Eat, Pray, Tell

A relational approach to 21st century mission

Andrew Francis

£7.99 Add to basket Buy now

Content

Jesus told his disciples to go to a town and to find someone who would receive them as a guest. They were encouraged to eat within the community, build friendships, make contacts and teach the gospel. In this exciting book, Andrew Francis urges us to notice the order. The disciples were to seek the welfare of others by praying for and healing them - in other words, by meeting their obvious needs. It was only then that teaching and telling about the 'reign of God' would begin. This was Jesus' strategy for mission. Andrew Francis suggests that it should be ours today.

Contents

Introduction: Jesus' instruction to his disciples

Eat

  • Welcome
  • The growing understanding of Christian hospitality
  • Eating together in Jesus-shaped mission

Pray

  • Bearing one another's burdens
  • Pray on all occasions
  • Be still and know

Tell

  • There is good news!
  • Learning by experience
  • Growing as a Jesus-shaped community

Becoming Jesus-shaped people

  • Shake the dust off your feet
  • Principles for a missionary community
  • Eat, pray, tell: the shape of things to come

Endorsements

Endorsements for Eat, Pray, Tell have not yet been added.

Author info

Andrew Francis is a community theologian, conference speaker, writer and published poet. He is a retired United Reformed Church minister and joyful cook.

Reviews

Baptist Times, August 2018. Reviewed by: Simon Werrett

Eat, pray, tell: we perhaps do all these three things most days, but this book is about combining the three. It is an interesting book which combines theological insight with practical application. Despite the title of 'a relational approach to 21st century mission', which might put some off reading, it is actually an easy book to read and digest.

The book is split into four parts: eat, pray, tell and becoming Jesus-shaped people. The fourth part is really drawing the first three parts together. As the introduction reminds us 'we all eat'. If we don't then we would not survive long; we often share meals whether with friends in a local caf , family meals or shared work cafeteria tables. As one who likes to eat alone, in quiet, reading it was a challenge to think how can I use the experience within the work context.

After each chapter there are questions for the reader to consider, so the book could be used for individual or group Bible study or a book reading group.

Author Andrew Francis, a retired United Reformed Church minister and 'joyful cook', draws his examples from a variety of denominations including Mennonite/Anabaptist as well as his own experience. There is a considerable amount of reference to scripture and outreach methods Jesus used. He suggests that the 'eat, pray, tell' model is often used by Jesus: the feeding of the 5000 and Last Supper, for example.

He outlines how we have come the full circle, from anniversary meals, harvest suppers to caf church and Alpha meeting. Everything is focused on the shared meal, from which we then progress to fellowship.

In the section on prayer he explores the psalms and the examples of Jesus before moving onto modern day examples and looking at 'devotio moderna'. There is a simple expounding of Galatians and Ephesians in relation to prayer and its effect on our busy modern lives. He suggests we should dwell in a 'habitat of prayer'.

The tell section focuses on how we share the good news, whether in a formal situation like Alpha or a conversation over tea with friends. The command of Jesus is to tell others and we can do that in many different ways.

The final chapters bring it all together and suggest that if we can do this then we will become a Jesus-shaped community. We do need to re-assess our activities, try new ways and move forward, but the foundation is telling people about Jesus.

A really enjoyable book, in which I picked up some new ideas I may try out. Highly recommended.

Simon Werrett is a BUGB Specialist Advisor and Senior Minister Eastwood Evangelical Church

The Reader, Autumn 2018. Review by Howard Rowe

This is a very practical book, with a message which, if followed, would enliven the Church. Jesus told his disciples to go to a town and find someone who would receive them. They were to eat with their new friends, pray for them and tell them the news of God's kingdom. Eat, pray and tell is the simple but vital message of this book. Francis calls it 'a relational approach to 21st-century mission', an approach which ought to be obvious, and a way of life for the kingdom, but in many churches isn't. Francis explores practical aspects of eating with believers and not-yet-believers, understanding each other's needs and praying for each other, and telling what we know with gentleness and respect. The book is an easy read and would suit a home group or church council as well as an individual. There are group discussion questions at the end of each chapter. I recommend it.

Review by Howard Rowe

The Irish Methodist Newsletter, July 2018. Review by Revd Dr Stephen Skuce, Director of Global Relationships, the British Methodist Church

We know that there is a problem with some traditional approaches to mission and evangelism. Methods of communicating and sharing the Christian faith that made a significant impact a generation or more ago, don't have the same impact today. That's the easy bit. Understanding missional approaches appropriate to today is more challenging. Andrew Francis, a retired United Reform Church minister and cook, offers a straightforward and attractive response. What we need to do, he suggests, is eat together, pray together and tell the good news of Jesus. It's really not very complicated.

The premise is that many of our most enjoyable and life affirming moments are found around meal tables with family and friends. We move from superficial friendships to knowing people at a deeper level when we eat together. Over the table we can more freely share what is important and vital to us. There can be specific ways to use this approach as an evangelistic tactic, but that isn't the direction of the book. It's all about being normal, real, natural and authentic.

Chapters recount the ministry of Jesus that constantly featured meal times with friends and disciples. The community life of the early church was built around the shared meal, but as the church developed this was increasingly lost, and the shared meal replaced with the more stylised service of Holy Communion. There have been numerous movements that have sought to restore a shared meal, such as early Methodism's love feasts. In our generation we note that Alpha, Messy Church and caf church all feature eating together. But note that I'm excluding any instant coffee and plain biscuits after a service. That doesn't quite do it. Hopefully we meet either before or after worship services, and hopefully it's a more exuberant sharing.

In the small Methodist Church that I'm currently part of, perhaps the two significant bits of our life are a monthly men's group that involves about a dozen or so of us. For most this is their only contact with the church. We do the usual round of darts nights, snooker and so on, but it always involves food. The other event is a monthly Sunday lunch that one couple have put on for the past 10 years with up to 16 participating. While it might have raised over GBP10,000 for a Zambian charity so far, its biggest impact is in sharing faith around the meal table.

Andrew Francis is on to something good. He is reminding us of a core element of missional hospitality in the ministry of Jesus and the life of the Church that we too often forget. The success of the Great British Bake Off and the like, show the value we put on food. We all need to eat. Perhaps we can increasingly use these opportunities to show and share Christ's love and good news with many so that even more can eventually share in the 'heavenly banquet prepared for all humanity'.

Review by Revd Dr Stephen Skuce, Director of Global Relationships, the British Methodist Church

Reform April 2018. Review by Andrew Willett

I write this review in the wake of Billy Graham's death, after a lifetime of evangelism - most famously through large gatherings where he preached and called people to repentance. Nowadays, we rarely see such large-scale, evangelistic campaigns (although J John did organise an event last year at the Emirates Stadium). Eat, Pray, Tell is about one of several different and smaller approaches to evangelism.

The book's title goes a long way to explain what the book is about. Andrew Francis, a retired United Reformed Church minister, encourages the reader to share the Gospel by first developing a relationship with the other person. This is now a common teaching from many authors. The method that Francis prompts us to use starts with eating together. He reminds us that a quarter of Jesus' ministry revolved around food, so for those seeking to be a Jesus-shaped community, eating together should come naturally. Francis gives examples of sharing food in the context of mission, for instance the Alpha course and Messy Church. In this friendly, foody environment, people may be readier to engage spiritually through prayer (pray) and in conversation (tell) - hence 'eat, pray, tell'.

I found this book helpful and the author's approach a positive method of evangelism. Francis writes in an accessible style which is enjoyable to read, but for me it could have been a little shorter and still the message would have been conveyed.

The book could have a wide appeal within the URC. Francis proposes using his 'eat, pray, tell' method without ordained ministers being involved, which would be helpful in those situations where ministerial deployment is an issue. There are questions at the end of each chapter, so Francis' book might be useful to groups that want to consider this form of mission. Francis also points out that the ideas in this book can be found too in Holy Habits, the key resource for the URC's 'Walking the Way: Living the life of Jesus today' emphasis on discipleship. With this in mind, Eat, Pray, Tell could be useful in assisting URC and Methodist churches in deepening discipleship work.

Andrew Willett is a church minister and an evangelism advocate

Book details

  • ISBN: 9780857465658
  • Published: 19 January 2018
  • Status:
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 160
Mailing signup advert 3_250
LWND app Advert