Two local churches are teaming up to bring a week of Bible-centered fun and education to Farmington-area parks thisweek.
Bible Baptist Church and Crossroads Church will sponsor the weeklong 5-Day Club, a series of activities put on every summer by a national group called Child Evangelism Fellowship. The group focuses on different cities around the country each year to provide their free camps.
CEF representatives came to the area several months ago to promote the program, and pastors from Bible Baptist and Crossroads jumped at the opportunity to bring youth-focused Bible programs to areas where people were already gathering.
"Instead of asking people to come to the church, we're bringing the church to them," said Bible Baptist pastor Judson Weniger. "We're flip-flopping the whole thought process."
Bible Baptist and Crossroads have a good relationship, and the church leaders were excited to work together to put on the events.
CEF will provide most of the volunteers and materials for the camps. The local churches are in charge of promoting the camps and providing a few people to help.
The local sessions will take place at Akin Road Elementary School, Dakota Estates Park, Daisy Knoll Park and Prairie View Park. There will also be sessions at Green Ridge Park in Lakeville and Salem Hills Park in Inver Grove Heights.
Mike Lee of Crossroads Church said he likes the idea of bringing church lessons to the great outdoors.
"When we did inner city ministry in Minneapolis, we did the same thing," Lee said. "There we called them sidewalk Sunday schools. We would take a truck out into the neighborhoods and that was fun for me. I really enjoyed it."
Each of the 5-Day Club sessions will include songs and Bible lessons. Kids will go home with gifts and other items. At the end of the week there will be a family rally day where kids sing the songs and recite the memory verses they have learned.
"It's going to be a blast," Lee said. "CEF, they've been around for 75 years. They do this all over the country, all over the world. They really work with kids a lot."
Lee hopes this summer's sessions will be the start of something bigger. Crossroads and Bible Baptist have talked about trying to introduce a 5-Day Club-style club in Farmington's elementary schools this fall.