I may be the only one, but my internal calendar is a bit warped these days. It’s hard to believe that five months of the year have passed and we are now into June. Though God has blessed in some unusual ways during these shutdown months, COVID-19 seems to have robbed us of much that we would have normally enjoyed. Most of us spent Easter and Mother’s Day worshipping with our families online or in a church parking lot. We celebrated graduates virtually, and though Memorial Day was a bit more open, most of us still worshipped online or in a restricted environment.
It looks like the next casualty on the calendar is Vacation Bible School (VBS), which many of our churches would normally have during the next couple of months. With the uncertainty of where we’re headed, most churches are understandably reticent to move forward with normal plans. Many are considering alternatives, such as holding VBS in August or even in the fall. Others are planning to do a virtual VBS by utilizing Zoom teleconferencing, and some churches are providing materials for families to have a home VBS. A few churches are even planning to use Sunday morning services for a special VBS focus.
I’ve been encouraged by the level of commitment to this vital ministry and the degree of creativity in planning for it. I’d encourage every church to consider some form of VBS-type ministry this summer because it is one of the strategic opportunities we have to reach children with the Gospel. Statistics have proven time and again that children come to the Lord more readily than any other demographic, and VBS is the widest door we have for the Holy Spirit to work toward their conversion.
I vividly remember the experiences I had in VBS throughout my childhood. I’ll always treasure the lessons I learned, the crafts I made (or almost made), the refreshments I enjoyed, and the influence I felt from some of the most special servants of the Lord I’ve ever known. Truthfully, those experiences were vitally used by the Lord to lead me to conversion and guide me toward the call to ministry. This is precisely why I applaud those who are making every effort to have some form of VBS ministry this year.
I recognize that doing so will not be easy! However, I’m inclined to say that the return on the investment of time and effort makes the hard work completely worth it. So, for those who are on the fence about doing something or doing nothing this year, remember the opportunity we’re given. If you decide you can’t have VBS, I think we would all understand that. However, I would challenge you to think outside the box before you make a final decision.
For those who are preparing to be creative, be sure of my prayers for your efforts. I’m sure our Lord will guide in your planning and execution, and I’m even more confident that He’ll use your faithfulness to make an eternal difference in the life of some child!
The author may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.