It’s that time of year, the time when Vacation Bible Schools are held across the nation. Time for fun, sun, and learnin’ about all things spiritual. The perfect time and opportunity to pass the Christian faith on to another person. Time to make a difference!
Are you excited? I’m excited!
As a child, I loved VBS. I loved the songs, I loved the crafts, I loved the treats, and I loved the Lord. It was at VBS, a summer, porch-side program led by a CEF (Child Evangelism Fellowship) volunteer, that I gave my heart to Jesus. I have never regretted that decision, and never looked back.
During VBS week the weather is almost always beastly, and our work schedules are the worst they’ve ever been. All week long we are dog tired. Prior to the event, we’ve been cutting out project pieces, shopping for craft items, building props, recruiting volunteers, baking cookies and cupcakes, and setting up schedules and rooms, trying to prepare as much as we can ahead of time, so that when the crunch hits, we are ready.
Are we ever totally ready? Nah, but the kids don’t seem to mind.
If we stumble, bumble, or skip our way through the lessons and story time, they don’t know the difference. If we get a word or two wrong during the sword drills or music sessions, oh well, no one cares. All that matters to the munchkins is that they are together and its VBS week, and oh, the fun we’ll have.
Today, I’m think of all the children who will attend VBS across America this summer. It can be a monumental undertaking, depending on the size of your church and the number of kids who attend, but it’s exciting to see how God prepares all those congregations and congregants to be receptive to his calling on their lives during VBS. It’s not just the kids that have open hearts and open minds during this time of year, though. Everyone loves VBS.
In the Bible we see Jesus taking children in his arms, putting his hands on them, and blessing them. What an awesome scene. If you’ve ever been a kid who was neglected, abused, hard to handle, or ADHD you know what it is like to have someone show you unconditional love and affection like Jesus did. If you aren’t one of those kids, but you know someone who is, you know how important it is for the Church to show that same kind of love and affection today. One of the most encouraging things about VBS for me, is realizing that this week and throughout the summer, kids who barely get noticed at all are going to experience the same kind of love and affection that the children in Mark’s gospel received from Jesus. I’m also excited that they will be able to look on as loving adults support each other, smile and laugh with each other, and most of all encourage one another to continue following Jesus.
The example of Christian love and unity children get a chance to observe during VBS is second in importance only to the offer of salvation held out to them and the opportunity to receive Jesus as their Saviors, I believe that. Unity in the Spirit is crucial for any church to remain healthy, vibrant, and growing, just as interacting with loving and nurturing adults is vital for every little boys or girls who have been mistreated, if they are ever going to learn to trust Jesus as Savior.
This week, remember to pray for the VBS programs taking place in your community, and get involved. VBS is F.U.N.!
What are your fondest memories of VBS when you were a kid? What was your favorite part of the week?