If you didn’t grow up in the church, or didn’t go to church in the South, or at a church with a great children’s ministry, you might not even know to what I’m referring. VBS is actually Vacation Bible School. It ain’t really a vacation (for the organizers and leaders, anyway) but it is truly a Bible school for the kids. VBS is an intensive couple of hours on a few different days set aside for fun, sugary snacks, games, crafts, and most of all, Jesus. Our church is in the thick of VBS right now, and so it’s on my heart just how WONDERFUL the ministry of VBS can be for a community. Here’s why:
1. It’s a good excuse to invite a friend to church. Anytime there is potential free food, fun times, and a children’s event is a good time to invite new people to church.
2. It’s a good reason to go to church on a random evening or morning, depending on how your church does VBS. Sometimes, people don’t realize that churches do things besides Sunday mornings. It’s a ministry opportunity just to say, “Hey! We are a church 24/7, not just Sunday morning!”
3. It’s a great excuse to drop your kids off for a couple of hours. Let’s be honest – free and safe childcare is always a win.
4. There’s often a missions opportunity involved. For example, we collected some school supplies for kids who needed them. It was no pressure, and no obligation, but a good way to show the kids that part of what we do as a church is help others.
5. It’s a way to get adults involved, too. Need more of your adult members to get involved at your church? Ask them to help with VBS! It’s a short-term commitment, and there are LOTS of ways to be involved. AND, surprisingly, not all of those ways actually involve working with the kids!
6. The kids get to worship. This is SO important. I’m a worship leader, so obviously I love this part, but the kids get to experience their own “mini-church”, complete with worship, teaching, and response. They get a taste of what church is like – and it isn’t just Sunday School.
7. Jesus is the star. What is better than lifting Jesus up, sharing what’s true about him, and allowing kids to ask questions and get real answers about who their king should be?!
If you’ve got a VBS near you, at your church, or even just in a neighboring community, I urge you to get involved! They won’t turn you away, I promise.