After a summer of trips and long weekends, the Fall Kickoff was a great chance for people to catch up with each other and to meet folks who have more recently joined our little Antioch family. For the first kickoff in our new Minneapolis space we held a good old fashioned potluck after the Sunday service. Some of us were a little nervous that we would not have enough to eat, but we had plenty!
After the service we took up the rows of chairs, put down some tables, and set up a bounce house for the kids to play in. The kids were already in line to enter several minutes before it was ready. I wasn’t sure they could wait. Then finally, when the top filled with enough air to pop into position, the kids collectively drew an audible gasp and cheered like they had won a prize.
For me, potlucks like this are a highlight of the life of a church. They remind me of my home church growing up. The town was smaller than Minneapolis, and certain little old ladies always brought their famous hot dish, others were always in charge of constant clean up, and kids were running around everywhere. Antioch is younger on average, and the kids here get a little more supervision. Plus back then I don’t think I ever saw anything with quinoa, or labeled gluten free. But the spirit was the same then and now.
Every time the church gathers we are living out our identity as a family. We are a family made up of all sorts of people from all walks of life, brought together by the work of Jesus. Whether it’s during a Sunday service, a lunch break with other believers, a game night, or a potluck, we can celebrate the fact that Jesus has not just saved us from our sin, but he has provided a way for us to not be alone.
In Matthew 18:20 Jesus says, “where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am among them.” Our hope is that potlucks would not be an end in themselves. We pray that these types of family gatherings would empower us to live out the gospel in the communities where we live, work, and play. A gospel family isn’t perfect, but it is held together by the One who is. So if you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, the next time you connect with other believers—for whatever reason—remember the One makes that connection possible. And who knows, maybe the Lord will use your life in community as a compelling example to people around you. Thankfully in this family, there’s always room for one more at the table.
— Coley Waataja