Orchards Pathfinders Reach Out to Sidewalk Kids

The Pathfinder club from the Orchards Church in Vancouver, Wash., launched a bold experiment, reaching out to the neighborhood children surrounding the church.

Greg Hillman, director of the 15-member club, had been looking for ministry opportunities for the Pathfinders. Chuck Davidson, an active Pathfinder staff member and supporter of a Christian outreach ministry for children, told Hillman about the Sidewalk Kids Hour program. The idea was to gather unchurched kids, 5 to 10 years of age, from the community for a fun program with a spiritual focus.

To get a crowd, Pathfinders and staff members blitzed the neighborhoods, going door to door with fliers and invitations for the kids to attend the Sept. 17 afternoon program in nearby Orchards Park. About 30 neighborhood kids showed up for the first meeting. With the weather turning cloudy and cooler, not quite so many attended the other outdoor meetings. A final meeting, a Harvest Party, was held in the church with a large attendance.

Although the program was geared for a younger audience, the leaders were surprised that about half of the attendees were kids 10 or older. Three families have expressed an interest in coming to church and keeping in touch.

Hillman says, “The reason we did this was to get an idea of what to do, how to do it and what the opportunity was. We discovered a much bigger opportunity existed than we realized in the area around the church.”

December 01, 2005 / Oregon Conference