We have lived in our neighborhood for four years now. I can’t believe it! During this time we have gotten to know some of the people who live closest to us but not many others. There are quite a few walkers, joggers, and stroller pushers who pass by our house daily, but I think I might scare them away if I came running out of the house to introduce myself whenever they pass by (even though I am sure Emma, our yorkie, would love to do this).
So since this method was out, Michael Luke and I decided to host a block party for the neighborhood. Ever since we got back from our mission trip to Seattle in August, Michael Luke has wanted to implement some of the same things at our church. One of these was hosting a neighborhood block party, giving us a chance to meet and start relationships with families in our neighborhood. Our house is only about one third of a mile (more like a tenth of a mile if I could cut through everybody’s yards) from the church, making our neighborhood a target outreach area of the church.
Our Sunday school class helped organize the event. The church provided the food, and several other members came out to offer support. The church provided supplies for burgers, chips, and dessert.
There are about 150 townhouses in our neighborhood. Our Sunday school class passed out flyers advertising the event the week before, but we were unsure how many would come. We ended up with a great turn out! I never counted heads, but I would say somewhere between 20-25 people came from the neighborhood. Several of our friends from our small group (Bible study) were there to help with cooking and talking to our neighbors.
We really enjoyed the opportunity to meet so many of our neighbors. Our children’s minister, Will, was there to play with the kids while we got a chance to talk to some of the parents. It made me fall in love with the neighborhood all over again because I realized how many young families with children live near us. Our little one will have lots of playmates someday! The other mothers were also very encouraging and let me know they would be close by if I ever needed anything… such a great feeling!
By the end of the night, some of the ladies had decided we should do a recipe swap around Christmas, so we could all get together again. I am already looking forward to it!
I really think everyone enjoyed the block party, and it was a successful outreach for our church. Our intentions were not to share the gospel, but instead show the gospel, get to know our neighbors, and build a foundation for a relationship where in the future we may have the opportunity to share the gospel.
It was so much fun, and I hope we have the opportunity to do it again… maybe next year. This could be implemented in anybody’s neighborhood, and although our church funded the meal, it would not be a big expense for a single family to take on. We used a box of 40 frozen hamburger patties, bread and chips were bought on sale, and the dessert was donated. Other odds and ends were paper plates, condiments, napkins and bottled water (just in case… our invitations said to bring your own drink and chair). You can see from the pictures that blankets ended up working just as well as chairs. Especially, for the children.
Does anybody have plans for something like this in the future? Or has your neighborhood had a block party recently? If so, what did you like best about it?
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