Updated: Dec 11, 2018
POSTED BY: MATT HIRST DECEMBER 6, 2018
The First Baptist Church in Irving presented a Christmas Adventure, featuring an interactive worship session followed by entertainment to start the advent season on Sunday, Dec. 2. The activities included a hayride, live nativity scene, prayer room, as well as multiple craft and snack tables.
“Our pastor, Jared Richard, really wanted us to be intentional about reaching out to families and engaging with the community to help them unwind from the hustle and bustle of the holiday stress,” said Leann Callaway, the church’s assistant children’s minister. “Over the summer, we started coming up with creative ways to do that. We wanted to meet people where they were in life, to connect with and reach out to them.”
The church offered a night jam-packed with activities at no cost to attendees.
“After the worship part, we have hot chocolate set up outside and a hayride that will go around the west parking lot, and a live nativity,” Callaway said. “Some of our youth are dressed up as shepherds, and we have some people dressed up as Mary and Joseph with a baby Jesus out there. It’s a unique experience for families. In Fellowship Hall, we have a walkthrough Bethlehem set up, craft stations, and different activities they can go through together as a family.”
“I think it’s cool to bring everyone together,” Kyle Backhus, an associate student minister said. “It’s a kid’s event, but we’re bringing together a whole church family.
“We want to show people what the meaning behind Christmas is and us believing Jesus Christ being sent by God to come and be our savior, saving us from our sins. For Irving as a whole, that’s our hope. We want to show the city that hope and love Jesus has.”
This family atmosphere was clearly visible throughout the evening.
“I think this event really brings the church together, because it not only allows our members and their families to come, but it also allows the community to be a part of this and do really cool things together,” Abi Spikes said. “Most families on a weekday night stay at home doing nothing, and this gives them a chance to bond through making hot chocolate bags and little candy cane crafts.
“It’s just such a cool opportunity for them to interact with the reason for Christmas and to bond as a family through silly games and crafts. It’s such a gift to have a church like this that understands the meaning of Christmas. It is not about the stuff, yet we do get to use this as an excuse to gather.”
“It’s one thing to do an event where there are a lot of different things that attract families,” said Blair Robinson, discipleship pastor. “It centers on what we believe is the true meaning of Christmas, which is Jesus Christ and the coming of Christ.”