Block-party trailer proves popular
January 5 2002 by James Dotson , North American Mission Board

Block-party trailer proves popular | Saturday, Jan. 5, 2002

Saturday, Jan. 5, 2002

Block-party trailer proves popular

By James Dotson North American Mission Board ALPHARETTA, Ga. - The evangelistic block party has been one of Southern Baptists' most effective strategies for community outreach, and the large-scale efforts of Strategic Focus Cities have served to refine the concept even further. Churches not only are able to make use of tested methods for throwing a great party, but they also don't have to worry about the logistics of handling the rental equipment. Small "block party trailers" include all the games, food equipment and other attractions considered most effective in helping churches put on a great neighborhood event.

"We call them a block party trailer, but the associations are finding out that they are useful more than just for block parties," said Tim Knopps, an Oklahoma City-based vocational evangelist who has helped put together several of the units in Las Vegas and Seattle. "They are also useful for Vacation Bible schools, sports camps, church picnics and church outings."

The concept arose a few years ago when evangelism leaders began to realize considerable savings by purchasing rather than renting equipment - particularly in Strategic Focus Cities areas where multiple block parties often are held each week during the summer.

"We began to see that most of the block parties started using many of the same materials over and over again," Knopps said. The common denominators usually included a "moonwalk"-type inflatable attraction for the children, popcorn and snow-cone machines, grills for cooking, helium and balloons, a selection of games, a portable sound system, a generator to keep it all running, small tents for shelter, and a number of other items.

The block party trailer became a one-stop solution for churches that would follow the instructions that came with each unit. This would free the members to focus more of their energy on meeting and talking with their neighbors about Christ.

"You can just put (it) up in the middle of nowhere and have an automatic outreach," said Scotty Smith, a youth minister from Seattle. "And it's pretty effortless. There's just a ton of possibilities."

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1/5/2002 12:00:00 AM by James Dotson , North American Mission Board | with 0 comments
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