by: Rhonda VanCleave
Publishing Team Leader | LifeWay VBS
A couple of days after our wedding, my husband and I arrived at the Bible college we would be attending. Everyone on campus was pursuing some type of ministerial degree. After four years of college, we moved to seminary for another four years. Since then, we have served churches for over thirty years. Needless to say, I have gotten to know LOTS of pastors—of all types. I’ll let you in on a little secret … pastors are regular people. I do believe the calling on their lives is a divine calling, but like all other spiritual leaders, they are still human.
I share this because it’s an important fact to consider when you want your pastor to be more involved in VBS. God has called men of every personality type imaginable to serve Him as the shepherd of a local congregation. Some have outgoing personalities and love interacting with kids. They’re probably already involved in VBS. If you are blessed with this scenario, just be sure to let your pastor know how much you appreciate his involvement. That and prayer are the best gifts you can give your pastor!
Maybe your pastor seems hesitant to become involved. As odd as it may seem, some pastors are just as uncomfortable volunteering as any other church member. However, a warm invitation to talk to the kids during Worship Rally or to visit a classroom is all it takes to nudge them into a stronger connection to VBS. The bonus payoff is that pastors and kids become comfortable with each other, and that blessing spills over into the other yearlong ministries of the church.
But what if it seems your pastor couldn’t care less about VBS? If his attitude is, “This is a perfect time for me to get away. Someone else is in charge for a week,” you may need to request a meeting with him (especially if you are the VBS director) and share with him some of the benefits of supporting VBS (here’s a great article to get you started). Pastors are usually the vision casters, but it is only natural that occasionally a vision needs to be cast for them.
The bottom line is, don’t expect your pastor to jump in with both feet to help at VBS just because “that’s his job” or because “he’s a pastor.” Invite him, encourage him, and include him as part of the team—a team that is truly carrying out the mission of the church—connecting with kids and their families, sharing the gospel, and making disciples.