Importance of the Table

2013 New Canaan Society San Francisco Weekend


In this 44-minute session from the 2013 New Canaan Society San Francisco Weekend, John Ortberg discusses the importance of the table. From meals with family to coffee with friends, the time spent investing in others around a table carries monumental significance in your life and theirs. Sadly busyness and misplaced focused have robbed many men from committing proper attention and focus on the table. John Ortberg is Senior Pastor at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has authored numerous books including, The Life You’ve Always Wanted, Know Doubt, The Me I Want To Be, and Who is This Man?


As you watch this session with John, take notes on how his talk can shape the way you live and work.



Early in the session John asked, "What's the promise you've made to the most important people in your life?" How would you answer him? How well are you doing at keeping that promise?
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John mentioned the many different ways our performance is evaluated at our work, but how we rarely evaluate performance at home. How can you be as intentional about how you are doing at home as you are at work? If you're married, in what ways can you give your spouse the opportunity to give you feedback?
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Think about the table in your home. Who regularly gathers around your table? How is your table different from your parents' table in the tone, topics of discussion, etc.? How is it similar?
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John said that love, at its core, means to be with—and to be with means much more than having a body in the room. Have you ever experienced being at your table, but not really "with" your loved ones? Under what circumstances are you most likely to be physically present, but mentally and emotionally absent? What steps can you take to ensure that when you are at a table with others, you are "with" them?
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John spoke about the important role that Dallas Willard played in his life, sharing that Dallas chose to invite John to his table. Who has made a significant and lasting impact on you through an invitation to sit at their table? How are you currently using your table to bless and minister to others? Who is the Lord leading you to invite to your table?
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Regardless of your stage of life, God has given  you an incredible opportunity to show love to others around a table. If you are young and single, your table looks much different than if you are married with children—and that's OK. It is by God's design. Whether you can afford hot dogs or lobster, the food you serve is not as important as those you are serving. 


If you would like to learn more about the work and ministry of the New Canaan Society, you may visit their website here