Eat, Pray, Tell by Andrew Francis
Lots of good ideas in a book which explores a relational approach to 21st Century Mission
Eat, Pray, Tell - a relational approach to 21st Century Mission
By Andrew Francis
ISBN: 978085746565 8
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 café, 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 café 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 suggests 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