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Church Around the Dinner Table… Litterally

img_0043While traveling in the greater London area, I had the privilege of meeting (and dining with) Paul and Fran Hendrick in Gilford, England. They have planted a church in their home right around the dinner table. They have opened their lives and their home to students attending the university in the area. They have a large home with many rooms which they open to students. Currently they have five people living in their home with them (4 of which are students). Their church gathers in a very relational way around the dinner table for a Sunday lunch, a Monday night Bible study, and Saturday night worship. For birthdays in the group, they have prayer at the local Starbucks. Fran is a marvelous cook (I and my stomach can attest to that), and it is no wonder how this very caring and hospitable couple attract peopl into their home and their lives. They have been doing this for a little over a year, and in the past year they have a core group of about twenty people – consisting of five different nationalities. They have had a total of eighty-two people attend their gatherings, and have had thirty people in total staying in their home in the past year.

Paul and Fran have been in ministry together for twenty-eight years. What they love about what they are doing now is that they are simply ministering out of “who they are” and truly sharing their lives with people. To board in their home, it is not required that you attend their church gatherings. However, they find that all who stay become curious and tie in relationally with the others around the dinner table. You also do not have to have any religous background or be a professed Christian to be a part of their fellowship. In fact, many who attend aren’t, but they are drawn to the authentic relationship that they find with the others present. In this very relational and hospitable environment, they are drawing people into relationship with eachother and with Christ.

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