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Frequently Asked Questions

How does it work?

The Great Banquet is a 72-hour experience, beginning on Thursday evening and ending Sunday evening. For three days, guests live and study together in a worshipful time of singing, prayer and discussion. During each of the fifteen talks given by laity, the theme of God’s grace is presented. Guests participate in the daily celebration of Holy Communion and examine more fully the presence of Christ in His body of believers. They personally experience His grace through the prayers and acts of a loving, Christian support community.

What is the format for a Great Banquet weekend?

The weekend consists of a series of talks given by lay Christians, not clergy. The talks focus on faith issues and personal testimony. Guests meet in small groups to discuss the talks and summarize key points. Communion is served daily. The team running the weekend and guests live as a self-contained Christian community, away from commitments, distractions and responsibilities we all face in the outside world.

What makes the weekend special?

Ask someone who has attended a banquet! It is hard to put into words how inspiring the experience can be! When Christians have the opportunity to spend 3 days concentrating on their faith and personal relationship with God, many truly wonderful things can happen. From seekers who are new to their faith, to Pastors, everyone seems to be moved by the experience. The best advice we can give is to ask someone who has attended the banquet.

How do I attend the CrossRoads Great Banquet?

You need a sponsor, someone who has attend a Great Banquet or similar 72-hour experience. If you don’t have one, you can email our Registration Team at [email protected]

Where will I sleep and take showers?

Accommodations are provided at East 91st Street Christian Church, located in Indianapolis, IN. We turn several rooms into sleeping areas, using sturdy cots for bedding (bring padding to lay over the cot to increase comfort). The church has showers that we use during the weekend.

What should I bring to the weekend?

Your sponsor will have more information on what to bring. In general, though, pack casual comfortable clothing, layers are often the best choice. You will also need to bring your pillow, twin bed sheets & blankets and or sleeping bag, padding for your twin-sized cot, flashlight, bath towel, washcloth, toiletries (ie: toothbrush, shaving items, deodorant, shampoo, etc.), flip-flops or shower shoes, a cover-up or bathrobe, and any medication you need to take during the weekend in a prescription container with your name on it. Bringing a Bible is not necessary, but many guests do so to mark passages discussed in the talks.

I don't have much background reading the Bible or engaging in church/spiritual activities. Is this for me?

Definitely. Please don’t feel shy or intimidated at all. The weekend is not a formal educational experience, but instead an opportunity to focus on your faith and personal relationship with God.

What i my family needs me during the weekend? Will someone check in on them while I'm away?

A sponsor is assigned to every guest (typically, it is the person who has introduced you to the banquet) who helps transport you to and from the weekend activities and makes sure any needs that your family faces while you are away are met. We hope this will free you from any worries you have concerning your family so you can focus exclusively on your faith and personal relationship with God.

Can I sleep at home?

No. Everyone–the team running the events, and the guests–spend the entire weekend together as a Christian community, isolated from the outside world. This includes sleeping at the church. However, if you require special sleeping arrangements, please let us know. We will most likely be able to accommodate your needs.

I am on a special diet, or need to take medication. Can I still attend the weekend?

Most likely – we haven’t turned anyone away yet! The Guest Registration Form has sections for you to indicate any food allergies, special diet or medication needs. Please provide this information and we’ll contact you to make sure we understand your needs and can accommodate them during the weekend.

Is the CrossRoads Great Banquet Community under the guidance of any particular church or denomination?

No, The Great Banquet is a non-denominational movement which is governed by an ecumenical board. All Great Banquet Communities are hosted by churches that provide facilities for the community. So while CrossRoads Great Banquet Community events are held at East 91st Street Christian Church, we are not affiliated with a particular church denomination.

I'm not a non-denominational Christian, nor do I attend East 91st Street Christian Church. Is this for me?

If you are not a Christian or if you are, then The Great Banquet is for you! The Great Banquet is a non-denominational movement. In fact, a particular focus of the movement is to draw Christians from a variety of backgrounds and faith experiences together so we can learn and grow from each other. Seekers and those interested in learning more about faith are welcome.

It must cost more than $20 per guest to host a weekend. How can you afford them?

The CrossRoads Great Banquet community relies on donations from members (individuals who have attended past banquets) and religious organizations. The weekend has a profound impact on many guests, who then support the community to share the blessings they received with other Christians.

Are there similar programs?

To become familiar with the Great Banquet, let’s look first at the history of its counterparts, the Cursillo and the Walk to Emmaus. The Cursillo (3-day course in Christianity) began in Spain in the 1940s in the Catholic Church. It spread to the United States and evolved for Protestants into the Walk to Emmaus under the auspices of the Upper Room and the United Methodist Church. An Emmaus Movement was started by the First Presbyterian Church in Madisonville, Kentucky in 1982. After a 10-year history of the Walk to Emmaus in Madisonville, Rev. John E. Pitzer and lay people from First Presbyterian Church formed the Great Banquet. Governed by an ecumenical board of directors and using the “Cursillo model”, but with a different image, the Great Banquet continues to emphasize personal Christian discipleship. The Great Banquet Movement is institutionally sponsored by local church groups in these areas. Lampstand Ministries was formed as a covering corporation to move the Great Banquet Movement to other areas.

What is the main thing?

The focus of the Great Banquet is to know Jesus as Lord and Savior and to make Him known. The objective of the Great Banquet is to continue the 3-day weekend by serving Christ in local churches, homes and work places. To live a life of grace and to respond to higher levels of Christian discipleship becomes the purpose of the Great Banquet.

Who is this for?


1. wishes to strengthen their spiritual life;
2. wants to have a better understanding of prayer, the sacraments,
study, and Christian action;
3. strives to live a Christian life that bears fruit for God;
4. seeks to know Jesus as Lord and Savior and to make Him known.