The Power of Everyday Missionaries and Lasagna Dinners

I have a dear friend, Alex Styles, from Washington. He is the greatest living missionary I personally know. He has been instrumental in helping hundreds of people join the church.

He was the Stake Mission Leader in Spartanburg, South Carolina over 27 years ago when I was a missionary there. He would go on splits with the missionaries and did a wonderful job teaching us all how to be powerful missionaries. Our mission president would cycle the missionaries into Alex’s ward so he could work with them. They became the leadership of the mission.

We have kept in touch and stayed friends over the years.

The Power of Everyday Missionaries by Clayton Christensen

I was introduced to The Power of Everyday Missionaries by Clayton Christensen by the best missionary I personally know

He just came to my home this past week and told me about this wonderful book called The Power of Everyday Missionaries written by Clayton Christensen. I absolutely love the business books written by Clayton M. Christensen like The Innovator’s Dilemma and his most recent book called How Will You Measure Your Life?

Alex sat in our living room and told us that the single most powerful thing he has done over the years to be a great missionary is to host a Lasagna Dinner every Sunday afternoon in the ward to just get to know people. Over the last five years when he did this they averaged 25 baptisms a year.

He encouraged my family to set a date. We decided to pray to find someone to teach by Thanksgiving of 2013. I needed a framework to get back into the swing of being a member missionary.

This morning, I started reading this book as I was preparing to meet my Bishop at 10:30 am.

He called me to me to be the Ward Mission Leader. The spirit was strong. My family just had Sunday dinner together and made a list of everyone we know that we can start talking to.

I am ready to begin with help from Clayton Christensen and the Lord.

Ken

3 thoughts on “The Power of Everyday Missionaries and Lasagna Dinners

  1. How did Alex Styles do his Lasagna Dinners?

    He invited anyone from the ward to come and bring non-member friends.

    He said the Bishop called a family to host the lasagna dinners at a home for roughly 6 months then they rotated to other homes.

    Dr. Styles would get with the missionaries on Saturday evening to make the lasagna so nobody had to work on Sunday and they would have it ready to warm up.

    They would have 30-40 people come, the most they ever had was 80 people. The missionaries were there but there was never any pressure or proselyting at all, things just naturally happened, friendships began, and opportunities were presented for gospel discussions.

    Alex would take extra lasagna to the homes of people who couldn’t make it afterwards. The wonderful relationships and fellowship have lasted many years since then. They did it for 5 straight years every Sunday.

    I recently flew up to Seattle and got to spend some time with Alex and his wife and got to hear the stories of lasagna dinners. We were at a restaurant and in walked a couple that had been part of those dinners many years ago.

    The missionaries here in my home ward are very excited to begin getting together on Sunday afternoons once a month to start getting more time together just to get to know people in our area. If it goes well we will do it more often. There is nothing like sitting down and having dinner together, and yes, we are even having lasagna!

  2. Alex was my Stake Mission President when I served my mission in South Carolina. I had the opportunity to spend a lot of time working with him. Alex was always prepared to share the gospel. Alex is an excellent example of serving others.

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