What a week of VBS we have had! If you didn’t participate or visit, our Fellowship Hall was completely transformed into a busy marketplace in first-century Nazareth. (They probably didn’t have pop-up tents back then, but that’s all right!) I was very impressed by the work ethic and the pleasantness of everyone involved. This was a good week of seed-planting and sharing healthy Christian relationships with young people. Our children’s attendance increased every night, with an average of around two dozen on any given evening. And our total of thirty-three youth and adult volunteers is very encouraging!
Vacation Bible School is a fascinating church event because, in some ways, it is more beneficial for youth and adults than it is for children. I can hear you asking now: “How can this be, Pastor? Isn’t VBS a program for kids?” Of course it is, and we should not neglect or ignore the growth in our children that takes place through VBS. After all, Proverbs 22:6 tells us to “start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it” (NIV). We plant seeds in children’s lives that may sprout immediately or may take many years to develop and mature, and we do so out of obedience to our Lord.
At the same time, though, VBS gives many opportunities for adults to grow, as well. We meet day after day, spend many hours together, communicate with each other, work with each other – all with the expressed purpose of ministering to children. But the time we spend together can very easily turn into ministry to each other, as well! Our frequent meetings and conversations form an intense arena in which we practice healthy Christian relationships with each other. By loving each other during VBS, we show our children the love of Christ, and we are that much more prepared to show the love of Christ to the world at large.
Another benefit coming out of VBS is the opportunity we have as youth and adults to rehearse the stories of our faith. What do we believe? Why do we believe it? Where do those beliefs come from? How do they connect to our everyday lives? These are the kinds of questions that children need to have answered, and we adults are the people who get to share our answers with them. This is the constant call of Christ: to make disciples of all nations by teaching people what Jesus has taught us. VBS is a safe environment for us to rehearse sharing the message of Christ so that we can be more prepared to share that message with others outside of the week of VBS.
I was very impressed by some of our leaders, especially some of our youth, who really took up the challenge of sharing the truth about Jesus with children this week. As they visited me in the “Synagogue School,” they encountered a Jewish rabbi who looked a lot like me but didn’t believe in Jesus. Speaking the truth about Jesus is something each of us should be ready to do at any moment, both in and out of season (2 Timothy 4:2). Thank you for your work – and keep it up through the rest of the summer!