I haven’t always been as excited about Vacation Bible School (VBS) as I am now. I’ve tried to identify exactly why I’m enjoying VBS so much these days. I’ve come up with three main reasons: dedicated leadership, missions projects, and content rich curriculum. I want to say a word about each, and then give you a turn to speak.
One of the couples from our church works extremely hard at organizing and leading VBS every year. In addition, our pastor fully supports VBS and provides most of the teaching for it. Even though it can be exhausting, especially for the family spearheading it, they serve gladly and sacrificially; their example encourages the rest of us to do the same. I’m deeply thankful for our servant leaders.
And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:42-45)
Each year we find a different missions project that the kids can be directly involved in. This year we’re collecting old used shoes and turning them into clean drinking water. You can find out how we’re doing that by visiting the website of George “The Shoeman” Hutchings.
Personally, I believe it’s vital that we teach our children to be generous and compassionate.
Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed. (Proverbs 19:17)
Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself call out and not be answered. (Proverbs 21:13)
We want to have fun with the kids who come to VBS. And we do have fun. There are crafts. Our pastor becomes a water balloon target (and then goes on a one man Super Soaker rampage). There are games and snacks.
But we mainly want to present every child there with clear biblical teaching about the glory of God in Christ. A few years ago we decided to try the VBS curriculum published by Children Desiring God. We’ve used all five courses now, and I can’t recommend them highly enough; as you might expect, each one is profoundly God-exalting and gospel centered. I’ll tell you right up front there aren’t many frills to this curriculum, but with a little creativity and hard work, it can still be fun and engaging for the kids.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. (Colossians 3:16)
There may not be anything wrong with those slick, pre-packaged VBS curricula. (On second thought, in some cases at least, they may be a little pricey and/or light on content). Every year my blog friend Tony Kummer reviews several of those if you want to check them out. I wonder, though, if the best VBS might not be one that accurately reflects the sound biblical teaching and close-knit community of the church hosting it. What do you think?