Many parishes use ChurchNext courses to meet on days other than Sunday and discuss issues that interest them. The ECW at Grace Episcopal Church in Anniston, Alabama, for example, uses ChurchNext courses for some of their monthly ECW luncheons.St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Evanston, Ohio uses ChurchNext courses as the basis Saturday discussion groups once a month, after which the participants enjoy lunch together.
Why not take ChurchNext lunches to the next level? We had one suggestion for parishes located in high-traffic or business districts, and we thought it was so good that we should share it. Such parishes could use ChurchNext courses as the basis for Lunch and Learn, regular weekly or monthly meetings at lunchtime during which people who might otherwise not engage with parish activities during the week could come in and learn about topics of interest to their community while eating lunch.
Because working Christians still need lunch, this ministry could serve as a great opportunity to give busy folks a chance to pray and talk about faith together at a convenient time of day. It could offer a refreshing change of pace to participants and requires no prep work by the organizers beyond setting up the internet and a table. Depending on your parish’s tendency to discuss at length, classes could be broken up or enjoyed at one sitting.
Is your church located in an area in which working parishioners might find it convenient to join you for lunch? If so, consider trying using ChurchNext classes as the basis for a Lunch and Learn program with your congregation. There is virtually no downside to giving the ministry a try, and it might be a good way to engage a different crowd of parishioners in productive prayer and discussion.