From my years as an older teenager and young adult, I remember being involved in several VBS-type ministries known as Backyard Bible Clubs and Big A Clubs. These clubs were a simplified or scaled-down version of VBS and were an effective way of reaching families - many of which would never attend an event on a church campus.
During all the years since, the concept of Backyard Bible Club (BBC for short) has survived mostly in connection to mission trips. But a new wind is blowing, and the concept of BBCs is experiencing revival all across the country - especially by larger congregations that have a regional influence beyond an individual neighborhood or community.
Once it was thought that BBCs were staffed by a couple of people and primarily attended by a dozen or so kids who lived within view of the designated yard. This trend is changing as more and more BBCs are becoming evangelistic outposts for entire neighborhoods.
Recently I had the privilege of visiting a BBC not far from my own neighborhood. Four years ago the Club registered approximately 12. The next year, 20. Around 40 the third year. And this year - drum roll please - over 60 kids and adults descended nightly on the front yard, backyard, garage, and bonus room of the Nashville area home of Vicki Hulsey.
While Miss Vicki (all polite Southern children refer to their female neighbors as "Miss") generously opens her home for the annual BBC, she has extended the evangelistic potential by gathering the children and their families throughout the year for other neighborhood activities and parties. Her home has become a true outpost of Hermitage Hills Baptist Church.
This story is phenomenal so stay turned for more.
For now I would like to hear your BBC stories. You can share them here or send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In 2013 we are introducing Backyard Kids Club as a new component to Colossal Coaster World. We will be telling you more about this exciting ministry resource in days to come. So again, stay tuned!