Over the last 15 or so years, I really haven’t been a very big fan of VBS. I saw it as misused resources (time, energy, volunteers) because although there was once a time when kids who didn’t go to church would flock to these events, their popularity had waned.
OK, that isn’t entirely true. They’re still popular, but they’re popular among church folk. In some places, there’s a movement of VBS groupies who go from church to church to church, making Summer a whole VBS experience. While I guess this isn’t a problem, it didn’t really sit well with me when measuring VBS as an “effective” outreach. So I wrote them off as having little “real” value in the church world…a remnant from an old style of doing church that doesn’t really impact people in the 21st century. Although I might have been right, I was also wrong. If done well, VBS can have a great impact on children and their families. So now, I’m thankful for VBS.
Why I’m thankful for VBS.
Christy signed us up for the family VBS at a church in Greenwood. So, this week after work, my family and I would roam the streets of ancient Babylon, learning about the hanging gardens, astronomy, metalworking, and jewelry. We also heard from Daniel (also known as Rich Nye) as he experienced some pretty incredible things because of his determination to remain faithful in the midst of a foreign land that was hostile to his God.
The kids loved it. They loved the idea of being immersed in the bustling city of Babylon. They loved hearing the old, old stories told in a first-hand manner. They loved the crafts. They loved VBS. And they were disappointed when Thursday evening came around and it was the last evening of VBS.
So thank you, VBS, for impacting my children! While I don’t expect to become a VBS Groupie, I do expect the Todd family to make a return trip to the VBS experience next Summer!