New business luncheon serves food, fellowship and scripture

FAXBOX:

What? “The Bottom Line” business persons’ luncheon

When? Every Thursday, 11:45 – 12:45

Where? The Summit Hotel, Tupelo

Who? Open to all, no cost, no RSVP necessary

By Galen Holley

Daily Journal

TUPELO – Business people throughout Tupelo and the surrounding area are invited to attend a weekly luncheon; one at which they can reflect on scripture, hear the stories of other Christian people in business, and build vital relationships.

Called “The Bottom Line,” the luncheon is held every Thursday at The Summit Hotel in Tupelo. It’s free and no call-ahead is necessary.

The Rev. Sam Shaw, pastor of Hope Church in Tupelo, is one of the people responsible for starting the luncheon. He said that although it’s been tried before, this time he has high hopes for success.

Tupelo insurance agent Andy Lawhon has worked with Shaw to get things started. Lawhon was part of previous luncheons, the last of which stopped meeting around 1998. Lawhon said that the luncheons were well-attended, but that the loss of a host facility – at the time, Morrison’s Cafeteria, now closed – was the primary reason they stopped.

Lawhon and Shaw are grateful to The Summitt for opening its doors.

Said Lawhon: “Jimmy Pappas at The Summit is a very generous man who’s worked with a number of organizations. He’s made us very welcome and comfortable.”

Shaw’s hope for the new luncheon is also based on its unique character.

“It’s non-denominational, said Shaw, “and, non-Christians are certainly welcome.”

The ambiance, Shaw said, is designed for comfort. “We play relaxing music, and people have the opportunity to grab a plate, to listen as I interview a Christian person from the business community, and to reflect upon scripture,” said Shaw.

Lawhon said that for the first luncheon, held Mar. 27, they planned for 40 people. “We got 38,” laughed Lawhon. “Pretty close. But, we certainly want more.” Shaw began the first luncheon by discussing the story of Joseph, the Old Testament hard-luck figure who, through his resourcefulness, was placed in charge of Pharaoh’s business affairs.

“Joseph is a great example of someone whose outlook on business was directed by his devotion to God,” said Shaw. “He’s a rag-to-riches” story. He had disappointment, re-imagined his situation and made the best of things. He found a meaningful way to glorify God in his work.”

That, said Shaw, is the real point of the luncheon.

“Business-as-mission is a growing movement today,” he said. “This area is filled with Christian business men and women who want a chance to network and share. What better way to do it than by having a time and place, each week, to have a nice meal and relax.” Shaw and Lawhon emphasized that “business people” doesn’t mean only executives. “We want blue-collar, white-collar, secretaries – everybody,” said Shaw. “We mean business’ in a very wide sense.”

Lawhon said that the luncheon should provide a welcome break during the hectic week. “There’s really nothing like this right now,” he said. “It’s kind of spiritual fix in the hustle and bustle.”

Contact Daily Journal religion editor Galen Holley at 678-1510 or galen.holley@djournal.com. Also view his web blog “Hearers of the Word” at djournal.com.