Gathering In Fields Of Faith
FARMINGTON — According to its website, a worship band isn’t required at a “Fields of Faith” event, yet there’s something about live music that attracts teens.
Some events, such as the one held at Farmington’s Allen Holland Field on Oct. 10, chose to use a band, which is OK with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which sponsors “Fields of Faith.” The FCA emphasizes “Fields of Faith” isn’t a concert, it’s a night where the word of God is read publicly and students are challenged.
Mason Downs, a 2018 Farmington graduate and former Cardinal basketball player, was on stage performing worship songs as a vocalist and on guitar. The worship leader told those gathered, “I just want you to know this is a time for you and God. If you want to raise a hand, raise a hand, if you want to dance around, dance around.”
Later the worship leader spoke directly to those who might carry heavy hearts or were feeling challenged in their faith.
“If you’re in the shadows and you feel like you can’t make it, like you can’t see the light; God says, “No, child, for you are the light of the world. Here’s a candle, light it with my glory.”
The band, which included Isaac Guess, 13, playing electric guitar and Isaac Tustin, 12, drummer, both of Farmington, performed several worship songs. At one point a younger teenage voice courageously began coming over the microphone sounding a tinge uncomfortable at first, yet gaining strength while he sang.
“Jesus, Jesus, you make the darkness tremble…”
The crowd bore witness to a young man conquering any fears of performing live in front of a lot of peers as the voice grew in confidence as the song progressed.
“Your name is light that the shadows cannot deny … Your name cannot be overcome.”
Interacting with the audience the voice informed the band was going to go back to the bridge of the song.
“Don’t worry about your neighbor, just sing along with me. Speak to God. Feel his presence. He is here.”
Almost as if on cue, at 7:23 p.m. the football lights came on.
Hosting a “Fields of Faith” event requires a blend of youth and adult involvement. Many people serve the event, each with individual responsibilities and function in various capacities.
Student leaders, such as Farmington sophomore Alina Curry, who masquerades as Cardinal mascot “Little Cutie,” are recruited and expected to be the driving force in helping to bring Fields of Faith to an area.
The student leaders hang signs and posters inside their school, and capitalize upon peer-to-peer relationships as a student to get the word out. The student leaders promote “Fields of Faith” by wearing official gear. A Student Testimony Manual provides guidelines for publicly sharing faith.
Adult leaders work alongside student leaders and youth pastors to help bring Fields of Faith to an area. They help select “Impact Students,” who speak at the event. Brian Dean, who teaches special education and broadcast journalism at Farmington High School, and Farmington athletic trainer Melinda Rector were among adult leaders working with schools, churches, and businesses to promote the event.
Youth pastors play a key role in acting as the spiritual barometer for the event and ensure that the three key components of “Fields of Faith” come to fruition. According to its website, the three key components of “Fields of Faith” are to bring many people together at one time, have students read scripture and share personal testimonies, and enable students to challenge fellow students to read the Word of God and come to follow Jesus Christ.
Each of those objectives was accomplished. Dean estimated those in attendance around 1,000 to possibly 1,100. Speakers featured: former Razorback and Cincinnati Bengal offensive lineman Jonathan Luigs; former Razorback and Seattle Seahawk defensive end Jeb Huckeba; plus Farmington varsity girls basketball players Alexis Roach and Makenna Vanzant. Huckeba gave an altar call and students scattered across Farmington’s Allen Holland Field answered by forming circles and joining hands in prayer.
According to information in the FCA “Fields of Faith” game plan, youth pastors are uniquely positioned within communities as an important influence. They know students, other youth group students, area churches, schools and a variety of community contacts. By bringing a cross section of the community together for “Fields of Faith,” regardless of denomination, the
outreach is maximized. The FCA believes, “When churches in a community unite for a Fields of Faith rally, the potential spiritual impact is tremendous.”
The Farmington event drew church buses from Stilwell, Okla.; Huntsville; Faith Covenant Church of Prairie Grove; First Baptist Church of West Fork; and Unity Covenant Church of West Fork, among others.
Since 1954 the FCA, headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., has been challenging coaches and athletes at all levels to use the powerful medium of athletics to impact the world for Jesus Christ. Fields of Faith is a ministry outreach of FCA. The FCA can be contacted by writing: Fellowship of Christian Athletes, 8701 Leeds Road, Kansas City, MO 64129, or by calling 800-289-0909, or online at fca.org.
Mason Downs, a 2018 Farmington graduate and former Cardinal basketball player, performs a worship song doing both the vocal and playing guitar during Fields of Faith, sponsored by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at Farmington’s Allen Holland Field on Wednesday, Oct. 10.
Youth enjoyed an opportunity to play on Farmington’s football field during the Fellowship of Christian Athletes event called Fields of Faith held at Farmington’s Allen Holland Field on Wednesday, Oct. 10.
Isaac Guess, 13, who plays electric guitar (left); and Isaac Tustin, 12, drummer; both of Farmington, helped provide music for Fields of Faith.