3 Steps to Host a Great Party for your Neighborhood
The Christmas season is soon upon us and that means it is time to celebrate the wonderful season of Christmas with family and friends. Recently at Redeemer we encouraged the people within our Gospel Communities to start hosting parties and invite their neighbors and non-Christian friends to these gatherings. We want our Gospel Communities to throw such great parties that our neighbors that don't know Jesus want to come and join you. Yes this blog post may seem a bit soon before the season begins but we want you to start planning now. And these parties don't all have to be just seasonal, start now and invite neighbors over.
Mission is central in the life of our Gospel Communities and within those who are found in Christ. Christ came into this world on a mission to bring sinners back to God. Jesus had a mission, he did not sit back and not do anything, he was active and cared for us even to the point of death on a cross. As Christians we are called to care about all those who don't know Jesus. One of the primary reasons we gather as the body of Christ outside of Sundays is to reflect the glorious truths of our Savior, Jesus Christ. This Christmas season let us be active within our neighborhoods and be on mission.
So here are 3 easy steps to throwing a great party this Christmas season to get to know your neighbors. This is just a list of suggestions, but our hope is that these steps will spark disciples of Jesus to embrace being missionaries within every area of their lives.
1. Come up with a catchy seasonal name for your party
It's important to come up with a name for your Christmas Bash. Don't do something simple like "Samish Neighborhood Christmas Party". Think outside the box! Do something like "The Ultimate Christmas Bash"! Make it unique to pique the interests of your neighbors and friends. God created you with a creative bone, so be creative and have fun with it.
Ideas for different Christmas Parties:
- Gift Exchange
- Have a "Best Ever Christmas Enchilada Contest".
- Progressive Dinner Party (For those in a GC who live close in proximity)
- Christmas Caroling (Outside with candles, of course, the kids will love it)
2. Gather your GC Family to Pray and Plan
At this GC family gathering it is important to first and foremost ask God together to use this neighborhood party to bring glory to His Son Jesus Christ and ask Him to bring opportunities to get to know your neighbors and care for them. Ask God to give you creative minds to pull off a great party that is welcoming to people. Ask God to provide moments to talk about your King Jesus (Disclaimer: Don't be weird, listen to your neighbors and ask questions about them: more about this below)
After your time in prayer with your GC family, it is time to plan the party. Assign different jobs for people to do so you don't have to do everything.
- Who's designing and/or making the invitations? (Physical invites are helpful for people to come, no Facebook. Don't be lazy, go door to door and invite people with a friendly smile to your Christmas Party) Easy Invitations to make.
- Who's making the food? If it's too much to cook for a ton of people, plan the Christmas Party for after dinner, do dessert. Fun Food Ideas for Christmas Parties.
- Make a guest list (At least know how many people is too many for you to connect with). Look at the location you are hosting your party. If space is limited, don't invite more than 8 people in your neighborhood. The smaller the place and the more crammed people feel at the party, the more people feel more guarded and shut off. Think of your environment carefully and choose how many people is too many.
- Assign people from your GC family will come to the party to do odd things around the house so you can be present talking to your neighbors. Not everyone from your GC needs to be at the actual party as that gets a little weird. (Have assigned people in your GC serve food, do dishes, refill drinks). These people should be present but not distracting.
- Know the space you intend to use and organize it accordingly. Check link for some great ideas on making the most of the space you have.
- Plan which games to do. Even if it is cold outside, that’s ok, do games outside. Give people something to do besides just talking. Plan games for both adults and children. (Example of some games are horseshoes, corn hole, Red Rover, tag, and three legged races. Three legged races with parents and kids can be a huge hit and great icebreaker for everyone involved.) Other Great Party Game Ideas.
3. Have Fun and Get to Know Others at the Party
You are throwing the party to get to know your neighbors and become friends with them. So ask questions about your neighbor’s lives. Care about others by listening to them. You don't have to always talk, ask a lot questions.
- What do you do for work? Do you like the job? What's your dream job?
- Do you have any children? What sort of things do you like to do for fun with them in ______ (Insert town name here)?
- What do you like to do for fun when you're not working? If it is something genuinely interesting, ask if you might have them show you some time. (Disclaimer for men and women: Before you go and ask someone to invite you along with them, to be above reproach, make sure you say this to gender specific people. This will just elevate any weird or false signals)
The goal is to have fun, get to know your neighbors and throw a great party. Be on mission this holiday season and may God continue to save people by His grace.