Have you heard of IF: Table? IF Table is a once a month gathering of 6-8 women for a meal with the purpose of creating community. The IF Gathering leaders provide 4 intentional questions designed to create deeper relationships.
It’s a beautiful concept. We had our first IF: Table gathering a few weeks ago. In a dining room of the cafeteria on a snowy March evening, 15 students gathered for dinner and intentional conversation. Bonds began that night, and my prayer is that they are bonds that will continue into the future past this semester.
Jen Hatmaker has a new book coming out soon. I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy. In the chapter entitled “Dear Church…” Jen says “The early church involved small, organic communities who gathered around tables, lived simple lives on a mission, and loved God and neighbor. That was kind of it. The first believers assembled for renewal and teaching and dinner and togetherness.”
There it is, IF: Table, an intentional conversation, it’s church people! Not a week goes by that an article doesn’t cross my desk these days about the Millennial Generation and their aversion to the current church. Barna Research lists reasons for Millennials leaving the church including the church is judgmental and unwelcoming to those who have doubts, churches seem overprotective, and churches look like a production amongst many others.
If we are going to reach the Millennial Generation we have to begin to speak THEIR language. We have to work to meet our college-aged students where they are currently. As I consider the 3 reasons I listed above, IF: Table seems to be the response to all of them. Could it really be that simple? Could we reach a generation just by having a meal, asking intentional questions and listening?
I pray it can.