As you may know from reading this blog, LifeWay's VBS team is celebrating 90 continuous years of providing VBS resources that are Biblically trustworthy, evangelistically focused, and age-appropriate for the entire family.
It all started in 1924 when Washington, Georgia pastor Dr. Homer Lamar Grice came to The Sunday School Board (LifeWay Christian Resources) to begin promoting the ministry of The Daily Vacation Bible School. Dr. Grice, who remained in the position for 29 years, is credited with creating much of the structure and practices of VBS that we still use today. You can say he truly journeyed off the map (since no map existed) and pioneered one of the most evangelistically successful ministries for reaching kids and their families.
Photo of Dr. Homer Grice
as Pastor of First Baptist Church of Washington, Georgia
In 2006 I became the seventh person to inherit the position first created by Dr. Grice in 1924. Although he died in 1974, I have enjoyed getting to know him through his book, The Daily Vacation Bible School Guide, his personal files, and the stories shared by those who worked with him. For Dr. Grice, the ministry of VBS went far beyond a job or a resource. It was his calling and passion. Here are six lessons I have learned from his life and legacy.
- VBS is transformational - not only for individuals but entire congregations as well.
- Methods change but the message must remain the same.
- When kids can't come to the church the church must go to them.
- Training workers is essential.
- The vision and leadership of VBS must begin with the pastor.
- Live out your passion in a way that insures your influence and legacy far outlives you.