we called it in the rural south. While mama’s cooking was the best, other characteristics of those meals provide more poignant memories today: the entire family being present, each member given a chance to opine (even me as the youngest), no TV/distractions allowed, everybody ate what was served and like it.
In retrospect, not only was I well nourished physically, but also spiritually. The foundation of who I am today was formed at that table by way of family devotions, learning the Westminster Catechism, current event discussions, stories indigenous to our family, laughter, and tears. In short, the core of my value system was fashioned at my parents’ kitchen table.
I am blessed that God planted me in that family unit. Yet, I count it even a greater blessing to be a member of God’s family at NSBC. Scripture gives evidence of the value God places on being a member of His family (John 17:20-23, Eph. 1:22-23, Eph. 2:19-22, 1Peter 2:9-10). And, just as the kitchen table of my childhood developed me, I believe God can use that venue to do the same for NSBC. Obviously, size, logistics, etc. prevent NSBC from having a daily meal together. Yet, we can meet together for a spiritual meal and enjoy the benefits of sitting around the “kitchen table.” This summer, we will conduct the first annual North Side Summer Roundtable. Let me explain.
Traditionally, summertime has been a time of varied attendance in our discipleship groups. The programming for our children’s groups becomes a larger challenge due to varying schedules of families. Beginning June 7, all our church discipleship groups (1st grade – age 100+) will be meeting together on Sunday and Wednesday evenings in the F.L.C. (historically, our Sunday morning groups have continued to meet during the summer months and are encouraged to continue to do so and/or meet on Sunday or Wednesday evening also).
- Discipleship Group members ages 6 – 100+ will meet in the FLC
- 8-10 people around a table
- A “master teacher” facilitating an abbreviated lesson from the Gospel Project
- Each table discussing the Scripture and lesson content
- Time allotted before and after for fellowship and/or occasional snacks, etc.
- Infants and Preschool children will meet in the Nursery area as usual
This Summer Roundtable does not change the purpose of our Discipleship Groups. That purpose will always remain to equip each other with the word to make disciples.
The Summer Roundtable will allow us to do that equipping with members that we haven’t spent time with; so we can know our family in a more intimate way.
This time will do much to shape our spiritual core. The value of a senior couple mentoring a newlywed couple, a teenager learning how to be a godly single adult, a college student sharing their passion for missions with a senior adult, a child being encouraged by an “adoptive grandparent”…these all are invaluable benefits that will equip the body in unity and knowledge (Eph. 4:13)!