Book Review: The Lunch Ladies

Does a culture of indifference and neglect haunt the hallways of your congregation? Does a culture of indifference and neglect prey on the minds of the individuals that attend your congregation? The Lunch Ladies is a book about changing from a culture of indifference and neglect to a culture of relevant, relentless, urgent, soul seeking love.

I'm tired of people falling through the cracks. I'm tired of people being ignored. I'm tired of people feeling unwelcomed. You know what? I'm tired of being tired!

When I first heard about the Lunch Ladies, I was attending a lecture by Philip Jenkins at Heritage Christian University. I instantly loved the idea. I knew once the book came out, I HAD to have it. I ordered the book and read it very quickly. Let me say--it's like a shot of energy is bursting through every cell of my body. Some of you who know me are thinking...that's you normally....this can't be good. Let me assure you, this is a good thing.

So what's this book about? Lunch Ladies? You're pumped about the lunch ladies? In short, yes. But it is so much more than that. Most of us have had a meal in a cafeteria before. We know that depending on what "type" of person you were and where you landed on the "social ladder" determined where you sat in the cafeteria. In your congregations, do you see this? Can you point out who will sit where, who will talk to who, who won't get talked to, who gets ignored? "My brethren, this ought not to be!" Why the division? Why the culture of indifference and neglect? Where's the love, the concern for others, the unity? Cue the lunch ladies. Lunch ladies serve everyone. In the cafeteria, they don't show prejudice. They make sure EVERYONE gets served.

The Lunch Ladies is a ministry that consists of a few individuals (depending on the size of your congregation or youth group) that make an effort to make sure no one is neglected. In the book, Philip Jenkins explains how the ministry made a huge difference in the culture and size of their youth group.

The book is broken into 3 parts--"The Cafeteria", "Successipes", and "Your Cafeteria". "The Cafeteria" explains what the youth group at Mt. Juliet looked like before the Lunch Ladies--a culture of indifference and neglect. "Successipes" contains stories that serve as a testimony for the power of God to work in the lives of young people. "Your Cafeteria" is a practical guide to setting up your own "Lunch Ladies" program and creating an environment that shows love, support, and attention to EVERYONE.

I don't want to write too much to negate the purpose of buying and reading this book. All I can say is this book has fired me up! If you're like me, you've noticed the cliques, the culture of indifference and neglect, and the division in your youth group. If you're also like me, you've made attempts to bridge those gaps. If you're also like me, nothing seems to work. This works! I know I didn't write much about what was INSIDE the book, but that's why you need to read it.   If you want to order this book contact Philip Jenkins at