Last night we had our first-ever official Walls Down party!
The goal for this party was to meet with some friends, get to know one another better, share the Walls Down vision, and ask our friends to connect us to their friends so that together we can help people discover the life Jesus promised.
We wanted to have between 20-25 people for our first party. We had a total of 26 people (counting the nine from our two families) say “Yes, we’ll be there.” After several last minute cancellations, and a couple of no-shows, we wrapped up the evening with 18 people (11 adults and 7 children).
More about that in a minute…
We did a couple of things that we’ll do again:
- We had great food… and lots of it!
- We gave away a $25 Wal-Mart gift card to the person with the most siblings.
- We didn’t schedule a ton of activity for the evening. It was mainly intended to give us and our friends time to just hang out and talk.
Looking back on the night, I have a few thoughts:
- Initially I was disappointed that more people did not show up, but God checked me on that as it occurred to me that the people who did show up were exactly the people we needed to love on the most! We made some new friends and were able to send everyone home with food… lots of it!
- We sat down at the end of the evening and did an “After Action Review” in which we outlined the “sustains” (things we’ll do again) and the “improves” (things we’ll change). I like this evaluative tool.
- I was pleased with our team (Sherri, Rindy, Matt, and Dan). We all worked hard to pull off this evening. From the planning stages, to the reminder phone calls, to the food preparation, to the follow-up-process we’ll be working over the next few weeks as we prepare for our second party, I feel good about what we did.
- We asked every person in attendance to connect us with seven of their friends by September 6th. We asked for two things: 1) your friend’s contact information; 2) their permission for us to follow up with them. Once we have contact info and consent to contact, we are going to contact every person we are given access to! As we reviewed the evening, we agreed that we could have made “the ask” a bit clearer. We got a little fuzzy towards the end and weren’t as clear as what we hoped to be. We’ll do better next time.
- We are going to do this again on September 20th. Our intention will be the same: to invite our friends and their friends to get to know one another better; to share the vision of Walls Down Church; AND to invite them to help their friends and family discover the life Jesus promised… a rich and satisfying life (John 10:10).
So there it is… we’re off and running!
One more thought…
When we pulled in there was only one car in the parking lot… Rindy’s car. I was mortified! We had two grills running with over thirty burgers, 3 dozen ears of corn, tons of pop, chips, fruit plates, vegetable plates, yada, yada, yada and only Rindy’s and our family! You can’t imagine how grateful I was when I saw a little red car with four of our friends pull up!
Can any of you church planters identify with me on this one?