“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” 3 John 4
There’s been a lot of talk lately about Vacation Bible School (VBS) and it’s value in the church today. In a busy culture with so many options, it can be difficult to prioritize one event over another, especially an event that demands the participation and resources of so many. It’s no wonder some churches have abandoned VBS in search of something less demanding.
So we dug down deep asking the question, “Why VBS?” We listened to some of the best of both sides of the discussion and in the end, we discovered a vocal community whose passion for VBS, and the eternal benefits they’ve witnessed because of it, helped us to narrow down 5 reasons Vacation Bible School is still so important for seeking and saving the lost.
Okay, so “fun” might not be the highest of Christian virtues, but the fun factor of VBS is what draws the kids, the neighbors, the teen-helpers, and the adult volunteers. In today’s media/hobby/tech driven culture, it takes more than flannel-graphs to keep a child’s attention. In many cases, the creativity, enthusiasm, and spiritual gifts of the leaders (both church staff and volunteers) create such a fun environment that it often outshines what the local theme parks have to offer. Some families even schedule their vacations to be able to participate in VBS as a family! How fun is that?
It used to be that towns were built around the local church as a hub of activity. Think about Walnut Grove in “Little House on the Prairie.” The church doubled as the school and town hall. The local stores were built nearby because the church is where the people were. Today, urban design has lost its center and sprawling suburbs no longer point the way to the church. Exciting events like VBS help to locate and establish modern churches for the communities they serve. When the unchurched see all the activity and positivity surrounding VBS, they’re sure to log the presence of the church in their minds. And when they discover their need for a savior, they’ll inherently know where to find Him.
Identify New Leaders
One of the greatest untapped resources in the church is the collective power of its in-house volunteer force. Many pastors remark that the highest level of church outreach participation comes during VBS week. Therefore, VBS can also be an excellent way to identify and capture the talents and potential leadership skills of those who don’t regularly serve. It’s not easy to uncover the hidden abilities of your church members. They may not even be aware of the gifts they have. So when they are given the opportunity to explore their gifts, they may also recognize a passion that had previously been undiscovered.
Reach the Kids, Reach the Family
There’s an often unspoken strategy within church leadership that goes like this; When you invite the child, the mother may come, and when the mother comes, the father may follow. This magnetic chain can lead to the beautiful redemption of a whole family. Imagine the celebration in heaven when a previously unchurched father declares, “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” This is one of the incredible results of VBS that cannot be discounted. Each child who enters the church, could become the bridge that his or her parents use to come to Christ.
The Word of God Won’t Return Void
Wow! Isaiah’s account of God’s personal description of His Word is some of the most beautiful poetry in the Bible.
“As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
– Isaiah 55:10-11
The most important component of any VBS is the reading and memorization of God’s Word. Therefore, if we truly believe sharing the truth of the Gospel with children will accomplish God’s desire and purpose, then VBS achieves so much more than crafts, games, and childcare. In the end, it is valuable beyond our ability to measure. VBS is a channel for God’s Word into the hearts of children which WILL lead to the glory of God forever!
Here at MinistryGear, we’re humbled to play a very small part in VBS ministries across America. It’s our prayer that the t-shirts we make will enhance the experience each church seeks to create as they faithfully spread the Gospel in their communities.
Get started designing your church’s VBS shirts today by requesting a mock up with the form below.