In the calendar year I attend or host about 15-20 potlucks. Most are ok, some are great and very few are so engaging that having to end one leaves you wanting just a little bit more.
Most people view potlcuks as a mean to be frugal. Different occasions call for potlucks where the host can’t possible feed everyone at once, usually when the number of people are over 10. I see them as a great opportunity to practice hospitality. Many potlucks held at my place are either right after house church or some other Congregational event involving larger crowds like baptisms, birthdays and the like.
In my mind the responsibility falls on the host, the person whom house the event is happening at, unless there’s a party planner involved. If potlucks are not coordinated properly the table ends up with very similar dishes. Last Sunday 3 dishes had chicken drum sticks, luckily they were all different flavours. The host has the opportunity to address the guest before the day and direct the flow of food people will be bringing and dedicating specific people to bring specific things, i.e. such and such person can bring salad, others can bring refreshments, others dessert and so on. Furthermore, the host also has the opportunity to set the mood, plan games and start conversation pieces, setting the tone for the evening/afternoon. Opening your home is one the bravest and coolest thing you can do to practice hospitality. People will see how you prepare, live and treat those who you consider close and loved. In Roman’s 12 we are encouraged to practice hospitality, opening the doors of your house is inviting people to your world. People will see you for who you truly are, allowing them to come in our home places the host in a vulnerable position. Many people don’t open their homes unless they’re in immaculate shape, which of course is not likely if you have children. I’m a huge believer in saying food brings people together. The camaraderie and time spent in company allows people to share and get to know one another.
Good times are to be had in proper planned potlucks and get together’s.