VBS: Was It Worth It?
Submitted by Jennifer Power
I had started to get the feeling Vacation Bible School was becoming an outdated church practice. Other churches were doing away with VBS programs and replacing them with various alternatives (outreaches, family programs, etc.). I had begun wondering if VBS was just another tradition maintained for tradition’s sake. Sure, I grew up attending VBS, volunteering each year when I was too old to participate, and always enjoying myself. I was starting to think, however, that maybe VBS was not transformative – VBS theology is typically not deep and perhaps many caretakers view it as free childcare. Neither of these are problematic really, but I was starting to wonder, was VBS really worth the tremendous time, energy, and resources required?
My answer, after completing my first year as director of Vacation Bible School, is a resounding YES!
Let me tell you why.
While I hope (and believe) many children and families experienced the presence and love of God this past week, my greatest joy was found in the Christian community I experienced. For one whole week, there was an energy, unity, joy, and excitement around this building unlike I have experienced any other week this past year.
Vacation Bible School is for kids, yet when I looked around the building this past week, the cross-generational presence was incredible. Babies, toddlers, children, pre-teens, teenagers, young adults, older adults: All in it together. All having a good time. All worshiping God and working to further His Kingdom.
I learned so many names, saw so many people’s unique talents and gifts utilized, and saw many step into new leadership roles for the first time. My initial VBS goal was to:
Get. Through. The. Week.
I came away sad it was over.
Next year, there are many details I will change to make Vacation Bible School better, but I would not dream of replacing it – not after what I experienced this year.
Many of you know the SHiNe ministries dedicated servant, Linda. She has a phrase which seems to be her life’s mantra which she repeats to me over and over again:
“The Lord will provide.”
Linda loves VBS, and now I know why. Not only is it an opportunity to see God’s provision in big and small ways, but it is a chance to experience Christian community in a wonderfully powerful way.
I am grateful for my Vacation Bible School experience this year.
I am grateful for the many, many people who contributed their time, energy and resources to make it happen.
If you contributed to VBS in any way in these past months, let me take a moment to encourage you – YOU MADE A DIFFERENCE – not just in the lives of many children and families, but I firmly believe you made a difference in the life of each and every person who walked through the doors of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church this last week.
God’s blessings and joy to each and every one of you this day and always.
Looking forward to VBS 2016!!!