Delightful Dining: The People

cc1In keeping with our theme of service this month, we’re going to have a five-part series about serving others with a meal. We’re told in 1 Peter 4:10 that, “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another…” Whether we can cook well or not, we can use our gifts to help serve this meal!

We’re going to start the week off by talking about enlisting help from others and inviting the guests; we’ll continue into how to plan the meal, how to prepare the host’s home, and the proper way to serve company. Then we’ll close off the week with a few suggestions for entertainment, as well as offer full menu suggestions and recipe links.

The upcoming lists and suggestions can be used by everyone involved in the planning, and volunteers can choose different responsibilities from the lists to complete. It may be helpful to print several copies for, or send links to, the other volunteers so they can have a reference during the planning process.

People Planning

Enlist help from others. Maybe your family would like to serve a meal together, or maybe a group of friends (or just one other friend) would like to be involved. Let others know your idea, and don’t turn anyone down who expresses an interest in helping. Also, be sensitive to other people’s financial needs––if someone wants to help, but can’t contribute financially, warmly accept their offer to help and tell them not to worry about the money.

Choose a place. Your group can pick the most appropriate house for the occasion––maybe someone has a large kitchen, or a big dining room table. Take advantage of that if it’s okay with their parents! If everyone has small spaces, don’t let that stop you––you can borrow a card table and chairs from someone or lay out a picnic blanket on the floor for younger guests. If the weather is nice, have an outdoor dinner, setting up card tables or picnic tables.

Set a tentative date. Tentatively set a specific date and time, but have a few possible dates in mind that will work for your group. This will allow some flexibility when talking to the potential guests in case most of them aren’t available on your first date choice.

cc2Designate jobs. There are plenty of jobs available that don’t include cooking! An artistic group member can plan on setting the dinner table or decorating the dessert. Someone who loves to talk on the phone could call to invite the guests. An organized person can manage everyone helping to make sure all needed areas are taken care of, and they could make to-do and grocery lists. The shopper of the group could pick up the groceries from the store, and the person who loves math can figure out how much everyone owes so one person isn’t stuck with most of the bill, or which store to shop at to get the best deals. No matter what everyone’s talent is, if you think creatively, you can use those talents to help with this event.

Plan a guest list. Allow your group to have input on this so you can all decide who to invite together. Keep this simple, and invite somebody who wouldn’t expect it. If there’s a lady at church who often does things for others without reciprocation, invite her (and her husband, if she’s married). Or you can invite an elderly couple, or someone who’s spouse has passed away. Maybe a neighbor lives alone and would love an evening of fellowship. Keep the guest list fairly small (four to eight people is a good amount), but make sure to include everyone in their household––if you invite an elder and his wife, also invite any children who are still living at home.

Finalize the date and time. The phone person can call around to tell all guests and helpers the exact date and time to be marked on their calendars.

Exchange numbers. Make sure the guests have your phone number, and you have theirs, so you can contact each other if any plans change. It may also be helpful to make a phone number sheet with all of the volunteers’ names and numbers to copy and pass around to the group who’s serving (a great job for the organizational person!).

Coming up

Later, we’ll discuss other aspects of planning this dinner. You can start planning now by following the “people planning” list, and continue later with the details that will follow. Enjoy serving Christ by serving others!

By Davonne Parks

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