SHATTUCK, OKLA. – In rural Oklahoma, it is not uncommon for kids to be out of school on Fridays during the second semester of the school year. Along with our youth group at the Shattuck Seventh-day Adventist Church, we noticed a trend that the kids were bored while their parents were at work. We saw an opportunity to serve parents who want their kids to have social interactions outside of school. So, we started what we call Fitness Friday.
On the fourth Friday of every month since January, we’ve gotten together a group of kids and done things like Winter Obstacle Course, Ultimate Frisbee, Maxball, and our latest and greatest—Slip ‘N Slide Kickball!
On April 27, Dominick Alipoon, pastor of the Shattuck church, helped me roll out four 50-foot sheets of plastic and fill four 8-foot kiddie pools full of water and waited for the masses to arrive. We had 23 young people show up for an hour of fun in the sun!
No, we didn’t end the day with an invitation to church, but we did start to learn their names. We started to develop friendships and one young girl who has been coming to Fitness Friday since the beginning has begun coming to church and asked to be baptized this summer! If what matters to others matters to you, they will start to care about what matters to you, too.
Article and photos by Ashley Alipoon