Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Vacation Bible School as Missions

I have the privilege of going to an awesomely missional church. A friend pointed out recently that our church doesn't treat Vacation Bible School as just another project to be completed each summer. They truly see it as a mission to reach children and families in our community and in our church.

There are several ways they do this, but the main way they do it is by having people work who truly care about the kids who walk into our church every morning for Worship Rally (which is the opening session with songs, memory verse work, and a missions offering). Then, everything that is planned for the week, from decorations and lessons, all the way down to recreation time and snacks, is meant to show the kids the love of Jesus.

"How beautiful are the feet of those who carry the Gospel." Romans 10:15

Actual VBS worker's feet :)

As a mom who is also serving at VBS (with the middle school students this year, so fun!), my preschooler and toddler get to go. (Kids typically have to be going into kindergarten to attend.) I'm not sure how other churches do it, but at my church they get an age-appropriate, full-on VBS lesson too! Charlotte (almost 4) has a Bible verse to memorize each day. And even Mary's toddler class has a special music time just like the older kids.
All that being said, VBS is a great way to let other people help you pour the Gospel into the hearts of your children. And let's be honest, sometimes it seems our kids learn better from other people. I've met lots of adults who testify that they were saved because a VBS teacher took the time to talk to them about what it meant to be a follower of Christ.
Missions offering, girls vs boys

VBS doesn't just have to be a duty or obligation. Use it as a chance to teach your children to invite their school friends or the neighborhood kids they have so much fun playing with. Not only can your kid learn more about Jesus, they can start to work out what it means to reach out to friends and neighbors who might not know him. You can also use it as a chance to teach them about giving monetarily to the cause of missions. Every VBS I've ever been involved in collects change from children to support a missions cause. And they make a big deal about letting the kids come and put their loose change in the buckets. It's a real celebration!

And if you have teenagers and your church allows it, let them serve in VBS as helpers. They can serve snacks, help teach the recreation games, or work as assistant teachers. All of these are ways for them to not waste their summer sleeping in and avoiding chores.

Have you been to VBS yet this summer? Are you planning to go? Do you have any funny or poignant VBS memories? Share them in the comments so we can get to know you better.

Photo Credit: KBC VBS

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