Beacon’s Relational Ministry Luncheon
started at least 10 years ago and has followed
the same structure of a hot meal, preach-
ing, and incentives—bus pass, gas card, or
Schnucks card.
The average attendance was 40 people.
After some reflection, we realized we were
missing an opportunity to really get to know
and engage our guests and felt restructuring
was in order.
We stopped the incentives. Since late Oc-
tober 2014, we have offered a hot meal and
time for focused conversation on topics such
as forgiveness, money, life goals, support
systems, etc.
We feel this new model better embod-
ies the purpose of this ministry which is to
break bread with one another as Jesus of-
ten did with His disciples, friends, enemies,
and strangers while sharing the message of
God’s love and redemption through mutual-
ity of care. Our average attendance under the
new model is 18.
Although our numbers have decreased,
we have seen many fruits bloom from the
changes we have made.
Many participants have commented on
how much they appreciate that time and
space of meaningful conversation. We have
also noticed an unanticipated shift happen-
ing during our Relational Luncheons.
With every passing week, Beacon staff
and volunteers have felt the divides between
“us” and “them” slowly fade into equal par-
ties sharing life together around the table.
We have rediscovered our goal of Relational
Luncheons as not to “fix them,” but to love
one another and share in a mutuality of care.
These conversations are designed for ev-
eryone to be the teacher and everyone to be
the student.
Should someone act to change their life
based on something said in our conversa-
tions, great! However, God’s love for us
does not increase or diminish based on our
choices.
We are simply creating a space to share
of ourselves in community with one another.