Here is a summary of the Vacation Bible School report I delivered to our church on July 1, 2007.
Our annual VBS was held June 18 – 22, 2007 from 9 AM to 11:30 AM. We registered 117 children and had an average attendance of 80 per day. Our mission offering raised $516 for the Poor Children’s Relief Fund. Our theme was “Who Will Be King?” and our VBS motto was “Jesus is the King – follow Him!”
Your pastors are visiting the families that sent children to VBS. Working with teachers we have identified many excellent evangelism prospects. Last week, we visited 23 households representing 38 children of non-members. Our efforts have been well received by most families. There are many encouraging stories already. We plan to continue these, along with other visits, on our newly established visitation time – Thursdays from 5:45 P.M. – 8 P.M.
Many churches are giving up on traditional Vacation Bible school programs. Others churches have replaced VBS with sports camps or community-wide VBS. The reasons for this include:
- The increasing cost of purchasing VBS materials.
- The massive effort required by church volunteers.
- The lack of evangelistic results.
- The lack of outreach to unchurched families.
- The high percentage of VBS learners who attend other churches.
Your pastoral staff understands these concerns. However, we believe in the potential of Vacation Bible School to reach children and families with the Gospel. We are not willing to abandon or delegate this opportunity. We believe that God continues to work through our VBS.
Two Priorities For Our Vacation Bible School
1. Every child must have multiple opportunities to hear the Gospel at Vacation Bible School.
Kids need to hear the Good News – not only once, but multiple times. In building our own curriculum we focused on a “Gospel Redundancy.” Unshakable faith requires a firm foundation. Children learned the basic outline of “Who Will Be King?” At every point we reinforced the Gospel with songs, crafts, scripture memory and stories from the Bible.
2. We must make more effort to reach the parents with the Gospel through Vacation Bible School.
Too often, the seeds we plant struggle to grow in spiritually toxic homes. The influence of the fathers who are hostile to God easily outweighs all our efforts. The best and most lasting way to reach children is to reach their parents. This is new territory for VBS. We experimented with several family outreach strategies this year including a cookout, Sunday AM graduation, Sunday PM musical, visitations, pastoral letters, daily handouts, and we are planning an end-of-summer Family Fun Day.
All this is possible because of your strong support. Your general budget offering met all the financial needs for VBS. Your many hours of volunteer labor were beyond value. And your prayers to God are being answered in ways we will never fully know.