Christian Living

Is Church More than Tea and Biscuits?

Early memories of ‘church.’

One of my earliest memories of church is pre-school, so I must have only been three or four years old. It was afternoon and I was in a small upstairs room at ‘The Sisterhood’ meeting with my Mum. She was playing the piano and I was sitting on the front row on a hard wooden chair for the longest time ever…Maybe I dozed because I don’t remember if Mum came back to sit next to me, or who spoke, or what else happened in the meeting until it had finished.

I came to life again when the tea and biscuits were going round! The lady who was offering the biscuits made her way to me, “Would I like a biscuit, did I want the chocolate one?” Well, this was a plate of mixed biscuits, and in the middle of the plate there was one big chocolate biscuit – so of course I wanted the chocolate one! I just remember feeling favoured, she had been so kind to offer to me, the smallest, and most insignificant person there, what was so obviously the best choice!

A lesson in ‘church.’

It is strange how certain memories stay with you. By that simple act, I learnt a lesson that day about ‘church,’ of love and kindness and preferring someone else – of having the mindset of Christ Jesus. I didn’t fully understand at the time, but it made an impact because of the way it made me feel.

Is church more than tea and biscuits?
Is church more than tea and biscuits?

Some of the problems with church quite simply are that sometimes we can be like that plate of mixed biscuits, and maybe we all want to be the big chocolate one, the one who stands out! Or actually we don’t want to be in a plate of mixed biscuits at all, and we want everyone else to be a custard cream, or a pink wafer, just like us….

“The church we want becomes the enemy of the church we have” Eugene Peterson

The example of Jesus, who came to serve.

Church life, in the community of other believers, often among the tea and biscuit moments, is where we grow up in Christ. Hopefully, it is where we learn and where we mature.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.

Philippians 2:3-5

Featured Image Photo by Matt Bottsford on Unsplash

10 thoughts on “Is Church More than Tea and Biscuits?”

  1. “in the community of other believers… is where we grow up in Christ, it is where we learn and where we mature…” Yes! We grow and learn to be more like Christ in community, through the joys and challenges of life together. Thank you for your thoughtful post. Karen 🙂 (FMF #10)

  2. “sometimes we can be like that plate of mixed biscuits”
    I absolutely love this, but I must admit where I am the metaphor would likely be coffee and donuts. =)

    Amie, FMF #15

  3. Let me stand up front and center,
    model of bright clarity,
    and I’ll be glad to be your mentor
    in becoming just like me.
    I can see the clean calm vision
    of the church we need tomorrow,
    so in my hands place the decision
    (make it wrong, and you’ll cause sorrow!)
    for direction we should take
    to the uplands, broad and sunny;
    trust me, there’ll be no mistake
    with your faith or with your money.
    Put my hand unto the plow
    for I am humbler than thou.

  4. This is such a precious analogy. “among the tea and biscuit moments, is where we grow up in Christ, it is where we learn and where we mature – hopefully!” Loved this!

    1. Thanks Joanne – yes so often it is the ‘personalities’ in church that we struggle with, but the realisation that I am the struggle for someone else, changes everything! 🙂

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