As some of you probably know, we (LifeWay Christian Resources) keep statistics on VBS participation in SBC churches. Every time I take a look at these statistics, I'm humbled that God allows me to even be a small part of such a great ministry! I'm not sure that there is another church event that can have the impact on children and families that VBS does. It is an event that has proven itself year after year to be extremely effective in reaching unchurched families. Here are some statistics from 2007:
- 2,876,877 children, teens, and adults participated in a Southern Baptist Vacation Bible School.
- Of those participants, 267,771 identified themselves as unchurched - many more are most likely unchurched in practice.
- Of those who identified themselves as unchurched, 37,888 enrolled in Sunday School following VBS. Think about this - 37,888 sounds like a lot of people, but when you consider that each person represents a home with additional siblings, parents, and other relatives living in the home, that number can quickly becomes 1,000,000.
- One of the most amazing statistics is one of every sixteen 1st - 6th graders was enrolled in an SBC VBS in 2007.
- VBS 2007 accounted for 88,097 professions of faith during the week of or immediately following VBS, resulting in 26% of all 2007 SBC baptisms.
These stats are remarkable, but when we consider that 95% of the churches in a recent survey responded that their greatest need was help with follow-up, what would the stats be if every church intentionally used VBS as an evangelistic event and made sure the home of every participant was contacted, the gospel message shared, and follow-up contacts made? VBS truly has the potential of changing lives, churches, and communities.
Thanks to Jerry Wooley, our VBS Ministry Specialist at LifeWay, for helping me with these stats!