Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
The medium of the contemporary evangelical church in North America is incongruent with the gospel message. Where the gospel message invites people into a family, the evangelical church invites people into pews; while the gospel invites beggars to a feast, the evangelical church invites people to partake of a thimble of grape juice and a tasteless wafer. The Millennial generation values family and authenticity and longs for the alignment of mediums and messages.
Millennials are the largest and most diverse generation in North American history and it is vital for the evangelical church in North America to connect with them. The early church met around tables and food and participated in agape feasts. Gathering the church around tables and food aligned the medium and message in a powerful and effective way in the early church. Recent ecclesial research shows the modern church is going to need to make dramatic changes if it is going to reach the millennial generation. Using the medium of tables and food resonates with the millennial generation because it aligns with millennial values of family and authenticity and it simultaneously aligns the medium and message of the North American church and effectively communicates the gospel to the millennial generation. This dissertation will focus on the table being an effective medium for the gospel message to be commutated to millennials. Section 1 outlines the problem of the church being unable to reach North American millennials and how the practices of the early church align with the values of the millennial generation. Section 2 outlines other diagnoses and solutions for the problem with the North American church that have been suggested by Phillip Tickle, Leslie Newbigin, and Alan Hirsch. Section 3 proposes future church gatherings reflect a medium similar to that of the early church around tables and food. Section 4 provides a description of the artifact, a nonfiction book written as a memoir to help inspire millennials to gather as church communities around the table. Section 5 consists of the book proposal. Section 6 is the postscript. The appendix is the artifact itself.
Lapp, Christopher, "Come to the Table: An Ancient-Future Ecclesiology" (2017). Doctor of Ministry. 225.