6 Steps for Surviving the Church Fellowship Meal

6 Steps for Surviving the Church Fellowship Meal

Recently, I’ve seen a meme
floating around.  On one side, you have a
man holding a salad.  He looks sad and
defeated.  On the other side, you see the
typical church pot-luck dinner.  The meme
actually says, “When you try to eat right, but you go to a Baptist
Church.”  I have served in Baptist
Churches since high school.  I can
honestly tell you, “The struggle is real.” 
However, I don’t think we can limit this to just Baptist Churches.  Whatever group you belong to, the church
“fellowship” meal is a pretty consistent characteristic.  The truth is that it is hard to make it
through one of those meals without sliding from your healthy eating
patterns.  Imagine if you were called on
to eat at that type of event more than just once a quarter.  That is where many pastors find
themselves.  A Bible Study group will
have a pot-luck at a game night.  The
senior citizens will have their monthly meal together and hope that the
pastoral staff will join them.  It is
hard to stick with your plan with all of the food and the unsaid expectations
to try it all.  So, what is a
minister/pastor supposed to do?
I want to share 6 practical
steps for Surviving the Church Fellowship Meal
1. Use a smaller plate.  This is not always
an option, but there are times when you have the choice of smaller.  Smaller is always better when it come to
plate size.  It helps trick your mind
into thinking that you have plenty of food.

2. Get color on that plate.  I’m not sure
how many church meals I have been to, but I can tell you there is a persistent
theme when it comes to the color on those plates… Beige.  Fried chicken, potatoes, macaroni and cheese,
and sugar cookies are just a few of the items that we find.  If we want to eat healthy, start by looking
for the green on the buffet.  And, I
don’t mean green icing on the St. Patrick’s Day cookies.  Adding natural color to your plate is a clear
indicator that you are making better choices.
3. Avoid getting a dessert plate.  If there isn’t
room on your plate for a little taste of sweet, then don’t add a bowl or
dessert plate to add it to your meal.  In
fact, the better choice is to avoid the desserts all together.  I know that is hard to do especially when
Sister Lucy brings her homemade chocolate pie, but you must ask yourself, “What
is my goal?”
4. Focus your attention on the people and not the plate.  Most of the
meals that we eat in group settings as ministers are designed for
fellowship.  Spend your time talking with
your church family.  Use the time to get
to know your people.
5. Avoid the Sweet Tea. 
This is not just for my
southern pastor friends.  The real advice
is to not drink your calories.  The best
choice is to simply drink water.
6. Don’t take leftovers home.  For some
reason, our people love to give the minister their extra food.  While I am always appreciative of their
kindness, the leftovers that get send my way are usually cake, pie, and
cookies.  Those are not good items to
have around my house.  Politely decline
or even suggest someone else that might benefit from their generosity.
You may have your own list
of Survival Tips.  I would love to hear

Dan Carson

Dan is a motivated life coach with a passion for pastors.

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