It’s VBS week at Immanuel Baptist Church. We’ve recruited workers. We’ve decorated the church. We’ve stocked up on snacks. Today, the kids arrived! As we enter into the chaos of VBS, here are a few of my thoughts about this ministry.
- Jesus loved and valued children. In a culture that did not value children, Jesus loved children. He wanted to be around them, and despite his busy schedule he made time for them (Matthew 19:14). VBS requires a massive amount of work and preparation. But if we want to be Christlike we must value children. Your church may find other ways to value children, but VBS is one of the ways we value children at Immanuel.
- Children need to hear the gospel. The Bible is clear that sin plagues us all from birth (Psalm 51:5, Romans 5:12). Our families and churches must be committed to sharing the good news with children. They need to know the truth about God. They need to understand sin. They need to see hope in Jesus. They need to hear the call to repent and believe.
- Discipleship must follow VBS. Many of the children who come to VBS come from families that do not regularly attend church. As you share the gospel with these children, and as you call them to repentance and faith, you must be wise. If anyone is going to respond to Jesus (especially children) they need the support of a church and they need to be discipled. If your church is going to call children to follow Christ, you must be prepared to help them follow Christ, teaching them to obey all that Jesus commanded (Matthew 28:18-20).
- VBS is a great way for members to serve. Followers of Jesus need to be involved in ministry (Ephesians 4:11-12). VBS is a great place to start for many people. The time commitment is relatively short and has a definite end. Most of the jobs don’t require extensive Bible knowledge. This week is a time to recruit those who are not actively serving. Ask people to help, and do it face to face. Train them, and make sure they are well supplied, then turn them loose to serve.
- Family night can be a big positive or a big negative. This year we are inviting children and their families to come to family night at the end of VBS. We have encouraged our people to be intentional about speaking to people they don’t know. If our people go out of their way to make guests feel welcome, this can be a big positive. If, however, our people stay in their own bubbles, it can be a big negative. Family night may be your first (and only) chance to interact with unchurched families. Prepare your people, and make the most of the opportunity.
Originally published July 13, 2015 on landoncoleman.com.