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Not Big but Different

For many students, college is a time to meet new people, socialize, and make lifelong friends. For some, the process involves sports. For others, it involves video games or wild weekends. For 21-year-old Columbia University senior Jonah Reider, however, it involves cooking them meals.

Reider, a chef by hobby, realized that a five to eight course meal would only cost him $10-$20 (for a maximum of four people) to cook and created an online signup for friends and acquaintances to drop by for a meal in his dorm room. The group would split the cost of the ingredients and enjoy a relaxed environment with stimulating conversation.

But suddenly, the press caught wind of the story, and after articles from the Columbia Spectator and the New York Post were published, Reider found himself with a wait list through January that included bankers, lawyers, restaurant owners, and magazine editors. Reider says that his idea was never to "make it big," however, but to make it different. "Can I create a venue for food and interaction that's different from a restaurant?" he asked himself. "It's making me think about what it means to have a dining experience."

Possible Preaching Angle:

Such a question is relevant not only for Jonah Reider or for business owners, but for churches as well. Has your church thought recently about what it means to truly encounter God as a congregation? If not, maybe it is time to stop trying to "make it big" and focus once again on being different.


Sierra Tishgart, “Meet the College Student Who Started a ‘Restaurant’ in His Dorm Room,” Grub Street (10-8-15)

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