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.) If you want your church to grow, this program is a must.
Your favorite Christian bookstore offers free VBS assistance to all houses of worship. I always look forward to visiting with these wonderful people and learning about the latest trends in education and outreach. It’s also a great way to network with other churches and to explore the latest VBS kits. My grandkids love to accompany me so that they can try out the new VBS toys and electronic devices. I stopped by Heritage House last week and discovered new Bible memory toys where the verse suddenly appears as the child holds their new toy! The children are going to love that one!
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. There are many great Vacation Bible School programs to choose from, and I’m sure that there is one that is perfect for your house of worship.
To assist your teachers, I suggest that you provide them with a supply kit. 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.