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I was only 22 years old when Will and I pastored our first church. I didn’t know a thing marriage or pastoring or life. So when an older, well-meaning woman in our church suggested I invite the whole church over to my house for a potluck supper so they could ‘get to know the pastor and his wife,’ I said yes. But I was terrified. I didn’t want 100 people and their children traipsing through my new little home.

The people came. The people left. And I was a complete mess. A smiley mess but a mess just the same. Probably the most stressed I’ve ever been in my own home. It was a nightmare for me. I hated it. I vowed I’d never do anything like that again … call it my first hunch I wasn’t hospitable or an extrovert.

Fast forward ten years, Will and I are starting new church – when suddenly, I get this urge to invite the whole church over for dinner. Will was confused. He thought I was crazy. He reminded me of my earlier experience. But I told him I desperately wanted to know and encourage the people in our church. So I decided to invite the whole church over to dinner one table (6-12 people) at a time. It was the beginning of our 246 dinners ~ something I did for years in my home and absolutely loved.

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