By Rev. Doug Forbes
This is the perfect time of year to begin planning your Vacation Bible School program. Vacation Bible School is the second biggest outreach opportunity a church has each year. (The biggest is Christmas.)
Many Christian bookstores host Vacation Bible School VBS workshops each year. Representatives from the major Christian education publishers come to present fun workshops and provide free curriculum samples and toys. (My grandkids and I always look forward to getting the new toys!) Please check with your local Christian bookstore to see if they are offering a VBS workshop this year or other VBS assistance.
Heritage House in Brockton is offering a free Vacation Bible School (VBS) training program on Saturday, March 7 beginning at 9 am. Heritage House provides expert guidance for a successful VBS and great refreshments. This is a terrific time to learn about the latest trends in Christian education and to network with the other houses of worship in your area.
A typical VBS includes: games, music, snacks, sports, crafts, Bible and missionary stories and a whole lot more. If you are a church leader, this could be an ideal program for you.
I’m especially excited about Gospel Light’s new Son Spark Labs Vacation Bible School. Son Spark Labs is a colorful chemistry lab where children perform real science experiments. They will make many exciting discoveries and they will gain spiritual insight into God’s great love for them, and that they can have fun sharing this love through kind words and good deeds.
Another great program is Son Treasure Island where children explore a tropical island. They will look for buried treasure and discover that the greatest treasure in the world is God’s love for everyone. The children will play island games, create colorful crafts and enjoy tropical snacks.
The next program is Son West Roundup where your young cowboys and cowgirls explore the old west, or Son Rock Kids Camp VBS which has a summer camp theme where children sing around the campfire, learn fun games and make new friends.
There are many other great Vacation Bible School programs available, and I’m sure that there is one that is perfect for your house of worship.
To assist your teachers, provide a supply kit for each class. Your supply kit should contain: tape, scissors, glue, sharpened pencils, construction paper, crayons, stickers and booklets that help lead a child to Christ. The booklets in the kit remind teachers of the real reason they are there – to lead children to Christ and help them grow in His love. My favorite booklet is “God Loves You” by Gospel Light. Having a supply kit on hand prevents disruptions and shows that you support your teachers.
Another great VBS booklet is “Following Jesus” a discipleship booklet for children ages 5-12. This easy to understand publication teaches children the meaning of prayer, the purpose of Bible reading and it encourages kids to grow in showing love to others.
Vacation Bible Schools require a great deal of effort from many people but they yield rich dividends. Your hard work will be rewarded by smiling children who have discovered God’s great love. Thanks to VBS, lives, families, neighborhoods and communities have been changed in beautiful ways.