Dinner Church, church gatherings centered around sharing a meal together, has been rising in prominence over the last few years. In these churches, the Eucharist is not a symbolic meal, but rather a full, literal meal and the time of worship is woven through the time of sharing food and conversation together.
Here is a dinner church reading guide — books that offer a look into the stories, theology, and practice of dinner church.
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John Pattison / C. Christopher Smith
*** Full Disclosure: This is a book I co-wrote.
Although this book was published in 2014, before the surge in interest in dinner church, the book offers a broad vision for the dinner church ethos, and ends with the challenge for readers to re-imagine church as dinner table conversation.
Fast food. Fast cars. Fast and furious. Fast forward. Fast . . . church? The church is often idealized (or demonized) as the last bastion of a bygone era, dragging our feet as we’re pulled into new moralities and new spiritualities. We guard our doctrine and our piety with great vigilance. But we often fail to notice how quickly we’re capitulating, in the structures and practices of our churches, to a culture of unreflective speed, dehumanizing efficiency and dis-integrating isolationism. In the beginning, the church ate together, traveled together and shared in all facets of life. Centered as they were on Jesus, these seemingly mundane activities took on their own significance in the mission of God. In Slow Church, Chris Smith and John Pattison invite us to leave franchise faith behind and enter into the ecology, economy and ethics of the kingdom of God, where people know each other well and love one another as Christ loved the church.