Breaking Bread Breaks Barriers
Fellowship in the workplace
‘And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.’ – Acts 2:42
Fellowship and the breaking of bread go hand in hand, and can be found in our workplaces in different ways. This article explores how.
The Bible gives us a great insight into the life of the early Church and the first believers when we read the book of Acts. There were several key characteristics that formed the foundation of their life together as believers, including:
- Breaking of bread
The New Testament word for “fellowship,” is koinonia in the original Greek text. It expresses the idea of communion, joint participation or being together for mutual benefit. Broadly speaking, Christian fellowship should be modeled on the fellowship of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in the Trinity; meaning it should involve an expression of love for others who participate in that fellowship.
The concept of breaking bread seems relatively straightforward; however, the Biblical significance of bread being broken goes beyond simply sharing a meal. As Catholics, we believe that Jesus is the ‘Bread of Life’ that was broken for us, as demonstrated at the last supper and on the cross. In breaking bread together, we are reminded of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.
Sharing a meal with others is the perfect opportunity for people to engage in fellowship with each other. These two characteristics of the early Church are often incorporated into our workplaces when staff come together for a meal, whether it’s for a birthday, a farewell or some other occasion. At CCER we integrate this practice on a monthly basis, where staff share lunch and play a game. While simple and by no means revolutionary, this practice allows staff members to engage with each other on a more human and personal level, as opposed to just engaging with each other on work issues.
Having a staff lunch isn’t an exclusive thing that Catholics do. Many workplaces do this. However, it’s the intent with which people engage, the love that is expressed and the fellowship that is developed that makes it a ‘Catholic thing to do’. So, the next time you’re organising a staff meal at the office, be sure to share the knowledge of its roots in the teachings of the early Church and encourage the growth of others in the spirit of fellowship.