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10 Food Ideas for Your Next Small Group Gathering

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Here’s a fun little fact for Small Group Point People: companion literally means “one you share bread with.” The word comes from the Latin com meaning “with” and panis, “bread.” Hopefully small groups are made up of companions on the journey—people we share bread with as we journey closer to Jesus.

Most small groups aren’t a small group unless there is food shared. Be honest, which of us have not tried to entice our members by the food we serve?

While we all love to have a good snack or two, sometimes we are left scratching our heads, fresh out of ideas. Brownies? “I think we did those the previous three gatherings.”

I recently asked other Small Group Point People for their favorite snacks, and here are some ideas.

  1. Popcorn bar: Pop up some popcorn and have a plethora of toppings/flavorings for people to choose from. As an icebreaker, you could ask, “What topping best exemplifies how you are doing/feeling today?” My only word of caution: if popping in the microwave, be careful not to burn the popcorn so your house does not smell like burnt popcorn.
  2. Cheese and crackers: Who does not love some really good cheese? Be adventurous and try some new cheeses. Or you could ask people to bring their favorite cheese. For me, nothing beats a good wheel of Epoisses—earthy, slightly pungent, but so savory.
  3. Smores: Who doesn’t love standing around a fire, roasting marshmallows? As the host, you provide the graham crackers and marshmallows, and then ask others to provide their favor accoutrement, like different chocolates and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Plus if you have younger kids, you get to train them on the proper roasting techniques; so that when they are old, they will not depart from it. (A loose interpretation of Proverbs 22:6.)
  4. Slice and bake cookies: These are for those times when just having food will be good enough, but you do get the perk of the smell of fresh baked cookies wafting through your house as gets enter.
  5. Crescent wrapped little smokies: get a package of little smokies, get a tube or two of crescent roll dough. You will have to cut each triangle into thirds. Wrap each smokie in the crescent roll and bake as directed. Serve with a few dipping sauces.
  6. Guacamole Competition: Invite anyone and everyone to bring their best guacamole and have a competition to determine whose is best. Because no one will ever complain about too much guacamole. To make it a little more fun: depending on the make up of your group, have the men compete against each other for guacamole top honors, with the women as judges. Or vice versa.
  7. Taco Night: Have a potluck centered around the ultimate hand held food—the taco.

Because the holidays are upon us, here are a few holiday ideas:

  1. Holiday themed potluck: Whether it is turkey or a nice roast, have everyone bring a favorite holiday dish to share. Around the table, ask people to share their favorite holiday traditions.
  2. Cookie exchange: A holiday season is not a holiday season without a good cookie exchange.

And last but not least, here is my favorite go-to small group snack: baked brie. Get a wheel of brie cheese, a tube of crescent roll, and your favorite jam (I love strawberry rhubarb). Unroll the crescent dough, being sure to push together any holes/tears. Put the brie on top of the dough. Spoon the jam on top liberally. Wrap the cheese and the jam, making sure there are no crevices for the jam to seep out. Bake at 350 F until browned. Serve with crackers. Fair warning: you might need two.

This article originally appeared here.