“And let us consider how we may spur one another toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another-and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
It’s Sunday morning and you are getting ready for church. You are rushing around the house, getting the kids ready to go, and it hits you. It is the Sunday of the church potluck. What will you bring?
The amazing church potluck. A time of fellowship and food; a time to bask in the glow that comes from breaking bread with people you love. I love church potlucks, my kids love church potlucks, and my husband loves church potlucks. My kids and husband love the food-our church, in particular, is home to many stupendous cooks.
I love the church potluck for the fact that you can touch base with people. Before church, there is not always time to visit as you would like. After church, people are intent on getting going to fill their belly. The solution is a potluck.
The Anatomy of a Church Potluck
“But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.”
1 John 17:17
What makes a perfect potluck? My goodness, let’s discuss this! There are 5 parts to the perfect potluck: vegetable, hotdish (in Minnesota), easy side dish, salads (non-vegetable), and dessert. No potluck is complete without these 5 parts.
I personally love the vegetable dishes. The salad options are endless, the tastes are more diverse than any other dish, and the variety is amazing! People seem to think that this is not an important part of dinner. I disagree. The love of whoever brought the dish is spectacular! They care enough to want to bring a dish that will nourish your body as well as feed your soul. Love and care go into these dishes for sure.
In Minnesota and the Midwest, there are too many hotdishes to list. The main components are meat, potato/rice of some sort, cream soup, and possibly a vegetable. If someone is really trying to impress, they will add cheese. The hotdish gets a bad rep, but it is the ultimate Northern comfort food. The individual that makes and brings this dish is a planner. They enjoy being on top of the game, and the dish is usually quite elaborate in its simplicity. I personally have never brought a hotdish. I am not a planner.
The Easy Side Dish
This is my area of expertise. I usually am the one who is running around like a mad person in the morning and trying to figure out what is going on. Or, more to the point, I forget that it is Potluck Sunday. Anyone else? Please tell me I am not alone! Anyhow, the easy side dish is something like a bag of chips, a jar of pickles, something in a store bought container of some sort. Don’t get me wrong. I do not hold anything against this sort of dish. Without it, how would our meal be well rounded?
The Non-Vegetable Salad
These are one of my favorites as well. The cool-whip salads, the cookie salads, the glorious mixture that someone concocted from ingredients in their kitchen. These are a mainstay at our church it seems. Out in Montana, at our other church, I do not recall having these in attendance. My other family out there do not know what they are missing!
My grandmother has told me that we often should be able to have dessert before the regular meal to make sure we have enough room. I say, yes, I agree. Of course, I do not do that, but once in a while, I let the kids know I am ok with it occasionally. The cookies and cakes, the bars and delicate desserts that shine out at church potlucks are amazing!
When picturing the church potluck, which is your favorite part?
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
In addition to the standard food fare found at the potlucks, there are also the people who seem to be a mainstay. In each of those groups, you can almost guess who will sit where and with whom. It is almost comical when you think about the routine of our church lives. We get complacent and comfortable, enjoying time with friends. Sometimes, we should move out of our zone and try something different.
These are the people who always go above and beyond the call of duty. They spearhead committees, community outreach, and everything in between. I love these people because I am nothing like them! I admire their get up and go attitude.
These are my kind of people. We sneak into church hoping to not be noticed because the attention makes us uncomfortable. This group likes to slide through life with as little attention as possible. A helpful hint: we need to get over this and branch out!
The New and Young Parents
Bless these young couples! The days of pulling through church and a church potluck with small ones in tow are behind me, but I remember those days. You race through the morning trying to make sure everyone looks nice and presentable only to get to your destination with juice down the front of a child’s shirt or some unrecognizable substance stuck in someone’s hair. If you see these young families, it’s always helpful to offer aid. After all, it takes a village!
By far my favorite group of people are the mainstays. These are the people who you cannot remember the church existing without them. As I write this, so many of you come to my mind, and I thank God for knowing you! These people take new Christians under their wings and help them find their footing. Most times, many of them bring the same type of potluck food for each one!
The “I stayed For the Food”
My oldest daughter has admitted this is her! As I said, the kids love the food! These people are not necessarily only there for the food, but they stay for the food. This is an important group to reach. The individuals who belong to this crew need outreach. Trying to nurture this relationship with a person here is a great opportunity to serve those who aren’t really involved elsewhere. Welcome them with open arms and show them Christ.
“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.”
While there are people who don’t fall into any of these categories, the ones mentioned above are the main people you will meet at any church potluck. The opportunity brought on by a gathering to break bread is also an opportunity to learn more about those in the congregation.
Tell me, what is your favorite potluck dish? Which group do you belong to? How can we improve upon our monthly potlucks? Let us know your thoughts! I look forward to hearing from you!
“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”
2 Corinthians 13:14
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