There are unwritten rules about potlucks. We could probably go on for a page or two about that. But the one that everyone knows, even if they won't say it out loud, is that if they come to eat, they had better bring something, too. You know that is so because when you try to invite a visitor who didn't know about it ahead of time and, thus, has nothing to contribute, you have to practically get down on your knees and beg them to come, telling them there is always plenty, because there always is.
We have a potluck every Sunday morning—not with literal food, but spiritual. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near (Heb 10:24-25). When I hear someone say they got nothing out of the services, I want to ask if they brought anything to share. You don't come to services and pull up to your pew like to a gas pump and expect to get filled up while you just sit by and do nothing yourself. We are supposed to be paying attention to one another, deciding how best to encourage and edify one another, to stir one another up to perform good deeds when we leave. Exactly how does sitting there considering yourself, and yourself only, accomplish any of that? And why does just entering the doors give us the right to taste everyone else's meal and judge whether it meets our own preferences while giving back nothing in return for others to consider?
I Corinthians 14 is one of the few places that discusses an assembly of the first century church. Yes, it discusses spiritual gifts primarily, but it must be in there for us to learn something from. Notice, when they came together, "each one" brought something—a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, an interpretation. And because everyone brought something there were rules for how to share them, beginning and ending with this purpose: Let all things be done unto edifying. If you have a tongue, but there is no interpreter, keep silent, because no one will be edified. If two or three of you have a prophecy, take turns one at a time while the others keep silent—no one can hear the message and be edified if you are all speaking at once. It's common sense, really, but it also tells us again that everyone brought something to the assembly to share. The vocal traffic jam proves that.
This week try worrying more about what you have to offer than what you think you should "get" out of the services. Start preparing your "dish" now for this coming Sunday. It might be a word of encouragement to the weak. It might be service to a young mother who is overwhelmed so she can hear a sermon for once. It might involve making a list during the announcements of all those you need to contact with cards, phone calls, or visits during the upcoming week. It might mean sharing things you know of so others can serve as well. You are required to take something to the potluck if you hope to enjoy the resulting feast in return.
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear (Eph 4:29).