Everyone contributes – If I have people over to my house for dinner I provide the food but at a potluck everyone brings something to share.
Communal Hospitality – at a potluck everyone is there to serve one another. There is no distinction between hosts and guests because we all end up playing both of those roles at a potluck.
Bringing out the best – At our potlucks I find that most people who at least have time and resources to prepare some food before they show up really bring some good food. They take time and thought to prepare something that will bless others. There is a sense of people showing up wanting to be a blessing in a very practical way to others.
The real action is at the table – I heard a guy on a podcast talking about how the cake part of a cup cake is really just a frosting delivery mechanism because the frosting is the best part. A potluck is a community delivery mechanism. Sure the food is great but it is the conversations around the table with new friends old friends and people you just met that really infuses the potluck with life.
A potluck is a simple picture of church – I love all of the stories in the New Testament of Jesus eating at people’s houses, celebrating the Passover meal with his disciples the night before he was crucified, and how even after the resurrection that he cooked a breakfast of fish and bread for his disciples by the sea. A potluck feels good because it has its roots in the beginning of the church. When we each come together and bring our best to share with others as we gather around the person and purposes of Jesus it is a simple picture of what church is about.