Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Thanks God!

There are some times that God tells you... "You know, here is a little gift for you. Just to let you know that you are on the right track."

God has given me a few of those lately. Today in staff meeting, we had a discussion... on block parties.

If you know me well at all in the last few years, you have heard me talk about block parties. I have talked about how we need to be doing them, we need to be intentional about them, etc. I don't mean block parties out in the church parking lot, I mean block parties that you organize with people, *gasp*, on your block!

Today in staff meeting, one of the issues that was on the agenda was block parties. Obviously, I was curious about what they would say about them.

Currently, there are two staff members that are talking about them. Our music minister's block is having one, and our senior minister is wanting to do one. John's block does them quite frequently. The discussion today was about how to take church money and support them.

We are talking about letting them use tables and chairs for free, we are talking about using outreach budget to furnish some things, like bounce houses and food. We are talking about doing outreach with the express purpose of reaching out to our neighbors, regardless of whether they go to our church, the church down the street, or if they even go to church at all!

There have been several God moments already in the last couple weeks that I have been here. Thanks God for talking... I am trying to listen!


Big Doofus said...

That's cool. Let me quote a friend of mine who used to be a youth pastor at one of our area churches...

"Wow! It's like there really is a God and He's actually in control!"

I like the block party idea. The question is, "What, if anything, does the church expect?" I'd be thrilled if the answer was, "NOTHING!"

We did a free car wash a few times with this idea. Our building is across from the area ball diamonds and we held the car wash on one of their busiest days of the year. They are short on parking and use our lot (something we consider to be community outreach--on a small level). Anyway, there was NO CHARGE for the car wash. There were NO DONATIONS ACCEPTED. It was just something nice to do. As simple as it was, it seemed to be pretty powerful. There were no tracts handed out, or flyers or puppet shows. We planted seeds with hoses, soap, sponges and elbow grease while letting God be God. Your idea has the potential (in my human way of thinking) to do so much more. Very cool.

soebeck said...

Actually, there was a discussion about what if someone stuffs some money in your hand.

The response was to absolutely refuse it. Tell them if they insist, then they are to take their money to help an organization that helps the inner-city.

scott said...

Dandy. Next thing you know, someone is going to be opening a whole slew of bar churches.

This kind of community involvement is fantastic -- focused on building the relationship, serving people, and not necessarily "inviting people to church."

Big Doofus said...

As long as you pass out the 4 Spiritual Laws booklets you can have any kind of event you care to hold.

soebeck said...

Oh well of course we'll have tracks! I thought that was just understood. I mean the waitress seem to like it when I leave them as tips in restaurants... well, the look like they are thinking when they pick them up and read them anyway.

I really like the ones that are made to look like fake 20's...that really makes them think!

Joe B said...

Great post, Soe B!

I'm curious. If a block party is a block party, then why does the church want/need to pay for it? Part of a block party is engaging the neighbors to do a thing together. Not "from us to you", but "let's do this."

And why pay for it with peoples' tithes? Is a "senior minister block party" a holier thing than a "lady in the third row block party"? Is this really a block party we're talking about, or a publicity event for church celebs?

I say kick it up a notch: stir up a real block party. One that involves your block, not just invites them. And do it the way other people do it. Keep it real.

But do it. You're onto something good. But avoid slipping into the church rut.

scott said...

Link for Soebs:

Pints and Prayer for Pub Regulars

"The Church is not a building, the Church is the people, so it is easy for us to change venue where some people feel more comfortable."

soebeck said...

Nice, that's what I am talking about Scott!

Joe - The discussion isn't how can the church pay for or gain anything from it. The idea is to support members of the church getting to know their neighbors, and if members want to borrow chairs or tables to help the block out, that is great, it is encouraged. We really want nothing more from this then to help people to get into their neighbors lives.

I don't know that anyone wants to do any inviting. In fact, so far, none of the block parties have been church people initiated. The church just to help if needed or possible.

Joe B said...

Yeah, I missed some of the point. You are actually talking about REAL block parties, not church-initiated plastic-fork affairs.


I just want to remind everyone that even before block parties were cool, I was puching the block party agenda. And you all laughed.

Except for Soe B...

void77 said...

Well, I only laughed cuz I thought you were talking about Legos!


soebeck said...

Joe, you and I are kindred souls.

And I'm not gay.

Big Doofus said...

What's going on here? It's like we're actually getting along or something. This isn't write.

I'll fix that...

"Joe, you smell...LIKE CANDY AND SUNSHINE."

Arrrgggghh. I can't do it. This thread is cursed.

Big Doofus said...

This isn't "right". Wow. I'm a moron.