Too often I hear, “We no longer have VBS because we do not have any children.”
This statement reveals an all too common misconception about the ministry of Vacation Bible School. It says, “VBS is for the kids we already have and not for the kids we might have if we used the ministry to reach out to the community.”
The statement might also reveal an underlaying attitude that says, “We are not interested in trying to reach a new generation of kids. After all, kids are loud, messy, time-consuming, and expensive. As a church we have made the decision to hold on as long as possible then die.”
I understand VBS takes work, but even more it takes a commitment to go beyond the walls of the church building and reach out to families who would not otherwise be reached. Conducting VBS might also require thinking beyond the norm of a traditional VBS and seeking creative solutions to staffing and resource needs. Here’s a few ideas to get you started.
- Partner with another smaller congregation to share workers and expenses.
- Ask a larger congregation to send several VBS missionaries to supplement the leadership team.
- Contact your local or state association about summer missionaries and support teams.
- Hold VBS for a limited age group such as Kindergarten through third graders.
- Conduct VBS during Spring or Fall school breaks.
- Use Backyard Kids Club resources which require fewer workers and resources.
- Conduct a Backyard Kids Club on the church lawn or at a member’s home.
- Conduct VBS or Backyard Kids Club in a park or community center.
- Hold a series of one-day VBS events throughout the summer or year.
Discover more about Backyard Kids Club at Lifeway’s VBS Preview this January in North Carolina, Texas, and Tennessee. Click here to learn more.