With VBS 2015 LifeWay Christian Resources has been promoting and producing Vacation Bible School resources for 90 years.
It all started with a visionary named Dr. Homer Grice who came to “The Board” (LifeWay was formerly known as The Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention) from a pastorate in Washington, Georgia in 1924. He was tasked with creating resources, training workers to use them, and helping pastors and congregations realize the evangelistic value of summer church schools (Daily Vacation Bible School).
In 1926, Grice published a manual for accomplishing the work of the Daily Vacation Bible School. In addition to the technical how tos of the ministry, he shared his heart and challenged pastors and church leaders to be passionate about reaching kids (and families) for Christ.
Here are a few of my favorite quotes:
“Neither should he (the pastor) expect to gain experience without making some mistakes. In the Vacation school, as everywhere, we learn to do by doing.”
A pastor must be willing to pay the price for a successful Vacation school. He must be willing to put his very life into it. None of the Lord’s work is easy. It requires much effort…”
They (children) like it (Vacation Bible School) because it ministers to their five-fold needs: physical, mental, moral or ethical, social, and spiritual.”
“Experience has demonstrated that Vacation church schools and week-day schools of religion are reaching thousands of children who have not been reached through the Sunday school.”
“Not only do the children need the churches; the churches also need the children. If they are to be more efficient in succeeding years, they must in a larger way than they are doing now, reach the children of today. They must get hold of them and win their love and affection in childhood. Winning their love and affection, they must sow in their hearts the seeds that are to produce the future harvest. One of the greatest perils of the churches now is their failure to reach so many of the children of the land.”
“We have the buildings. We have the church members. We have the teaching force. We have the money to care for the costs. What lack we yet? We lack consecration. We lack spiritual vigor. We lack in our love for the children. We are an unwilling people. We are unwilling to do the work necessary, to toil, sweat, agonize; unwilling to give up our ease; unwilling to study and prepare ourselves; unwilling, it seems sometimes, to do anything but talk of our perils, of our crime waves, of our spiritual ignorance, and find fault and criticize.”