Well, we are a little late coming to the game, but let’s do this!
It’s been over a month since IF: Gathering and I am finally getting back to routine! And with that I am ready to start IF: Table! I hope you have been following along with IF: Equip! It has been so amazing and I am very much looking forward to spending time following Jesus as we begin preparing our hearts for Easter. The new study started today so don’t miss out! You can get it in your inbox here!
One of the things that really kept the community of If: Gathering vibrant and constant in my life was coming together with friends monthly at IF: Table.
Every month IF: Gathering will put 4 questions for your IF: Table. The schedule of IF: Gathering is geared to start hosting tables around the 2nd Sunday of the month. Our table, generally finds an available date during the week sometime within the month. Our table is composed of mom’s with busy schedules taking kids to after school activities and always running! We decided not to take away from our weekend and so having IF: Table during the week works best for us. We also don’t start until after 7, giving me enough time to feed my crew before my girls show up.
All in all, however you decide to host IF: Table is completely your call! Do what works best for you and for your group of gals. You can do IF: Coffee nights or maybe you are all stay at home moms and what works is having lunch with your babes around you, or maybe you can do Saturday brunch or Sunday night dinner. Whatever works!
8 Tips on how to have a successful IF: Table.
1. Keep it Simple
You do not have to have an elaborate meal and perfectly set table. It’s not necessary. Most of the meals I make take less than 30 minutes. They are meals I make for my family regularly and again, are fairly simple. A few bring a side or salad or dessert and we simply enjoy the food and enjoy the company. We have ordered pizza before, made a simple soup and salad and have even gone out to eat.
2. Set your Table
I personally set my table and put some lovely elements on it. I use my china and nice glasses and I light candles and usually have flowers. YOU DON”T HAVE TO DO THIS! This is my one thing. I choose to set my table pretty. It fills me and I like creating a beautiful, lovely space. But I would encourage you to decide to do one thing to create a lovely place and fill you. Maybe it’s buying some new flowers. Maybe it’s getting out your china you never use. Maybe it’s simply lighting candles or putting on soft music. Again, keep it simple. But if this fills you, go for it.
3. Choose your ONE
As I said, I don’t put too much time on the food element. But I choose to set my table and that’s my one. That’s where I put more energy. Maybe your one is the food. Maybe you would rather make the whole meal and other people can bring the beautiful elements. Maybe your one is to stay simple and get out some paper plates and cups. Maybe your one thing is getting out and so you find different restaurants around town and enjoy being served! Choose your one, put your energy in that and again, keep the rest pure and simple.
4. Invite your People
We encourage you to have at most 6 people at your table. Some have up to 8, but mostly try to keep it small. We want to encourage people to share and talk and it’s easier when you have fewer people. At our table we have 5 gals and we have an open chair where we try to invite a friend to join us. Our desire was to spread the word of IF: Table, so that those who came to our table would want to create their own table. It worked! One friend who we invited started her own table in her home! Changed lives, change lives!
Invite anyone you want. Friends, family, people you know or acquaintances. People from church or your neighborhood. Pray about who you would like to invite. You can keep the same people or change it up. Do what God is calling you to do and then run with it. Don’t be discouraged if people don’t show up or can’t make it. God will bring the right people to your table. Trust and Believe.
5. Print out the Conversation Cards
The conversation cards are just like what we had at IF: Gathering, you can find them here. 4 questions. Place the cards around the table and as you break bread, invite any 4 women to choose a card. Take the time to talk about each; having each lady answer the question if possible. The conversation will flow easily and naturally. Just talk. We are women, it’s what we do.
6. Be encouraging, vulnerable and real
If you bring anything to the table, bring yourself. The real you. Be encouraging. Be real. Be vulnerable. Yes, you may not know these women well, but if you are real, and encouraging and full of grace and love you will find that the women at your table will find rest and feel secure.
7. Tell your Story
There is no greater way to create community and grace than telling your story. Your story has truth and vulnerability and is grace filled. Your story can open hearts and ears to see the love of Jesus and his truth and redemption. Last year I began our table by telling my story. Telling my gals why I invited them and what IF: Gathering did for me. I encourage you to do the same.
8. Take Pics & Share on Social Media
Once you have had your IF:Table share it on social Media. Spread the word. Get people to ask questions. Invite others to your table. use #IFTable, #IFRichmondkaty #IFGathering
The Gospel starts with community. It starts with real people leading real lives and sharing what God is doing in their lives. It’s simple and pure.
I know many of you have been planning your IF: Tables so, set a date before the end of March and invite your people. If you can’t start in the next few weeks, join us in April. It’s all good. Pure and Simple!