How to Throw a Block Party

This week on the blog Nathan Adams discusses what he learned attending a block party for “National Night Out”.  Considering a gathering of your neighbors?  Consider Nathan’s advice.

Hosting a party is an art. It takes a special person to put together all the necessary details – confirming guests, coordinating food options, securing a venue, airing up balloons, advertising, and loading tables/chairs. Then when the event finally happens, remaining available to everyone as the consummate host to answer questions, direct traffic and shake all hands.

I was recently reminded during “National Night Out”, that I am NOT one of those special people. Seminaries should start having a ministry class on event planning before more Greek and eschatology. No offense Dr. Lyle or Dr. Stiver. We could measure the success of any event by the headcount, but I am learning that a truer sense of the impact of your block party comes from your utilization of local talent. How many neighbors, Sunday school classmates, family members or friends are helping host? How many jobs are you handing out? Someone can bring a dish. Another can manage the flow of the bounce house. A few can set up. Another crew can clean up. Most anyone can invite through flyers, Facebook or word of mouth. Doling out assignments to 12 may be better than feeding 5000.

Becoming just one amongst many hosts instead of THE ONE is helpful on many levels. We can alleviate a ton of self-imposed pressure, work out our trust muscles and share ownership with people we care about it. So, whether you’re hosting a fall festival at Johnston Elementary or a neighborhood association at Alameda or a parade around the River Oaks/Elmwood Triangle, your next best event may happen when other people are throwing it.


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