The arrival of spring brings a refreshing change of pace to our lives and ministries. Indoor activities are abandoned as kids and families head outdoors to break the winter doldrums and get moving again. For the evangelistic children’s minister, this is an exciting time. The newness of the season has many thinking about the fields that are ready for harvesting. Take your children’s church or ministry into the community with a kid-oriented block party. A block party will put you, and your team, in the neighborhood where the people are. Use these practical tips for planning a kid’s ministry block party.
Take a drive through the local neighborhoods. Look for areas that are relatively close to your church and will allow your block party to be visible. Work from a church member’s neighborhood or block if possible. This will give you an advantage when meeting challenges like finding electricity sources for music boxes and restroom facilities.
Gather Your Force
Meet with volunteers and potential volunteers. Gauge your potential block party size according to the help you have. Ideally, you need many volunteers not only to wait on those who show up, but also to mix with the visitors. In addition, you will need enough help to manage the safety of the children. Volunteers should keep their eyes peeled for potential problems like dangerous strangers or the presence of weapons.
Pick fun activities for your block party. Remember, this kind of gathering is supposed to be laid back and personal. Host a yard sale with kids in mind. Collect and sell, for a few pennies, old toys, games and kids clothes. Have typical block party games like jump rope and a water balloon toss. You might have some musical guests at your block party or a professional clown. If you decide on karaoke, provide the music. Keep in mind many kids may not be familiar with Christian songs so brings some safe secular music.
Put up signs in the targeted neighborhood a couple of weeks in advance. Get out and meet the neighbors in advance of the party. Hand out flyers and tell the community what you plan to do. Avoid making it a “church party” away from church. Keep your focus on drawing the community to your event, not your church.
Every block party should include a good barbecue. Barbecued hot dogs are inexpensive and easy to cook. Provide chips and canned drinks to the neighbors who come to snack with you. Barbecue grills are some of the best advertisement in the world. Serve the kids cupcakes or popsicles.
Do not let your hard work go to waste. Instead, take the next step. Gather information during your block party by offering some give away gifts. Give away gift baskets or inexpensive toys to kids. Ask guests to provide their name, address and telephone numbers to enter the drawings. In the next few days, follow up with everyone who signs up. Express your thanks for their attendance and schedule a chance to follow up with them during a private or second visit.
Block parties are useful tools for breaking down walls in an area or neighborhood. Meet the kids in your community with this fun event.