#56 Food and Church Growth [Podcast]


donutsGrowing a church and attracting young families into a Bible-believing environment may take some new approaches these days.  The old fashioned Word has never changed, but our parking lots have. No more hitching posts needed; close-in paved parking is the preference of all of us.  The oil lamps are gone and the brightly lit nursery and kids facilities are the norm. Enhanced audio through microphones, sound systems, and recording has found its place in ministry.  So what does all this mean for conservative folk, trying to get new young moms and dads to come to church? It means you might just have try to do something that no one else is doing, so you can reach someone that no one else is reaching. This podcast explores using food as one of those neutral elements that might just help reach a new family.

Some of life greatest moments occur with food nearby. Dinner dates, family meals, hot dogs on a campfire, wedding receptions come to mind.  Maybe you can add church and spiritual decisions to that list?


Well prepared food can make a great first impression to a young family seeking a church home.


Why have food? It can take the edge off and alleviate an outside pressure.  As much as possible, lets help make folks comfortable.

Rules for having food at a Sunday morning service.

  • Have plenty. Don’t run out. Make sure you have leftovers. Don’t run out!
  • Have good food.  You are my guest. I have the best for you.
  • Have choices. Pastries, pre-wrapped granola bars, carrot sticks, etc..
  • Have specials. Blueberry Sunday, cinnamon roll Sunday, Man snacks, jerky, jalapeño poppers, etc..
  • Have people make them. Use your gift for the Lord.
  • Kids: Snacks or no snacks.  Just manage it as it works for you.
  • Drinks: Coffee, Tea, Water bottles.
  • Have gluten-free and diabetic snacks.
  • Have fancy coffee/espresso on special days.
  • The church needs to treat people as special guests.

Are you attracting new, young families to church? We work hard to get them to church, let’s do all we can to keep them here!  Snacks will allow the mom to delay her departure. The hungry  kids can have a snack.

We tried chips and salsa on a Sunday morning. It went very well.

Other ideas:

  • Lunch and Learn- Eating a meal after church and begin the teaching during the meal.
  • Emergency Meals- Meals to folks in church and community that have special needs resulting from an accident, death, or surgery.

Take meals to folks as a family. Kids get to see mom and dad in a ministry position.
You build a special relationship when you take a meal.

  • First timer guests get cookies or a fresh made bread.
  • Foodbank ministry gives out food boxes once a month.  Special emergency food boxes can be given. Foodboxes can be given out after church on the way home by regular families on a Sunday morning.
  • Special food events- Hors devours made by folks and given out at couples events.  Gives a new folks chance to serve
  • Thanksgiving Community Dinner for the entire community.  Learn more here.

Step out of routine. Take a chance. Use food to serve people with winning them to Christ in mind.

Is food a legitimate tool for a local church?  What do you think?

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Mike Holmes

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