Sunday at church we had a pot luck lunch. Logistics forced us to set up tables of 8 chairs each. The congregation sat at the tables during the service and afterward for the meal. In the above picture, many were still getting their food. Just about each table was filled. This accomplished something I have been advocating for many years. I wished we always sat at tables.There are many reasons. Sunday I was in position to look over the entire congregation and how they reacted to the tables. What I saw strengthened my argument that we should do this more often. I am not the only one to think this way: http://www.morethancake.org/archives/2604 http://franconiaconference.org/worshiping-around-the-table/
Made the meal possible. First off, it made having the pot luck possible. The early church ate together. It’s a church thing.
Facilitates conversation. A circular table naturally facilitates conversation. I saw lots of it on Sunday. It’s so much more natural to talk to each other when we are face-to-face than when we sit in rows.
Enhances community. Although, as my grandson pointed out, many people sat at tables with friends and family, there were many who were sitting with people they didn’t know. I bet there are some good stories out there about how we learned a bit about each other Sunday.
Makes note taking easy. It’s great to have a flat surface to work on an a place to spread out your bible and notebook.
There are others things which would be possible at the tables which is not in the normal configuration.
Exchange of ideas. Why not have a discussion period in which the sermon is discussed at each table? It may be the only forum in which question asking would be facilitated.
Group prayer. Why not have a period where we pray at the tables? This might be a bit intimidating to some, but it’s a lot less intimidating to pray in a group of eight than in an auditorium of hundreds.
Isn’t it sad that most Sundays we don’t do what the early church did? We don’t eat together. We don’t encourage each other. We don’t pray together. We don’t respond to the gospel. We don’t really learn how each other is doing. Tables are a powerful tool in changing all that. I’m not the pastor but if I were, we would see a lot more tables in church.