It’s Vacation Bible School time again!!!
I know you are gearing up for the next leg of the Sunday school journey with Vacation Bible School (VBS) this summer. Vacation Bible School (VBS) remains the major outreach ministry of the Sunday School in which churches/congregations provide space and resources geared towards educating our children and youth about God, in an atmosphere of fun and fellowship. VBS is borne upon the understanding gleaned from Jesus’ expression in the gospel according to St. Luke (18:16-17): “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. 17 Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it” (NRSV).
This summer we will spend time with our children in Vacation Bible School (VBS) as we focus through the lens of Intentional Discipleship. In VBS this year, each of us as disciples ought to seek:
Ways to Worship God
Ways to Witness for God
Ways to Work for God
Ways to Welcome others
VBS is one primary way to disciple our own church’s children and youth and prepare them to disciple others during the summer months. Although we have lots of fun, we have to get beyond just the fun of VBS and make sure it also truly helps participants to know and love the Lord better.
Further, because VBS is the community outreach thrust of the Sunday school, our activities, welcome, hospitality and learning must be of a community building nature. As the children come we need to ensure that:
the Gospel is clearly presented,
we go beyond simply having a nice program that is an end in itself and make it something that God is in and experienced in, that blesses and leads participants to an even greater purpose
people (all engaged) find the experience rewarding..
VBS is the children’s time to learn and grow in relationship with God. So let the Church buildings everywhere be splattered with posters and signs. Let VBS be the avenue through which we continue to have great effectiveness in demonstrating how much we value children in our worship and faith communities. Let VBS be a time for children to discover new friends who have moved to the community, but most especially, let VBS be a time when our children are encouraged to grow in their knowledge of Christ; grow with the help of Christ; grow like Christ – “in favor with God and humanity.”
I wish for you all a time of learning, growing, challenge and fun!!
Rev. Douglas Barnes