'Round the Table, a New Kind of Outreach
One thing the pandemic has made clear: we are interpersonal beings who enjoy spending time face-to-face and truly miss gathering together. So as restrictions ease, what if Christians purposely tapped into that social yearning by inviting our unsaved friends or colleagues to a fun event-night to learn new board games or prepare a food dish or make an art or craft project? And what if we gave these unbelievers the option to stay after for a short Bible study that keeps referring back to the night's fun to help them see God or Christianity from an unexpected angle?
'Round the Table (RTT) is not a set curriculum but an adaptable concept for creating your own series of event-nights that are as varied as your hobbies and interests and for finding the gospel truth that meshes well with each night's specific activity. In our second term in Hungary, we will be training churches across the country to start an Asztal Körül ("around a table") outreach in their communities, but this approach could be used anywhere, including right there in your neighborhood.
Here are the basics that make an outreach an RTT outeach:
(1) It leverages the hobbies, talents, interests, and skills of lay believers, turning what didn't seem spiritual into a connection point for outreach.
(2) It pairs your people's interests with community interests to create draw events, selecting each event's activity to perfectly illustrate one simple gospel truth.
(3) It has everyone involved do all they can to get at least one unsaved friend/colleague to attend the draw event because its activity interests them.
(4) It has everyone also invite their friends/colleagues to a completely optional Bible study afterward then apply all the pressure through intercessory prayer.
(5) It puts on a 2-hour draw event led by the layperson/leader who can teach everyone how to do that fun, interactive thing they love.
(6) It ends with a reminder that a Bible study will start after a break but makes it clear this RTT event is over and announces the date and activity of the next event.
(7) It uses aspects of the draw event's experience during the evangelistic Bible study to illustrate that simple gospel truth from the Bible.
(8) It has everyone make at least one weekly followup with those that came w