Summer is here and many churches are in final preparation for an exciting event: Vacation Bible School. I fondly remember VBS as one of the most exciting evangelistic times in the life of our church when I served as a pastor. The parade of flags, songs, crafts, Bible stories, refreshment time, etc., brought joy because at the end of the week we were elated with the many who invited Christ into their lives.
Vacation Bible School is one of the most evangelistic tools churches have to reach their communities for Christ. VBS is effective in introducing children to Jesus and them making a profession of faith.
It not only is an effective way of reaching the children of our communities, but their parents as well. It is an excellent outreach opportunity because the church can collect not only the information about the child enrolled in VBS, but siblings and parents; oftentimes this extends to others who may attend VBS "graduation" festivities.
Sadly, many churches don't sponsor VBS because of the work involved. Recruiting teachers and leaders can be difficult; many times curriculum and other expenses are a stretch for churches. These can be overcome by working ahead and recruiting a church to help with VBS, possibly using curriculum from a previous year. Tom Belew, CSBC's childhood specialist, is a great resource for this need.
For decades VBS was a "daytime" event which excluded many working church members from participating. However, many churches have gone to an evening VBS which alleviates many staffing troubles. Another solution to staffing is to conduct VBS on four consecutive Saturdays; some churches even do a weekend VBS.
These are only a few of the possibilities a church can implement in order to touch lives of children and families for Christ. Remember the words of Jesus when He said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these" (Matthew 19:14, NIV).
My prayer is for us to be deeply committed to this and other evangelistic efforts during the summer months to impact the lives of Californians for Jesus. Statistics reveal that about 25 percent of all SBC baptisms (approximately 90,000) are a result of VBS.
Last year I received many calls from pastors about a wonderful VBS and record numbers of children who were baptized as a result. I anticipate a great harvest of souls in the next few months.