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July/August 2023


The Supper Six Solution (3)

Given the fact that the two groups (legacy members and new members) must learn how to know and trust one another, what practical steps can a pastor and congregation take to shape the church into a coherent and unified body? It is certain that the ‘stitching together’ of the groups must be intentionally thought out and acted upon for it to happen.


We faced the need for bringing together the “old” and the new people at Central Baptist Church. A sizeable group of younger people had joined, or were considering joining, and the legacy folks needed a way to get to know them. At the suggestion of one of our new members, we established the “Supper Six” concept, which placed three    couples together for three meals for three months. We asked all adults to sign up for the meals and divided them into three age groups. A couple of senior citizens were paired with a middle-aged couple and a young (20-30s) couple. Single adults were also included in the meals.


We gave questions to each couple to ask the others to start conversations. For example, the young couple was to ask the older couple what they did during WWII. That was years ago, and that question would be inapplicable today, but the idea was to think of conversation starter questions and then let the group go wherever they wanted to go in the conversation. We      received tremendous feedback from the first meals and it was easy to enroll people for the second three-month, three-meal groups. We cycled the couples so they were with different people in each round.


Relationships were strengthened, the trust level was raised, and the older folks felt comfortable letting these new people, whom they now knew, into leadership positions in the congregation.


Dr. Lynn Hardaway

Network Missionary



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