What Happens in G-Vegas…

Each Monday, I’m going to post a brief summary of what we’ve done the previous week in relation to expanding the kingdom of God in Greenville.  So here’s what happened the week of July 27 – August 2:

  1. Found out this week that several copies of my book, “The Jumbo Shrimp Gospel”, have made it into the library of a correctional facility because of a guard who read it.  Several prisoners have already read it.  One of them now wants to become a Christian (obviously not from reading the book, but maybe it helped point him toward Jesus).
  2. I got to hang out with Dave McCants, who planted Two Rivers Church in New Bern, NC.  They’ve got some really cool plans in place–possibly a second campus in military-heavy Jacksonville, NC.
  3. I got an email from another church planter in Greenville who is doing some cool stuff with an initiative called Serve Greenville.  He gave me some info on what it’s about, and it looks pretty cool.
  4. Got to hang out with my boy Evan again, doing some good mentoring.  That’s going to produce some pretty significant fruit for the kingdom.
  5. Other than that, it’s kind of been a frustrating week.  We weren’t able to get together this week with the folks interested in starting a simple church (one got their wisdom teeth pulled, which is totally excusable!).  I’ve pulled a couple hours of overtime (not by choice), which is good for the bank account but bad for other stuff.  I’ve lacked some consistency in my time with God this week.  Just one of those weeks where you spend time questioning what you’re doing… and realizing it’s a cool place to be because you’ve totally got to depend on God.  I guess it’s just His way of saying, “Dude, focus…”
  6. For the first time, we got together with some of the people wanting to be a part of our first simple church and, well “did church” (what would look most like church to those of you in a more traditional setting).  It was really cool.  We celebrated the Lord’s Supper as a full meal, focused on Acts 2:40ff., dreamed about our church and how it can impact Greenville, and prayed for each other, our church, and our city.  It was awesome!

So this week, please pray for the following:

  1. That I will continue to work to keep the focus on God.  I have a terrible habit of relying on myself from time to time (not nearly as often as I used to, but it still happens every once in awhile).
  2. Laura and I are at the place where we’re ready to take the next step in kingdom building here in Greenville.  We’re looking at ways to not only save some coin (cutting off our land line phone, cutting off the cable), but seeing how those things can help us live more missionally.  Just cutting off the TV will help us do other things than rot our brains.  We’ve been chatting about different things that we can do.  Looking to put some action behind the ideas.
  3. The people interested in our simple church–that we can get some consistency in our hang out times.  It’s still at the “if we’ve got the time, we’ll do it” phase, so there’s still some development to take place.
  4. I’m looking for 2-3 guys to mentor.  Still figuring out what it’ll look like, and looking for ways to get involved and meet more dudes.
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About Aaron

Aaron is a follower of Jesus. He's married to his smokin' hot wife Laura and is the father of three adorable girls. He enjoys a robust cigar, a complex root beer, a good movie, writing, football, thought-provoking books, and rousing discussions about subjects you're not supposed to talk about (like theology and politics). Religious people irritate him (because he once was one). He's on a quest to find the perfect dry rub and sauce for ribs.
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15 Responses to What Happens in G-Vegas…

  1. Koffijah says:

    The Lord’s supper as a full meal… can you explain or describe in detail how you do this? Also, feel free to explain why as well as how. Thanks!

    • Aaron says:

      Hey K. Welcome back. And congrats to the addition to your family!

      This is something that, while not stated explicitly in scripture, seems to have been what they did. It’s certainly the case in the Corinthian church. In 1 Cor. 11, Paul talks about people getting drunk and stuffed at their common meal, and then in the next breath talks about the Lord’s Supper. It seems that the agape feast and the Lord’s Supper took place at the same time. And unless churches are serving grain alcohol and that Elf bread from the Lord of the Rings, you’re not gonna get drunk on a thimble full of juice and a crumb of bread. There is debate among scholars over Luke’s use of the term “breaking of bread” (or, in several places it is literally “the breaking of the bread”) in Acts–does it mean the Lord’s Supper, meals? I think it could refer to both. Again, nothing explicit in Scripture, but a conclusion drawn based on the circumstances.

      As to the why, it definitely adds to the celebration factor. The Lord’s Supper in many churches is solemn, almost sad. But with a full meal, especially when focused upon the death, resurrection, and return of Christ, it really does become a celebration. And we do have a lot of grape juice on hand, and some flat bread in with the meal.

      Having said that, I’m not saying a solemn time with a sip of juice and bit of bread is wrong. This is one of those things people can agree to disagree on.

  2. Koffijah says:

    Thanks, Aaron. I’m wondering if you can describe in a little more detail how you do it. I mean, do you say certain things, read certain scriptures, talk about certain things during the meal, etc.? How is it different from any other meal when you give thanks before eating?

    Please don’t think I’m knocking it by asking. Actually, from the time I became a Christian I’ve always thought something was a bit forced or artificial by the form of eating a bread pellet and a microsip of juice.

    • Aaron says:

      Hey K,

      I think this is going to “evolve” as we go along. This was the first time we tried it, and everyone seemed to think it was cool. I talked a little about the Lord’s Supper and why we were doing the full meal, specifically from 1 Corinthians 11 and what we learn from there. Then everyone shared a bit about what the Lord’s Supper makes them think, feel, etc. A lot about unity, fellowship, Jesus’ death and resurrection. Then one of us prayed, then we ate.

      I’m certain we’ll try things differently as we go–and I like the idea of saying and reading things during the meal. That’s cool. One thing I do know–we weren’t hammered and gluttoned like the Corinthians were, so I know we got that part right!

      Dude, thanks for helping me think some more through this. I dig it!

  3. Koffijah says:

    Thanks, Aaron. Just thinking about this… and I would never want to raise up some new kind of pattern and be dogmatic about it… but if you look at the Last Supper, it was a full meal… which included wine and bread… and, apparently after eating, Jesus pulled out these two elements and gave special notice to them, passing them around. Perhaps it would be cool to have a special basket of bread and chalis of wine in the center of the table (or just present with the meal) and then pray and read scriptures before eating… and then when people are winding up the eating, have one person pull these two things out, say some words and pass them around. Just thinking. What do you think?

  4. Koffijah says:

    And a prayer to FINISH the meal, as well as one to open it. ??

  5. Pingback: Deep Within the Bowels of the Comments… « The Road Less Traveled

  6. Stuart says:

    (This is going off memory, but I’m pretty sure it’s accurate.) When Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper, he was following the Passover tradition. There were four “toasts” in the Passover celebration where words were spoken and the “fruit of the vine” was drunk. Jesus mixed it up on the third one and said of the juice, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” That ofc wasn’t part of the Passover script. But Jesus was transforming it into what would be a memorial service for him.

    I think the Lord’s Supper is most at home as part of a meal, like the Passover. The whole meal should be characterized by the proper attitude on the part of the believers. But at some point, the “emblems” should be specifically referenced and taken.

    If people drink grape juice or wine during the meal, they can drink from that same cup imo for the memorial part if they want. If you’re eating pizza, that may be pushing it for the bread, heh.

    The eating and drinking unworthily, as I understand it, wasn’t because the Corinthians didn’t sit quietly enough while the organ played thinking the somberest of thoughts, but because their actions grated against the very purpose of the memorial. They were carousing and indulging themselves with no concern for their less fortunate brothers and sisters or their Savior who had died for them all.

    I hate watching a lot of people take communion. I can’t judge their hearts, but I often get the mindless ritual vibe.

  7. Koffijah says:

    I like that Stuart called them “toasts” in describing the Passover. Because when you think of a “toast” in our modern culture, it could be a cultural equivalent in some ways (to the elements of drawing people attention during the Passover meal–not the Lord’s Supper). Certainly, the Lord’s Supper has more meaning that to just say with cup raised high, “Here’s to Jesus!” But I think there are some correlations and for people new to the Christian community it might be a way that makes them feel more comfortable participating (or even observing) because there is already a similar cultural pattern. So, to do the Lord’s Supper as a type of toast, during a full meal, where we gather everyone’s attention for a moment, tell them what they need to be thinking about regarding Jesus’ death and resurrection and how that is meaningful to us, and then all eating bread and drinking wine/juice together (whether from one cup or many, but I think one cup would be cool if you didn’t have people all worked up about germ transmission) at the same time would be very meaningful. I guess I kind of like the idea of it being at a point later in the meal with everyone’s attention drawn. A meal will have “fellowship” and people talking. If they don’t know each other, then by that point in the meal they probably will (assuming if attendance is in the 10-20 size range) and then taking it together would have a much more community feel to it–that we as a group are worshiping Christ, rather than just me as an individual sitting in a crowd. If you had a larger crowd of people, it would be cool to have people prepared to lead “The Lord’s Toast” as a part of “The Lord’s Supper” at each table. Or, have the whole room’s attention drawn at once the same as we would do a toast at a large wedding reception. Again, nothing to get dogmatic about, but just some ideas.

    • Aaron says:

      And some pretty darn good ideas at that. Really good stuff, guys.

    • Stuart says:

      Btw, each of the disciples would have had their own cups. “This cup” isn’t literally referring to the cup Jesus is holding at that one alone. I’m pretty sure that’s the case any way.

  8. Stuart says:

    *isn’t literally referring to the cup that Jesus is holding alone

    I have no idea where “at that one” came from, haha.

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