Recently, our church finished up 5 days of Vacation Bible School. If you’ve ever taken part in VBS as a volunteer, you realize how much work it can be. And I’ll tell you this: there’s no tired like VBS tired!
Many churches purchase VBS materials from stores such as LifeWay, while others develop their own themes and lessons. Preparations take place way before the actual VBS dates: prayer calendars are distributed, announcements are made, volunteers are drafted, rooms are decorated, lessons are prepared………and then the children come……hopefully. There is so much going on that people seem to not have time for VBS activities. Families go on vacations, baseball games are going on, and well, sometimes we just don’t want to get involved because let’s be honest, hanging out at the pool on a hot summer day sounds pretty amazing.
Some people may think VBS is old school and doesn’t really fit in anymore. Well, this VBS volunteer disagrees. VBS is timeless. Regardless of the theme, regardless of the cost, the message is still the same: Jesus came to earth and died for our sins. He rose from the grave and is alive today. He wants to have a relationship with us.
Well, can’t kids hear that message in the main church service on Sunday? Can’t they hear that message during Sunday school? Yes, but during VBS children are taking an in-depth look at God’s Word on their level. The music, the lessons, everything is designed to reach children on their level.
And let’s not forget this…….
For some children, Vacation Bible School is the only time they will step foot into a church. This year, we took the 3rd-6th graders into the sanctuary to talk with the pastor. As we walked across the building, a little girl looked up to me and said, “You have a pretty church. I’ve never been inside a church before.” To most, that may sound pretty unbelievable, however, as a public school teacher, I assure you there is more than one child in my small community who has never been in a church. When my elementary school students find out my husband is a preacher, many ask lots of questions about church and confess they’ve never been in a church.
During VBS, some children are hearing the gospel for the first time, while others are hearing it for the 100th time. Some are getting their first taste of Jesus, while others have already decided to live for Him. One year, we had several children make decisions for Christ. This year, we had one. I’m not telling you that to say that VBS has lost its power in today’s society. God doesn’t lose his power. This is a reminder of God’s Word: There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents – Luke 15:10 NKJV.
One person matters.
And let us not forget about all of those seeds that were planted or nourished. Each child, each adult must start somewhere. At VBS, we plant those seeds for the first timers. At VBS, we nourish the seeds that were planted beforehand. At VBS, we see the harvest of those that have come to fruition. At VBS, we continue to feed those that are becoming disciples.
So, does VBS really matter? Yes. Plain and simple. Yes, VBS matters. It matters in the lives of the children. It matters in the lives of the volunteers. It matters in God’s eyes.