What are some keys to a successful Evangelistic Block Party?
A great way to have a successful evangelistic block party is to be intentional & to be relational!
A great Evangelistic Block Party is bathed in prayer. Weeks before the event, you can prayer walk the neighborhood you want to target. Enlist church members to pray specifically for the spiritual condition of the target neighborhood. Prayer should be for people to be open to the Gospel, for salvations to occur, for the discovery of new ministries, for people to come to your church and for new converts to follow Jesus in believer’s baptism. Prayer is one of the most important aspects, if not the most important aspect, of the preparation process.
A great Evangelistic Block Party is intentionally evangelistic. Evangelism is your number one goal. One way to approach evangelism is to have a team trained to give out marked New Testaments. A second approach is to use Gospel tracts.
A great Evangelistic Block Party is organized. Have one entrance to the block party. Greet & if possible register everyone to develop a list of names for follow-up after the party.
A great Evangelistic Block Party is intimate. At periodic times during the EBP, a speaker should thank guests for coming and present a short testimony. That is a time to announce, “We want everyone to receive a free gift today. Make sure you get yours before you leave.” The speaker can identify those church members trained to give out the Bibles or tracts, so the guests will know who to see to receive their gift. Hint: Have the evangelism team wear the same colored hat or shirt so guest can easily identify them.
A great Evangelistic Block Party is interesting. Play appropriate music. Utilize drama or clown ministries. If your church has a motorcycle ministry, have the motorcycles on display. If your church has a ping pong ministry, have game tables set up and in use. Use whatever resources you have that would promote interest.
A great Evangelistic Block Party is contextual. Tailor-make the block party for the people you are trying to reach.
MORE IDEAS ON HOW DO YOU MAKE IT HAPPEN
PRAYER – a block party is a God-sized task; it provides focus, builds unity and taps into God’s power.
PLACEMENT – people should work according to their giftedness, talents, and interests.
PREPARATION – advance preparation and training are essential to an effective block party.
A. PUBLICITY – Develop flyers that are attractive and give all the pertinent information. Your team will want to hand out flyers and invite people that live in the surrounding neighborhoods prior to your block party (preferably twice: at two weeks out and again the night before). Street banners and jumbo on-site signs are a big plus. Develop a Publicity Team to make or obtain banners and signs. Also, where permitted, advertise at area community centers, businesses, schools, coffee shops, parks, etc…
B. SITE LAYOUT – The block party should be noticeable to the neighborhood. Use appealing music (you will want to check with the city, housing authority, park or beach to acquire any required permits). The aroma of food should heighten the desire to join the fun. You will want to be strategic in positioning your featured activities and stage area for good visibility. Organize a Set-Up Team to plan and implement the placement of the trailer, activities and course of events. Host a pre-project weekend day for all EBPT Team Members to review the site and flow of the event. You may want to consider having an area where your Registration Team registers guests, gives out free food tickets and a flyer about your church. Registration cards can also be used for giveaways and for follow-up. Extra things to consider bringing; garbage bags, variety of drinks/water, door prizes, name tags, pens & pencils, first aid station, Lost and Found area…
C. EVANGELISM – develop an Evangelism Team to see that personal evangelism is done effectively. The Evangelism Team should include individuals whose sole responsibility is to conduct a one-on-one approach to evangelism at the block party. They can also serve as an immediate follow-up team to any decisions that might be made during or at the conclusion of a testimony or gospel presentation. Something that works well is when the person leading the prayer/invitation time instructs everyone to pray with him in a guided prayer time to trust Christ as their Lord & Savior and indicate they are making a decision for Christ by raising their hand (done during the prayer time). Your evangelism team members, who should already be ready to go, need to stand beside anyone with an upraised hand for immediate follow-up – to further explain and pray with them and to get their decision card filled out. The key is going to them and not expecting them to come to you or to go forward in a Block Party setting.
D. ACTIVITIES – your options are as limited as the imagination and resourcefulness of your team. You will benefit by developing an Activities Team to plan activities. Some ideas are: Health Checks, Free Clothes/Free Yard Sale, Helium Balloons/Balloon Animals, Praise Band/Live Music, Puppets, Face Painting, Helium Balloons/Balloon Animals, Clowns, Door Prizes/Grand Prize, Art Show, Dance Performance, Evangelistic Testimonies & Gospel Presentations.
1. Door Prizes – Collect door prizes from church members and businesses around your town. Have enough prizes to add excitement without overdoing it. Award prizes to block party guests. The intention is to make a good impression on those who do not regularly attend church. Types of door prizes could include toys, bikes, books, music CDs, craft items, Wal-Mart gift cards, children’s videos, DVD player….use your creativity and imagination.
2. Grand Prize – Use this to provide an incentive for the crowd to hear the gospel presentation from the main stage event. Consider these ideas:
The prize should attract attention and create excitement.
The grand prize could be a child’s bike, a portable stereo, gift cards, etc.
Drawing should be conducted after the gospel presentation.
Winner must be present.
3. Food Team – Working with a budget, have your Food Team members select what food and drinks to offer with your audience in mind. Have them also organize the set-up, preparation, method of food/beverage distribution and cleanup.
4. Evangelistic Stage Events – Use a stage area with music, drama, or puppets. Entertainment should be of good quality with the tastes of the audience in mind. This does not need to be a long program (you will find that you can easily loose the crowd, if you do not keep things moving and intentional). Mix in a personal testimony or two including the plan of salvation.
5. Cleanup Crew Team – This team would be responsible for the clean-up and reloading of the EBPT, as well as the grounds where your EBP takes place.
E. FOLLOW-UP – A good follow-up plan is essential. It is very important to have decision cards filled out on everyone making a decision or requesting prayer. Equip a Follow-up Team prior to your event who will personally visit those who have filled out a decision card within 72 hours of the completion of your event.