This spring, I spoke at a women's conference at Cornerstone Church of Knoxville. At the conclusion, I was invited to attend a special luncheon for the single women that was hosted by the single men of Cornerstone. Not only was I impressed with the food and hospitality, I was exceedingly impressed with the heart behind it. So I asked Casey Holbrook, one of the single men involved, if he would contribute a guest post about how this event was developed. I want it to inspire similar acts of service and appreciation in other churches--and not just for single women!
This spring our church hosted a ladies’ retreat with Carolyn McCulley as the key speaker. The retreat was open to ladies age 18 and up, so the men in our singles ministry knew that a large number of our sisters would be present at the retreat and that this afforded a unique opportunity to bless them. The goal was simple: we wanted our sisters to have a chance to visit with Carolyn in a smaller setting where they could encourage one another and talk about issues that were specific to their season of life. We also wanted to do this in a way that communicated our respect and love for them. So we commenced with the following plan:
- We arranged for a special luncheon immediately following the retreat and limited the invitees to the ladies in our singles ministry only.
- Each of the ladies received a hand-written invitation with their name on the front.
- We decorated the room with fresh-cut flowers and had nice background music playing.
- We had a tasty selection of finger foods including chicken salad croissants, banana bread, fresh fruit, sweet tea, and an assortment of loose leaf teas for making hot tea.
- The luncheon started out with a time of visiting and ended with an informal Q&A with Carolyn.
From talking to the ladies, my understanding is that their time with Carolyn was a success! They really enjoyed their visit with Carolyn and were inspired in their faith. They were also blessed by the guys' efforts and enjoyed this simple gesture of our admiration.
As guys, we were very eager to do this as we cherish our sisters and greatly value them and the role they play in our lives. Our society is one in which guys typically only treat girls with appreciation as a means to a selfish end, and one in which even in church settings, the unattached girl often receives little thoughtful praise from guys. We felt that our girls were worthy of the highest praise and were thankful to have the opportunity to express it in a unique and fun way. It was a fun expression of the body of Christ where everyone involved was built up and edified.
Photos: At the luncheon with the Knoxville women; Casey Holbrook.