When we think about our Christian walk, we know and acknowledge that fellowship is important. We often fellowship through time spent together, whether that is through worshipping, learning, or eating together. We are constantly creating relationships and enjoying time together. This feeling of genuine fellowship was something that Broadway Baptist Church wanted to emulate in their weekly dinners.
Every Thursday, Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas, holds a large dinner to provide free and warm meals to the community. They call this weekly gathering the Agape meal, a reference to God’s unconditional love. This love is shared through that weekly meal and fellowship. Anyone can come in to relax and enjoy a nice dinner, receiving nourishment of the body and spirit.
One Thursday, my Acteens group had the opportunity to volunteer as servers for the dinner. We put on our aprons and got to know some of the other volunteers. Once the people filed into their seats, we talked and served them as best we could. We essentially acted as waitresses and served to the needs of the tables. We filled drinks, brought food out to our tables, and served dessert. The atmosphere of the dinner was very relaxed and genuine. There was a constant ebb and flow of chatter and laughter that was heard throughout the room. Round tables packed with people filled the mess hall, with servers bustling through the rows, carrying drinks and serving tables. This dinner was a symphony that symbolized the meaning of fellowship and family. It truly was a sight to see.
Before the meal began, there was an opening prayer. In that prayer, the greeter said to the more than 175 people gathered that week, “God wants you to have this bread.” The greeter acknowledged that, not only the meal but also the opportunity to share it together, was a gift God provided to them. It was so striking to me because fellowship is often an aspect of our lives we take for granted. These opportunities we are provided for fellowship together truly are a blessing granted by God.
Our experience with volunteering at the Agape meal was one of my favorite missions projects we have done so far. However, as teens, it can sometimes seem difficult to participate in missions projects. It can seem too overwhelming or too big of a task to tackle. We may think we are too young or inexperienced to handle these types of things. But I would argue against that. In 1 Timothy 4:12 (NIV), it states “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” This can be an encouragement for all of us, to set examples of our faith through our missions work. Age does not have to be a hindrance to our impact on others. We can volunteer in our own neighborhoods through food pantries, churches, clothes closets, and community outreach centers. We can gather a group of friends and make plans to do these projects together! There are often events that are already set up, and we just have to go and help! All in all, we can do simple things within our own neighborhoods which can make a big difference in the lives of others.
I think our main takeaway from this project is that serving others does not have to be a “big” thing we go and do. Missions work doesn’t have to take us across the country or on a trip where we are gone for weeks at a time. Missions could be something as simple as checking in on your friends or inviting your neighbor to an event at your church. Missions work doesn’t have to be difficult; it can be simple and close-by, allowing us to reach others right here from home. I encourage you to go out and do some missions work in your community! Take some friends and complete a project! Your work will be invaluable.
Rana Seddik is a 2021 National Acteens Panelist from Garland, Texas.