Does your church do potlucks? I know many churches no longer do these. In case you don’t know what this is, it’s just some kind of lunch that’s offered after the service is over.
At my church we used to do these every week. We thought that it was a great opportunity for people to connect with each other and touch base with guests that have come. To a certain degree, this was the case. A few months ago we made the decision to just have a joint potluck just once a month. To be honest, this was mainly a financial and human resources issue. Doing a big potluck every week requires quite a few volunteers and a lot of cleanup, so we decided to do something else for the other weeks. Outside of the church doors we set up some tables with drinks, muffins, cookies, and that sort of thing.
And guess what we noticed? We noticed that people were actually interacting a lot more then they were in the potlucks. In a potluck, people typically sit with the same people, in the same areas. If they do sit with a guest, they have the ability to connect with 3-4 people, perhaps. Notice the fatal flaw here? It’s all the sitting that’s happening.
But when we began doing the snacks outside after the service, we noticed people began mingling with more people. People would move around and say hi to different people. A lot more connections were being made than before. We’ve noticed that people typically hang out for about 30 minutes or so. And then when it’s all done, we just need to pick up the tables and bring them inside. Instead of having people “in the kitchen” cleaning up and serving food, we can have them “on the floor” interacting with guests.
For us, this was all a surprise. But definitely a pleasant one at that.
If you’ve never tried it before, I suggest doing a little experiment and seeing how it works for you.
So what about you? Do you do something for guests after your church service? A potluck? Snacks? What has worked for you and what have you seen?
[image by Lopiccolo]