Pastor Aaron Jayne of The Dream Center in Los Angeles, the church that made ‘Adopt-A-Block’ famous, explains how it all started and shares the strategy for a successful ‘Adopt-A-Block’
Adopt-a-Block is built with teams of people that adopt one area of their city. These teams generally consist of three to six people. These “blocks” have The consistency in serving is what breaks through their hardened hearts and prepares the ground for the seed of the gospel to be planted. As you become faithful every Saturday morning, the people begin to trust you. This is sometimes a long process. Most people do not open up immediately. There are many doors slammed in our faces for the first couple months when we start a new block. But as our faithfulness begins to show, people begin to open up their lives to us. And, as they do that, they are unknowingly opening their lives to Christ.
The program is simple. Our workers meet at 9:15 am for thirty minutes of prayer. This is a powerful time where people get together and seek God’s heart for their block(s).
At 10:00 am we have a fifteen minute meeting where we do fun giveaways and go over any announcements. The purpose of this meeting is to get everyone pumped up to go out on Adopt-a-Block. You do not want to exhaust them before they hit the streets, so keep it quick and fun but full of God’s power. We dismiss the meeting at exactly 10:15 am and then we hit our blocks for a minimum of two hours. It’s very important that we do our best to knock on every door each week. When we get into the habit of missing doors, we are limiting ourselves to the possibility of seeing miracles.
If a person has a major task, the team will finish the doors first and come back in the afternoon or later in the week to finish the task. We try to have any jobs done in the neighborhood within seven days of the request. We want the people to know that they are important to us. If it’s a small task, we will leave a couple of people to work on it while the rest of the team continues knocking on doors and building relationships.
Try to gather new information every week. Learn the families’ names, and write them down in a journal. Every block should have its own journal to gather information, such as names, birthdays, addresses, phone numbers, needs, and prayer requests. This is also a great way of gathering stories and testimonies to share with your church and supporters.
It’s important to write down all of the requested projects, especially if they cannot be done when you are there. Always review the journal so you never leave anything undone. Pray continually for your families and learn their information.
New Horizon team, I’m not suggesting we follow the program LA is working to the exact, but that we learn from their consistent investment (sacrifice) and that we develop our brand of redemptive ministry here that is not passing fad, but powerful and consistent.