Cookies and Kool-Aid, making crafts out of dry pasta or a pig from an empty Clorox bottle can only mean on thing in the summer months for Baptist kids. It’s Vacation Bible School (VBS). It’s not just about creating a fun atmosphere for the kids. At the center of all the fun, refreshments and games are lessons in learning and growing in God’s word. And no doubt at the end of the week there will be decisions for Christ made in the individual lives of some of these children.
Learning and doing in Jesus’ name
Like many of you, I have attended VBS as a kid. Unlike many of you, I attended every one of them at churches my father served as pastor and several others throughout the summers of my youth at churches of my dad’s pastor friends. At the young age while attending these VBS events, I never grasped the scope or big picture of the program.
Having kids of my own who also attended, plus serving invarious capacities to help in VBS, I now understand the amount of time, patience, love and obedience to the Great Commission VBS workers possess.
Riverside Baptist Church in Denver and its sister church, Riverside Baptist Castle Rock recently completed their summer VBS programs. This year’s theme was Saddle Ridge Ranch.
At what is known as Riverside’s Diamond Hill campus in downtown Denver, Karen Bransgrove, Director of Children’s Ministry reported”
It’s exiting to tell you about God’s work here at Diamond Hill. He was so wonderful to us in blessing us with 93 volunteers serving with our kids. We had 182 kids registered throughout the week. 63 of those were guests and not RBC attenders. Our families did a great job of bringing their friends and we had a few come from the Overlook Apartments where we sent a van daily to pick up and drop off. Our average daily attendance of volunteers and kids was 224. At the end of the week we had 4 solid decisions for Christ. Praise the Lord!
Sue Merritt, aka Little Bo Peep, and her sheep.
Under the big outdoor tent at the Castle Rock campus, Sue Merritt from the Children’s Ministry reports:
We had a total enrollment of 101 for the week. Attendance Sunday was 55, Monday – 76, Tuesday – 86, Wednesday – 82 and Thursday – 78. On the final night during the invitation, 15 children came forward to be counseled in their decisions for Christ.
On the surface, the Castle Rock numbers might not jump out at you. In fact, they probably seem about average. But consider this. The total number of kids that attend Sunday services at Riverside Castle Rock is 6. Did you read that correctly? Let me spell it out for you S-I-X! A total of 101 kids registerd and a total of only 6 regularly attending in the entire church.
Do the math. If your church experienced the same type of attendance, percentagewise, it’s doubtful there would be enough room to hold everyone and you’d need to rent a huge tent as Castle Rock did.
That, my friends, is what VBS is about. It’s an outreach ministry for Baptist churches Who knows if VBS will be the only time some of these kids ever hear the Gospel? Even if that’s the case, we should all thank the volunteers who give their time to minister and serve so the opportunity to hear the Gospel is made possible through VBS.
I’m not qualified or chosen to give Heavenly crowns. But rest assured, when these Summer VBS workers get to Heaven there will be one waiting for them.