Hello Church Family,
As a child, I never went to a single Vacation Bible School (VBS). But as a pastor, I have participated in too many to count! During my years as a youth pastor, I would lead a group of high school students for a week of VBS ministry to small churches all around SoCal, providing the program and manpower. One year, I led a group of students to Santa Margarita Community Church, where we worked alongside their newly minted Senior Pastor, Robert Campbell. During my time here at Northpoint, I have had the privilege of participating in the past four Vacation Bible Schools. Each time I participate in one, I am always impressed by how God uses His church to reach the next generation of children with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
There are, however, many churches that are getting rid of their VBS programs. A 2013 article in Christianity Today stated, “VBS programs have declined 16 percent in the last 15 years, from 81 percent of American churches in 1997 to 68 percent in 2012.” Over the past 20 years there has been a steady decline in churches running a summer vbs. The biggest overall reason for churches doing away with VBS was a lack of time and a desire to spend resources on other priorities.
There is no doubt that in order to properly pull off a VBS, it takes countless hours and hundreds of volunteers. So, why year after year do we spend so much time, effort, and expense for a week of craziness right in the middle of our summer? Wouldn’t our time and effort be better spent on other ministry priorities?
Now, there may be a time when our ministry priorities here at NP need to change, and do change, but for now, here are my top five reasons why we do VBS every year.
1. VBS provides a unique opportunity each year to dazzle kids with the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ—
There is no doubt that we have a lot of fun and games, but at the heart of each year’s VBS is the gospel. I am proud that every Sunday our NP K!DS are pointed to Jesus Christ in gospel-centered worship, lessons, and big group teaching, but there is something unique that happens when we pack nearly 300 people together in Heritage Hall during the week of VBS. The gospel is amplified in every aspect. Whether it’s in the worship, the skit, the big group teaching, or the small group time, the gospel is intensely proclaimed and celebrated. I see kids all the time light up when singing past years’ VBS songs, which remains as a reminder to them of the hope that is in the gospel.
2. VBS provides a unique opportunity to reach those who are not part of any church—
Even though there are a number of churches running a VBS at some point in the summer here in Corona, there are many families who do not know Christ. And the reality is that we know many of them. We live next to them. Our kids play on the same sports teams. We see them all the time at the park when our kids are playing. Or they may even be members of our own family. VBS is not, and should not, be the ONLY way in which we are evangelizing our neighbors, but it is A way we can reach them. An invite to VBS can be part of the bigger spiritual conversation we are having with those families that are not of the faith.
3. VBS provides a unique opportunity for the core of our church to serve together—
Each year during the week of VBS, I am always impressed by the sheer number of volunteers it takes to make this event happen. But what impresses me more, is that we have the core volunteers of our church all coming together to serve Christ and our kids in this amazing way. VBS is one of those “all hands on deck” kind of event that brings out the best of Northpoint and creates a spirit of unity as we serve together.
4. VBS provides a unique opportunity for parents to have spiritual conversations with their kids—
I don’t know about your family, but sometimes driving home after a Sunday morning it’s like pulling teeth as I try to get my kids to tell me about what they learned in Sunday School. After VBS, however, I can’t get my kids to stay quite. They want to tell me about everything. The new song Tri taught them. Or what happened in that night’s skit. Or the big group teacher’s illustration about sin and its consequences. All of which are great springboards for parents to talk about Christ with their kids. Each night, kids are sent home with questions for parents to ask their kids that have to do with that night’s Bible lesson. What a great way to set parents up to have spiritual conversations with their kids.
5. VBS provides a unique oppor ………………. KID’S JUST LOVE IT!
This year VBS will take place July 13-17, where kids will be taken on an adventure to Camp Kilimanjaro! They will experience a life-changing, epic expedition through the book of Proverbs. Our Trekkers will learn to have:
- Ears that hear and do God’s Word
- Hearts that trust in the Lord
- Tongues that speak in a God-honoring way
- Hands that get to work
- Feet that walk with the wise
Are you ready to go? Then lace up those hiking boots, grab your gear, and let’s get going!
Sign-ups for VBS volunteers will begin Sunday, May 3.
Sign-ups for VBS kids will begin Sunday, June 7.
Resting in Him,