The Power of the Block Party
Anytime that a church can provide an opportunity for people to experience community together, it is a great thing.  Whether you are a new church plant or a church that’s been in existence for many years, block parties can begin the process of relationship building that neighbors are hungry for.  As communities and neighborhoods become aware of a church that is interested in them as families and individuals, trust is built, people are impacted and the church gains credibility in their community.


When we began the journey of planting a brand new, baby church, we knew that part of the process would involve hosting block parties.  What we were not fully aware of at the beginning of this journey was what a profound impact these block parties were going to have on our community and our church.  A recent survey conducted in our kid’s ministry showed that almost 90% of the children at Starting Point Kids have attended a block party hosted by Northpoint.   Most of those children are attached to a family unit that is attending Northpoint.

Block parties provide a great opportunity for you to build relationships, grow your database and build momentum for an upcoming church launch or for a renewed outreach strategy within an existing church.  In order to get the full benefits of such an event, it is important that you have a well-planned strategy before you begin preparations.

The first step towards a great block party is prayer.  Ask God to guide your church towards the community that He desires for you to have an impact on.  Who is God calling your church to reach?  Pray for God appointed conversations as your team knocks on doors to invite people to the block party and during your block party.  God is faithful.  Give Him glory every step of the way and look for the open doors He is giving you to build relationships.

Once God has directed you to a target neighborhood, the planning for the actual event can begin. There are great opportunities that come with a block party and proper planning will maximize these opportunities.

Before your block party, have a team meeting and lay out every detail.  Select a food crew, a registration crew, a recreation crew and a connection crew (those are the volunteers who can naturally connect with someone in a conversational way.)  These teams will help think through and execute every detail pertaining to their area.  Once this is in motion, it’s time to get the word out!

Finishing Well

Finishing Well --- A Summary --- Kim L. Richardsonjesse-owens-racing

In early 2010, I was privileged to interview nineteen retired Nazarene pastors on the topic of finishing a life of Christian ministry well. They were all men, ranging in age from 65 to 87. The interviews were conducted as follows:

  • Interviews were face to face and averaged about two hours.
  • Each interviewee was asked about his call, his ministry journey, his spouse, his desire to quit (if ever), adjustments (if any) in the latter years of ministry, the most enjoyable and most difficult aspects of retirement, and his advice on how to finish well.

Below is a summary of my findings on characteristics important to “finishing well.” I have narrowed them down to seven. Direct quotes from the interviewees have been italicized. I hope these words of reflection inspire clergy—who are now where many of these men were decades ago—to finish their ministry well.

What is Coaching?


"Professionals have coaches. Amateurs do not. For example, I play golf and I take lessons, but I am an amateur and do not have a full-time coach. This is probably why I pay money to play golf instead of getting paid to play like a pro. Yet, when it comes to the game of business and investing, I do have coaches...several of them. Why do I have coaches? Because I am the professional in those games and I want every advantage to help me win!"

ROBERT KIYOSAKI Author and Wall Street Investment Banker

Statistics show that 61% of pastors today say they have no one to talk with about their personal lives and ministry. Each week more and more pastors are leaving the ministry. Why is this happening? Most pastors are longing for serious growth and change. No more numbers, programs or different ways to "do" church. They want to know how to tap into what God is doing in His church.

You might be reading this thinking about how you or someone you know could benefit from coaching. What coaching offers is someone to walk with you for a while and use wonderful skills and gifts to bring about clarity, movement, awareness, responsibility and motivation through the development of a healthy church!
Go Cowboys!

go cowboys

No, not the Dallas Cowboys, but the real cowboys of Texas. Look at this exciting report…

On Easter Sunday, six Cowboy Churches in Texas reported 1,468 in attendance with 71 professions of faith and 7 baptisms.

Here is how Jake Hershey reported it to his partners in ministry.

“Amazing what God can and will do, even with some yahoos like us, if we’ll just seek His will, keep it simple and let Him do the work. I’m proud to know every single one of ya…and humbled that God would call and trust an outlaw like me to partner with Him and all of you. Thought y’all would be interested to see these numbers. Remember…Jesus Loves Cowboys, so let’s keep givin’ Him a chance to Save the Cowboy!”

Editor’s note:

For more information on Cowboy Church, follow the links provided. For more information on a culturally appropriate approach to ministry in your community, have some long talks with the Holy Spirit, community leaders and your leadership team. God Bless!

And Jesus went through...
as jesus went through “…And Jesus Went Through All the Towns and Villages…”

Since being appointed District Superintendent of the Southwest Latin American District in April, 2007, I have had the opportunity to visit various cities and towns in the states of Arizona and New Mexico as well as greater El Paso, Texas. In the fall of 2008, I asked the Lord in prayer to reveal to me an effective strategy for initiating new congregations in the district.  The passage in Mt. 9:35-10:1 inspired me with its account of Jesus’ love and compassion for cities and towns through which he passed.  Their relative importance or size seemed immaterial to him.  In every town, he shared the good news of the kingdom which brought hope and healing.

I felt lead to specific cities and towns in southern Arizona for the first phase of this strategy. In January of 2009, we launched the “South Arizona Initiative” with the goal of starting new congregations in four cities we identified:  Casa Grande, Willcox, Benson, and Bisbee.   

I started sharing the strategic vision with the churches in the South Arizona Zone. We lacked many of the resources necessary for its implementation, such as the pastors/leaders, buildings, and funding, but we believed in our call to follow the example of Jesus who “went about all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people” (Mt. 9:35).
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