Coos Bay Kids Can’t Wait for “F.U.N.K.Y” Fridays
Neighborhood children anxiously wait for the gymnasium doors to swing open on Friday afternoons in Coos Bay, Ore. To them, every Friday is a “F.U.N.K.Y” Friday.
F.U.N.K.Y Friday (Fridays Under New Kommand for Youth) is an innovative program reaching children with the Gospel, offering them an opportunity to have fun and learn about the Bible.
At 4 p.m., the children stream into the gymnasium. After an hour of physical activity, they devour a supper prepared especially for them. Next, they move on to Bible and music classes. Children grades K-6 engage in creative activities for three hours, under the supervision of caring adults. Everyone works together to show the kids they are important.
Most of the children come from the immediate neighborhood, and many are from disadvantaged situations. Attendance has increased 70 percent over the first year. Some of the children have joined the Sunbeam troop or the Adventure Corps. Others have brought their parents to church on Sunday. Most have acknowledged Jesus Christ as their savior and are developing a close relationship with God.
F.U.N.K.Y Friday was born in the hearts of Corps Officers Majors Cliff and Susan Jones when they realized Sunday morning attendance in Sunday school was dwindling. A Friday night Sunday school became an alternative. Youth Director Wayne Mason thought up the name. A team of committed adults met and prayed, capturing a vision of ministry and realizing what could happen if they worked together as a team with common goals of loving the children and meeting their needs.
“F.U.N.K.Y. Friday is one way to provide an alternative to the traditional Sunday school,” said Major Susan Jones. “Most of us realize options to Sunday morning programming for children must be found.” The corps hopes others will be encouraged to try new ways to reach young people with the gospel.