In churches across the nation, this year’s Vacation Bible School is quickly becoming a memory. There are many people out there who think that VBS is an outdated program whose time has come and gone. Fresh off of the excitement and exhaustion that is the controlled chaos that is VBS, here is my list of the top ten reasons to still do VBS at your church:
- Kids love it. If you’re doing it right, VBS is just plain fun, and the kids love it. Fun is, of course, not the end all and be all of children’s ministry, but it is a big selling point. When kids are having fun, they are more apt to be paying attention and learning, and they are more likely to invite their friends.
- It’s still a great outreach event. Again, when something is fun, kids are likely to invite their friends. In my small group of six kids alone, we had one little girl that brought two different friends during the week. At least one of those kids never goes to church.
- It is an opportunity to share the gospel of Christ. I talked to another little boy who lives near the church and comes to VBS every year. It is his only exposure to church and the only time each year when he gets to hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
- It gives the kids in your church a chance to spend some time together. In addition to reaching out to the community, VBS let’s your regular church kids spend some time together and continue to build those relationships.
- It gives adults a chance to serve and see how much fun and how rewarding working with kids can be. Many people who won’t sign up for a six month or year long commitment will commit to one week. What a great opportunity VBS presents for finding new volunteers for your ministry. I found two people to ask within the first couple of nights. I don’t know if they will plan out, but I would never have met them if it hadn’t been for VBS.
- Parents get a chance to hear the gospel. If you organize your VBS in such a manner that at least one night involves parents, it gives you an opportunity to share the gospel with them. It can be at a closing ceremony, or something planned during the week. During our VBS (we used Gospel Light’s SonQuest Rainforest), we had a zoo night where the local zoo brought in rainforest animals. We asked parents to stay with their kids, and they all heard the gospel presented by our lead pastor.
- You can’t buy that kind of excitement in your weekend program. There is just something special about an action-packed week of VBS that just builds to a certain level of excitement. That is the king of excitement we should feel about God and about his Good News every day, and VBS week helps to remind us of that.
- You get to build relationships with kids. When else during the year do you get to spend every night of the week with the same kids? That kind of proximity and consistency is hard to come by in children’s ministry, and isn’t something you should give up up.
- You get to build relationships with adults. In addition to relationships with kids, you get to serve with other people from your church that you might not have a chance to meet otherwise. It is a great time to initiate lasting friendships.
- It’s just plain fun. No matter what else you say about VBS, it’s just plain fun for both kids and adults. There is no other week during the year that I find so exhausting and so fun all at the same time, and I wouldn’t skip it for the world. :)
Get a jump on next summer’s VBS. Read our tips for planning VBS or check out our 2011 VBS curriculum reviews.