Overflowing Plates: Possibly the Best Church Potluck You Will Ever Experience

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Most congregations love to eat together. I have rarely met a congregation that doesn’t do a bit of righteous bragging about the great food that is shared at their potlucks. Food is often described as both tasty and abundant with stories of folks complaining that there just isn’t enough room on their plates for one more morsel, even though they only made it halfway down the banquet table.  

Church programming sometimes feels like a potluck ... so many offerings and so little time. Abundant and well-planned programming, anticipated and expected programming, and yet the refrain is the same: We cannot add one more thing to our plate. Truth be told, even church potlucks may be on the wane.  

So when congregations hear the call to invest in more Inter-Generational programming or to become Storytelling churches it’s understandable that we hear the cry, “Enough already! We cannot add one more thing to our plate!”

Rather than adding one more program or creating a new ministry planning team, here’s one idea for enhancing one event most church members already enjoy: Add a storytelling activity to your next planned potluck. Potlucks by nature readily include multiple generations so all you need to add is an engaging way to help the generations interact perhaps in a deeper or more intentional way. Fun-Co ( Fun in Community) is a storytelling activity that helps people share a bit about themselves and their faithwalk.  

  • For those of you who remember the Bunco craze, Fun-Co divides people into small groups that will be remixed after each round of storytelling, ensuring that participants have mingled beyond their usual social groups.  
  • Each group has a large die (children love the Dollar Store inflatable versions) and a card with six questions that correspond to the number each participant roles on that die. The lower the number the “easier” the sharing. Each card includes questions that a very young child could answer so all generations can share and listen to each other’s stories.  
  • Fun-Co is a “challenge by choice” activity. Participants can always choose to answer a question other than what they have rolled, thus protecting those who are new to storytelling and may feel uncomfortable with some of the deeper questions. Questions range from simply sharing a favourite book or movies, to significant Bible passages and faith mentor stories. There are questions for those who are seekers and those who have been engaged in the life of faith for many years.    

First CRC in Guelph, Ontario used this activity this past September at their annual Fall BBQ that serves as the kick-off for their ministry season. The planning team reported, “People were so engaged in listening to each other’s stories that we only got through 2 rounds. We will definitely do this at our next event.” “I loved watching people as they asked follow up questions after group members shared!”

See Faith Formations' Storytelling Toolkit for Fun-Co instructions and question cards as well as other simple ideas for enhancing the programming that you already have by strengthening both it’s Inter-Generational and Storytelling potential.  

Toolkits are curated with ideas that churches have found helpful. Have a storytelling idea to share? Let us know in the comments below or by emailing me at [email protected].

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