BENTON, Ark. – First Baptist Church (FBC) in Benton has been connecting with the Boys and Girls Club of Saline County to encourage and equip young people in the Word.
Morgan Fulcher, Children’s Minister at FBC shared, “Our partnership with the Boys and Girls Club has strengthened over the years, and it is a privilege to serve them each year. Our format is simple. We take God’s Word and break it down into 4 days for kids to understand and believe they are a part of God’s big story.” FBC has built a strong relationship of trust with the Boys and Girls Club for years now, and it’s truly special when they are able to work together for outreach purposes.
The mission: serving in order for kids to understand and believe they are a part of God’s big story.
In every community, there are kids who are hurting; there are kids who are lost; there are kids who need to know the hope of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. During this pandemic, there are more challenges when it comes to connecting with kids. Of course, there are online options, but what happens when the kids get tired of looking at a screen? What happens when kids are in homes that don’t frequently practice discipleship? What happens when church outreach events can’t happen due to COVID-19 restrictions?
Churches have had to get creative.
One of FBC’s Children’s Ministry Interns, Laura Beth Warner, Senior at Ouachita Baptist University, shared how they are safely connecting with their children during this time. Warner has a unique perspective as an intern at FBC, as she grew up as a member there.
“Obviously this summer looks a lot different for us, but we’ve had some successful COVID-19 approved events. We’ve had multiple “drive by” events where they pick up their curriculum for the week. One week, we included a lemonade stand and another we included donuts. We recently had a “Pop-Up Picnic” outside where kids from different grades came on different days. We fed them lunch and had a fun tie-dye activity for them,” Warner shared.
Soon, they will be going to the Boys and Girls Club for what they call “Focus Week.” “Focus Week is similar to Vacation Bible School, but we are taking it to the Boys and Girls Club in Saline County. Normally the Boys and Girls Club has about 600 students that come for after-school programs and summer programs, but they can only have about 100 students with COVID-19 restrictions,” Warner shared.
“Ultimately, we want to provide resources and experiences that help kids learn how to spend time with God. We are wanting to equip parents but also encourage students to take initiative on spending time with God on their own,” Warner said.
In this time where our world seems to be in chaos, FBC is constantly reminding their kids about the importance of focus. As Hebrews 12:2 shares, “keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith. For the joy that lay before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
And that is what FBC is encouraging their kids to do: to keep their eyes on Jesus, even in this difficult time.