This summer’s Vacation Bible School is in many ways much like what we’ve done in years past. We’ve got an exciting theme and an important message with the “Wilderness Escape” material guiding the kids through the Israelite’s Exodus out of Egypt, through the desert, to the good land that God had given them, each step of the way showing them that God can always be trusted!
Fun songs, engaging skits, cool crafts, and yummy snacks all contribute to the experience. But one thing will be different. Rather than the traditional weekday time slot, this year we’ll be offering VBS as part of the Sunday morning experience.
Why? It starts with what the fundamental purpose of VBS.
What is VBS? No, not how has VBS always been done, what IS it? Vacation Bible School is part of our mission to make disciples of all peoples, including children, bringing them into a living and active relationship with Jesus in His church.
This means faithfulness to God’s Word, applicability to children, and last but not least…CREATIVITY!
That creativity is expressed by providing a rich, creative, immersive, experience of Biblical history for the children. With interactive, visual, and auditory teaching techniques a vivid, memorable experience is created – eating Israelite snacks, learning Hebrew words with songs, making objects found in an Israelite camp, and playing a part in a humongous Bible re-enactment!
That creativity is expressed by finding ways to encourage and facilitate families in creating or maintaining an ongoing connection to the church and deeper walk of discipleship. Timing the event to coincide with the divine service and Bible study connects people to the real life of the church so that VBS isn’t an end unto itself but a tool for growing disciples.
That creativity is expressed in finding ways to empower and engage parents as their children’s faith-shapers by timing the event for a time when parents are most available and creating no-hassle roles for them to participate in, to activate parents as powerful role-models and hands-on leaders in their children’s discipleship.
That creativity is expressed in a structure that concentrates time and resources so that all the activity and effort highlights the Bible story and makes it more memorable, rather than competing with it. Investing more resources in the Bible story to physically, mentally, and spiritually engage children in the Story, means children have just as much fun and the Bible story is what they go home talking about.
That creativity is expressed in reaching out to as many children as possible through electronic and print invitations and advertising, and the most effective form of outreach – inviting a friend to come with you!
That creativity is expressed in making it possible for as many volunteers as possible to share the experience as they share their God-given gifts in the sharing of God’s Word with the children. Congregation members and parents of children all have the opportunity to be a part of the awesome fellowship experience.
That creativity is expressed in making the day WE REALLY WANT PEOPLE TO BE HERE, the day we give them the most reason to be here!