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.
For nearly two thousand years followers of Jesus have gathered in churches to eat a meal called Communion in his memory. In Table Talk, Mike Graves claims if we could travel back to those earliest Christian gatherings, we would realize we are not just two thousand years removed; we are light-years removed from how they ate when gathered because eating was why they gathered in the first place, a kind of first-century dinner party.
Four characteristics of their Communion practices would leap out at us, traits that are scattered throughout the New Testament, but that often go unnoticed: how the meal was part of a full evening together, promoting intimacy; how it was a mostly inclusive affair, everyone welcome at the table; how it was typically festive, more like a dinner party; and how afterwards they enjoyed a lively conversation on a host of topics.
But Table Talk explores more than just Communion practices, because a new way of doing church is happening around the world, gatherings more horizontal than vertical. For two thousand years Christians have oriented themselves toward God in the presence of others; now a growing number of congregations, part of the dinner church movement, are orienting themselves toward each other in the presence of God. This book tells their story and helps us rethink our own.