Want a Seat at Table Church? - Hope 103.2

Want a Seat at Table Church?

Board games, BBQs, Bible Study and the attempt to offer variety in how and where we can meet with Jesus

By Ben McEachenThursday 1 Feb 2024Hope MorningsFaithReading Time: 2 minutes

In case you didn’t know, there are a lot of different types of churches.

Not just talking the various styles of Sunday service in a local building, either

Across the world and Australia, organisations and individuals are rethinking what it means to be a church.

Perhaps you have heard of – or are part of – the Micro Church movement.

What about “Table Church”?

Daniel Waugh is pastor of Table Church at Lake Munmorah on New South Wales’ Central Coast.

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“We are a church shaped around the vision of seeing all people given the chance to eat at the meal table with Jesus and his people,” Daniel told Hope Mornings.

“Eating together basically shapes all that we do, so we don’t fit into categories for churches very well.”

Not a competition with other churches

Table Church does a lot of the things which most other churches do.

Regular gatherings, reaching out to the local community, and hoping to make “the main thing that main thing” – following Jesus.

But Table Church does gatherings and outreaches on a smaller scale, with less structure and more board games, BBQs and homeliness.

Before you think it: Church anchored around a dinner table is not intended to be in competition with traditional church services.

Having come from working at a larger suburban church, Daniel was struck by the positives and negatives of size and scale.

“Bigger church is really important and essential for building momentum and for stability in a community,” Daniel said.

“For being able to put on programs, like a youth group… But it’s also really bad for things.

“It’s really bad for intimate relationship, for involving everyone, for discipleship [and] pastoral care.

“They are all more challenging.”

Jesus ‘ate his way through the gospels’

Daniel described Table Church as a “Simple Church”: “It’s like you take a Bible study but you develop it to the point, and with the intention, of serving the role that a full church would do.”

Part of a network of smaller churches supported by Baptist Churches of NSW and ACT, Table Church wants to be part of a varied “ecology” of approaches to doing church.

Also, Table Church is heavily inspired by the amount of meals and socialising which Jesus did.

“The vast majority of Jesus’ ministry was walking on the road or eating with people,” Daniel said.

“There’s a term you might have heard used before, that Jesus ‘ate his way through the gospels’.”

Listen to the full conversation in the player above.

Feature image: Photo by Canva Pro