The title is a little misleading since I know you will not forget to pray – especially when that worker calls the night before to tell you she will be unable to teach after all. Talk about a fall-to-your-knees experience!
Seriously, I know you are personally giving prayer top priority, but have you thought about enlisting a prayer team?
In a former life I served at a wonderful church in Houston that had a thriving homebound ministry. We had an abundance of saints who had spent their lives working in VBS and would like nothing better than to keep doing so. However, while their hearts and minds were willing, they were unable to actively participate in church activities.
For years we had utilized the skills of several of our homebound members to assist the craft team with prep work. This was a great way to keep them connected. But to be honest it was not much more than free labor and didn’t allow individuals with physical limitations to contribute.
As a result of a church-wide study of Henry Blackaby’s Experiencing God, a conversation started on ways God invites people to join Him in the work He is already doing. The conversation turned to ways homebound Believers could remain active in not only sharing their faith but actively participating in the ministry of the church. Obviously prayer was one of the first ways mentioned.
From that conversation the idea was born to create a VBS Prayer Team. The team was led by Elsie, who although not completely homebound, had limited vision and had to visit a dialysis clinic three times a week. Elsie got busy enlisting her team, telling them they would each be expected to give the same number of hours each day as any other VBS worker. She let the team know their assignment would require marathon prayer warriors who would commit to pray during the weeks leading up to VBS, and then each day for the entire three hours of VBS.
Each afternoon the VBS Director would call Elsie with an update of the day and a list of specific prayer needs. Elsie would in turn pass the word on to each member of the team.
For me – the guy running around trying to cover all the bases – it was great comfort knowing a dedicated group of people were at that very moment praying. For the workers the VBS Prayer Team was an inspiration. For the Prayer Team their participation was not only meaningful but vital.
Jerry Wooley, @vbsguy, has served as LifeWay’s VBS Ministry Specialist since 2006.