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.

Lynnlee_Moser

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!

 

At Northpoint, the Tuesday and Thursday evening leading up to our block party, our team of volunteers would meet for prayer and then break into teams to knock on doors to personally invite each neighbor to Saturday’s party.   We made up flyers that simply said, “Community Block Party – This Saturday.  Giveaways for adults and kids, free hot dog lunch &  inflatables.  Come meet your neighbors.”  In the very corner of the flyer we stated, “Sponsored by Northpoint Community Church.” ChrisMoser  We sent volunteers in teams of two throughout the neighborhood and encouraged them to keep their conversations simple and non-invasive.  Once someone answered the door, our team would simply say, “Hey, my name is ________, and I just wanted to let you know about a community block party that is happening this Saturday at Perlstein Park.  We’re going to have giveaways, free lunch and inflatables for the kids.  Hope you can make it out.”

Here’s what our block parties look like:

  1. Neighbors are greeted in the parking lot by a Northpoint volunteer and encouraged to make their way to the registration tent. They are invited to register every family member in order to be place in the giveaway drawing (this helps us build our database, especially when we were gearing up to launch Northpoint. don't miss this opportunity!)
  2. Kids are invited to play on the inflatables and parents directed towards the food tent.
  3. Upbeat music plays to give a festive atmosphere and announcements are made periodically for giveaways (we usually have six to ten toy giveaways for kids and four to five $10 giveaways for adults).
  4. Several volunteers from our team make it a priority to introduce themselves to neighbors and get to know them a little better.
  5. Our food crew has hot dog plates, drinks and snow cones readily available for everyone to enjoy. They take pride in what they do and always offer a smile to each person walking by.

We hosted four block parties leading up to launching Northpoint.  Every block party had between 75 and 150 in attendance.  We have numerous families attending Northpoint as a result of one of our block parties.  We believe in block parties so much, that the weekend before Easter we hosted three separate block parties on the same day.

When our church people gather together to walk through their community knocking on doors to invite people to a block party, relationships are strengthened.   When our church people gather together to pray over a neighborhood, God is honored.  When our church people work together to host a great block party, they see beyond the four walls of the church.  The question no longer is, “Why should we host a block party?”  The question is, “Why wouldn’t we host a block party?”  The outreach power of the party is evident!

Chris and Lynnlee Moser are co-pastors of Northpoint Community Church in Beaumont, Texas.