Last week I pulled on my jeans, lathered up with sunscreen, grabbed my water bottle and headed out to do farm chores just south of Minneapolis. 

A few days earlier I’d learned about one mom’s creative idea for blending fun, faith & family. I was about to check it out.

Kate Wilson, mother of four, wanted summer to be a time when her kids’ faith wasn’t forgotten but nurtured—just like the crops and cattle on the family farm. So she came up with the idea of Barns & Bibles.

Kate Wilson and her son from Adaugeo Farms

Every Wednesday during the summer, moms and kids ages PreK through teens can come to Adaugeo Farm from 10 to noon. During the first hour, everyone pitches in to do farm chores like…

The guys taking a break from spreading mulch (to oblige this photographer)
Fun faith family chicks
Checking up on the chicks.
Lettuce anyone?

On my day there, everyone helped make pickles. We waded into the garden, a tangle of vines and fresh produce hemmed in by clusters of zinnias. (At least I think that’s what they were.)

Fun faith family - cucs
Look at my friend Amanda’s smile! Who knew picking cucs could be so much fun.

Next we headed into the kitchen with bowls and buckets piled high with fresh cucumbers. After slicing and stuffing them into jars, we topped them with seasonings. Next Kate and her team poured hot brine over the top.

Fun faith family slicing cucs
Sliced and ready to take the plunge into a salty brine.
fun faith family pickle seasoning
Garlic, onion, dill and red pepper season the cucumbers.
Fun faith family dill pickles
The almost-finished product. Garlicky, onion-y soon-to-be dill pickles

For the next hour, we headed out to the sprawling porch. Amanda and three of the pre-teen/teens led worship songs. Then “little” kids headed under a big shade tree and practiced a skit based on the day’s Scripture. “Big” kids went another direction for discussion. Moms and the littlest ones lounged on adirondacks in the morning sun turning over the treasures found in the gospel of Luke.

After awhile we all pulled together again for guitar-led worship and the kids’ skit performance.

I couldn’t help think as I sat there that we were moms from different churches, some from the suburbs and others from the farm next door; kids of all ages, some who were homeschooled and others who went to public school. But we all had one connection–a heartfelt love for family and the faith in God that brought us together.

There’s something beautiful about “doing” faith together, kids alongside adults. Kate captures that through Barns & Bibles…and you can too. Read on for some ideas for your family!

Fun faith family picnic
Families can bring a picnic lunch and stay and play after Barns & Bibles.

3 ideas for your own family or neighborhood

Unlike Kate and her husband, you probably don’t have a farm with cows, chickens, and pigs. But God has given you and your family many gifts.

Think about what you like to do and what your family has. Then ask yourself, “What are the gifts God’s given me and how can I use them to bring faith, family and fun together?” Pray and ask God to stir your imagination just like he did Kate’s.

The mail goal isn’t to have a playdate. Instead “do” faith together and have fun, adults and kids side-by-side.

And remember you don’t have to be fancy to have fun. Keep it super simple and casual.

Here are three ideas to get you started:

Back to school bash – Before school starts, invite a few of your friends and their kids over for snack. Keep it super simple, anything from ice cream to popcorn. Have all the kids bring their new backpacks and school supplies. After giving them a chance to show off their new school stuff, take turns praying over the kids before their school year–for their protection, for good friendships, for quick minds, and healthy bodies.

Baking time – One time my husband and I invited several families over on a Sunday evening. We hid ingredients for banana bread around the house and the kids went on a treasure hunt. (You can hide ingredients for a cake, pizza, etc.) Once everyone found the ingredients, we crowded into the kitchen and had a short devotional on how each of us is unique. Together, though, we make up one family of believers. Then we made, baked, and ate, fresh banana bread.

Book swap – Invite friends over and ask each person to bring a new book to swap. After inviting a couple to read section of their favorites, feature one of your favorite true stories from the best book ever–God’s Word.

What’s God given you and how can you use it to connect faith and family?

What’s God given you and how can you use it to bring faith and family together in your neighborhood?

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