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Recipe for Ministry


It is an indisputable fact that food and fellowship are effective methods for church growth.

a recipe for ministry, part two

By Richard Atwood


Consider the following Food Facts:

  • Lemons contain more sugar than strawberries

  • You’re more likely to be hungry when you’re cold.

  • The average person eats almost 1,500 pounds of food each year.

  • Cabbage is 91% water.

  • In Japan, the most popular topping for Domino’s pizza is squid.

  • Eating together breaks down barriers and lets people have time to get to know each other.


Obviously, the last one is my opinion. But, it is a indisputable fact that many church planters use food to bring people together to build a church. When I was saved as a teenager in Maryland, our church would sometimes have “dinner on the grounds.” I don’t know why they called it that, because we never ate on the ground! But we always had a great time. The church people became my family. Many miles and many years later, those people are still my friends. Our FWB church planters understand that people like to go to church where their friends are. Eating together is a great way to make friends.


David Sexton and Marc Neppl – Suffolk, Virginia

We use food in a variety of ways at Crosspointe. After an F2 tornado struck our community in April 2008, we passed out meals with tracts and brochures in them. We simply wrapped hot dogs in tin foil and included a bag of chips and a soda. In the second week, local businesses donated free food for us to distribute. Chick-fil-A provided chicken sandwiches and Pizza Hut gave us pizzas. Again, we passed out the food accompanied by church brochures and tracts.

In addition to disaster relief efforts, we have discovered that anytime we have a finger food social, people will come. We have enjoyed some of our largest groups in David's home just by having a Friday night fellowship with finger foods.


Recipe for Ministry, Part Two

Greg Floars - Marquette, Michigan

We use food all the time! More than 150 people came to our home for a cookout on Memorial Day. We cook pigs on big days—North Carolina style. Everybody in the area knows about our “pig pickings.” The first one was held at our home on the day of our kick-off service. Four people were saved that day.


Michael Hutton - Spring Hill, Tennessee

We served refreshments for the first time recently, and it went well. We offered snacks and soda 30 minutes before the service. We were surprised at the good response. We plan to do this on a regular basis. In addition, the meal after our launch service went really well. Apparently, cheesecake is a big hit!


Howard Gwartney in Florence, Arizona

We invite people into our home often! We have had as many as 35 guests at one time, and we try to make them all feel welcome. We get together for rehearsals, meetings, and of course, just for fellowship.

On some Saturdays, the men of the church eat breakfast together, and a group of ladies from the church get together regularly for lunch and activities. I also take first and second time guests out to lunch to get acquainted with them and to talk with them about the Lord, church, etc. I am encouraging others in the church to do this as well.


Stephen Gray in Collinsville, Illinois

Last week, several visitors came to the Sunday morning service as a result of our food ministry. We distributed food on the streets of St. Louis all winter. This has become a passionate ministry for the church. Up to 15 people go on Winter Patrol to abandoned warehouses, underpasses, and the streets of the city. One gentleman lives on the river, just south of the Arch, and we have gotten to know him better than most. Last week two volunteers picked him up for the service, and then several people took him to lunch. He had been in church before, but said he liked our service, and it really caused him to think about some things.


Jeff Cates in Canyon, Texas

Most Sunday mornings, everyone is invited to a big country breakfast before the morning service. At our recent anniversary celebration, we enjoyed a brisket lunch.

About the Writer: Richard Atwood is the director of missionary assistance for the Home Missions Department. Learn more about Free Will Baptist Home Missions at


©2009 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists