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Great ideas for making it easier, more enjoyable, and less stressful to organize that special event or function you have in mind.
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09 May

How To Organize a Flawless Church Potluck

Potlucks are a meaningful principle Each church member comes to the potluck with their own dish they contribute to the whole meal. Together, all of the individual dishes feed the entire church and maybe more. If you're planning a potluck party, then it's time to start reading through our guide below.

In our guide on party planning, you'll find all the information you need to know about hosting a church potluck. Continue reading below to get this potluck started!

Start Planning Sooner Than Later

Don't wait until the last minute to start planning your potluck. Trying to organize a party in a couple of weeks can cause stress and prevent some people from being able to attend. Always plan your potluck at least one month in advance.

This gives you plenty of opportunities to announce the potluck date to church members before or after church services. Make several announcements so that everyone knows about it and can attend and bring food. You can also send out emails to all church members as a reminder.

If your church has a social media account, then don't hesitate to make an announcement there as well. This is also the perfect place to create an event with all of the potluck information. Church members can then communicate on the social media page about the potluck and ask questions.

Choose a Potluck Theme

The fun thing about planning a potluck is that you can choose a theme for everyone to stick to. The theme you choose can be anything you can think of. If there's a special theme being spoken about during service, then you can incorporate that theme into your potluck.

Other themes to consider are ones that are inspired by the seasons or holidays around the time the potluck's being held. If there's a specific culture you want to celebrate, then consider hosting a potluck theme where members bring a dish from that specific culture. Another great idea is to have everyone bring their own favorite dish to teach others a bit more about themselves.

Create a Sign-Up Sheet

Creating a sign-up sheet when hosting a potluck is essential. You want to make sure everyone can see what's being brought by others so they can decide what to bring themselves. This helps eliminate multiple dishes of the same food or too many dishes of the same type, such as too many desserts.

There are several different ways to send out a sign-up sheet, so make sure you consider all options and choose the one right for your church. For example, you can print out a sign-up sheet and have it at the different services for members to sign up for dishes in person. You can do it via email communication or simply use an online signup sheet.

Choosing to create the sign-up sheet online gives everyone access to it at all times. Everyone can see what's still needed and who signed up for what without having to wait until attending service. You'll also be able to see how the sign-up sheet is doing no matter where you're at or what time of the day it is.

Ask Guests About Dietary Restrictions

One important thing that must be considered when planning a potluck is dietary restrictions. A potluck brings a large group of people together to celebrate friendship, community, and delicious food. The last thing you want is for someone to not be able to participate in the meal because of their own dietary restrictions.

To make sure there's something for everyone, take the time to ask each church member to write down any dietary restrictions they may have. This might include allergies, or dietary preferences, such as gluten-free foods or vegan meals only. Make sure everyone is aware of these restrictions and that enough people bring meals that people with restrictions can eat.

Make sure these dishes are labeled to make it easier for everyone to know what's what. For example, if someone makes a vegan meal, then they should label it, "vegan-friendly." There's no reason why someone with dietary restrictions shouldn't be able to enjoy the potluck as well.

Provide Guidelines For Dishes

After creating your sign-up sheet, you may find that all church members are quick to add a dish to the list. The sheet might fill up quickly with many wonderful dishes, but there's also a chance that some members might not know what to bring. No need to panic.

Simply give them a few guidelines for dishes. For example, on your sign-up sheet, you can break it down into sections. Leave a certain amount of blank spaces for people to sign up for main dishes, desserts, drinks, and so on.

This gives some guidance on what's needed to prevent too many of the same dishes from being brought.

Encourage a Variety of Food Types

You also have the option of encouraging a variety of food types if members are struggling to come up with their own. Instead of giving basic guidelines, you can give specific guidelines from the beginning or once several people have signed up and you're still in need of some dishes.

Prepare a list of food items for ideas. You might let members know that a loaf of bread would be much appreciated or a side dish of salad. Don't forget about the kid's table, either.

Ask for some simple meals that most children would enjoy. This might be hotdogs, hamburgers, chick nuggets, and juice boxes.

Don't Forget to Include Drinks

With so many people thinking about what food they should bring, it's not uncommon to forget about some other necessities like drinks. Make sure you add a section on your sign-up sheet for drinks. You're going to want a variety of options for drinks as well.

Water, sodas, juice, and wine might be a few good options. In order to ensure there are enough drinks for everyone, you might need to have several different people bring drinks.

Appoint Someone to Bring Tableware

Aside from drinks, you also don't want to forget tableware. You're going to want a good amount of tables and chairs if the church doesn't already have some. You might also want to use tablecloths to improve the aesthetics.

Then, you're going to need enough plates, napkins, and silverware for all attendees. If there's someone who's not too keen on cooking, then this person can be in charge of bringing the tableware.

Prepare Entertainment Options

Planning a church potluck is so much more than asking church members to bring a dish. It's also about creating an evening or afternoon of fun, laughter, and enjoyment for everyone. A great way to add to your potluck environment is to prepare some entertainment options.

Consider bringing a few games, good books to read, or a karaoke machine. When people are done eating, they can still stick around for a bit and enjoy one another's company.

Be Sure There Are Enough Volunteers

Everyone contributes to the potluck by bringing their own dish, but keep in mind you can't set up the entire event alone. You're going to need enough volunteers to help you set everything up. You'll need to clean the room where you're going to host the potluck, so putting together a party clean-up crew is also beneficial.

You'll need to wipe down the tables and set them up with chairs and table cloths. You'll need to also set up the tables where the food will be served and ensure there's enough room for everything, including the tableware. You might also want to set up a section for the games and other entertainment.

This is a lot of work to do alone, so make sure you recruit help early on.

Let's Start Planning Your Church Potluck

A church potluck is an ideal time to get to know all of the church members. The entire church community can come together to celebrate life and faith over some delicious meals. You know how important it is to plan an awesome potluck for your church members.

Pitch In Club makes doing so a breeze! Pitch In Club is an event planning/tracking tool that encourages others to pitch in with organizing events. You can easily create an event, manage people, and track the event's status.

Sign up for free today to see how the Pitch In Club can help you organize, plan, and host your church potluck!