I heard about the Open Table model a few years ago through the OrphanCare ministry of North Way Christian Community.
It’s a national model for providing small group support to a Brother or Sister functioning without a network or resources to move forward. I saw it as an opportunity to mentor someone but with other adult support… meaning all the responsibility wasn’t solely mine!
“Igniting human potential is simple: Relationship.”
Our Table of 6 adults met weekly for 1 year with our Sister, a 19 year old woman who had been on her own for several years. Our Sister set the goals for what she wanted to achieve in our time together and then as a Table we worked with her to help her achieve those. Relationships grew out of our meetings and we became a family. We shared meals, birthdays, shopping trips, prayer requests, countless text messages and so much more.
Was it all perfect? No…but what family is!?
While our official time to meet as a Table has ended, our relationships have not.
“95% of Table participants have long term relationships with one or more of their former Table members.”
I couldn’t be more proud of our Sister and all she’s accomplished. She is so smart and one of the hardest working people I’ve ever met. She’s been through so much and yet she remains positive and loves to encourage others. I feel privileged to have been a part of her journey and can’t wait to see all that the Lord has in store for her.
Learn more about The Open Table at the Imagine Conference!
Debi Coglianese, Wexford Campus Manager of North Way Christian Community and Open Table Volunteer
“Open Table’s faith-based model draws together the community and relationship life of congregations around the country. It provides technical support, training, structure, process.
Each Table is composed of a group of volunteers that make a year-long commitment to act–through relationship—as a team of life specialists, encouragers, and advocates. Over the course of a year, the Table works together to set goals, foster accountability, and implement a plan to create change.”