Letters: Potluck


Oh the memories. I am a Southern Baptist preacher’s kid. So let me tell you…I remember potlucks.

If you don’t know what a potluck is, let me try to set the stage. From my perspective, of course.

Saturday night, mom is in the kitchen putting some sort of dish together. Perhaps it’s a salad, perhaps it’s a casserole, perhaps it’s a crockpot full of meat and potatoes, or perhaps it’s a pie or cake or cookies…

Bottom line, preparation is happening the night before to prepare something to be brought to the potluck. Sometimes things got a little busy, so maybe, before church on Sunday morning, we would throw something together or stop by the store and pick up some chips and salsa or something.

You get to the church building on Sunday morning and drop off your dish at the fellowship hall…anyone remember those bad boys? Fellowship halls?

Anyway, after you drop your dish off, you go to Sunday school, then to the church service. The worst part of these Sundays was when the fellowship hall was close to the worship center…

The smells coming from the fellowship hall were often distracting. Especially the smell of the barbecue brisket that the Miller’s brought. They were in the oven on low to keep them warm. The smell of the brisket would sneak into the worship center while you were singing your opening hymns.

“Amazing brisket, how sweet the smell…”

Wait, GRACE…and SOUND!

Once you got through the singing portion of the service, the sermon was next. Even if you couldn’t smell the barbecue anymore, you were definitely thinking of all that barbecue sauce that was going to be on your fingers and on your mouth.

The amount of moist towelettes you were going to need were probably going to be about four. No, probably five.

The altar call. The pastor begins to invite people down to deal with what they heard today during his sermon. All up I are thinking about is barbecue and, of course, Mabelle’s coconut cream pie. During the altar call you look around to make sure that Mabelle is there today.

Third row back on the left in the middle of the pew…yep. There she is! Coconut cream pie is on the menu!

Just As I Am is on verse four and your mouth is salivating!

The altar call is over and it’s time. Time for the potluck.

As everyone maneuvers over to the fellowship hall, the potluck gets closer. The fellowship hall has a few tables that are loaded with food and drinks and deserts.


You walk through the lines and you have the opportunity to tasted flavors from all of these families who have prepared dishes for the potluck. You have your plate and you’re ready to dig in the pot full of food and try your luck.

Each family has brought their portion to share with the entire church. And somehow, it always worked out. There was plenty of salad, plenty of meat, plenty of veggies, plenty of drinks and plenty of deserts…except Mabelle’s coconut cream pie. There is never enough of that edible gold!

Can you see Christ here? Not necessarily in the pie, but in the potluck.

I can.

Each family bringing their portion to share with the entire group of attenders.

Now, lets go deeper…

The French Potluck


  1. Captivated · July 5, 2013

    Church of Christ preacher’s kid here and boy do I remember those potlucks! Texas beef brisket…I can almost smell it now. Totally see Christ in this and the ‘portions’ His members bring to feed the entire body. The preparation piece shouts out at me. Just like our mom’s spent time working up that dish for the church’s after service nourishment, I’ve got to be spending more time preparing what the Lord has to serve up through me. Good words bro.

  2. Trevor Honeycutt · July 5, 2013

    Thank God for potlucks! Natural & spiritual….love them all.

  3. David Bolton · July 5, 2013

    Great post, Mark. Absolutely the best analogy going to depict what a gathering of the church is to embody spiritually…and naturally too! Everyone brings their speciality…no one appears empty-handed…put it all together and you’ve got a FEAST that beats any “restarant” prepared meal, hands down. Love it!

  4. Steve Simms · July 5, 2013

    Church meals are the real deal — often more anointed and full of God’s love than the singing or the sermon.

  5. Pingback: Letters: Agape « marklchampion
  6. englishmo · July 30, 2013

    Unlike you Mark, I came to enjoy Potlucks somewhat later in life
    ! The food as well as the Body! I loved the humor in your post not to say nostalgia!

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