Vacation Bible School has ccome to an end. The screams and shouts of kids running through the halls and in the sanctuary are now a memory. Decorations have coome down and the once vibrant and colorful rooms and hallways have rturned to their traditional look. It is as if VBS never happened. It has been an exceptionally long week. Longer than normal. I am a big fan of VBS and understand how important it is in the life of the church. Now than that VBS is over, I have a few observations I want to make from a pastor’s perspective.
1. Attendance: This is the criteria by which VBS is judged a success or a failure. Our average attendance for the week was 74. Our average was lower than in the past two or three years. I believe there were several factors contributing to this lower average. First, there were four other churches in our community holding VBS the same week and the at the same time as us. Second, I believe our low number on Sunday has to do with the fact that we started on Sunday. The kids who attend church were attending their church and the unchurched (those who were our focus) don’t normally come to church on Sunday, regardless of the event. Third, about Tuesday night I noticed that all of our kids that were enrolled in VBS were connected to someone in our church. There were no kids from the community in church for the first time this week. I was disappointed by this. However, I was encouraged that our people were active in inviting others to church.
2. Workers: I am thankful to all who worked this week. As I mentioned earlier, it was a long week. It was also very hot. I am especially thankful to all teachers who worked full-time jobs and left work, came straight to church for five straight days. I want to especially mention and thank those who worked in the kitchen all week. During our VBS, we skip the Snack Rotation. Instead, we choose to provide a meal every night. Our kitchen workers come out early, set everything up, served the kids, and stayed until all was cleaned up. Thankyou.
3. Ministry: Anytime you have kids on campus you have an opportunity to be engaged in real, one-on-one life-changing ministry. I have to believe that is what happened this week. VBS is intentionally evangelistic. We are diligent to make sure that we communicate the gospel message all week long, not just on the night of the “evangelistic” lesson. With that being said, we did not have any public professions of faith this week. This is the second VBS in a row this has happened. I can not explain it. What I do know is this. We are here to share a message and plant a seed, understanding that it is God that gives the increase. Real ministry takes place when you take time to listen to a child, talk to a child, and show love toward them in the name of Christ. This is what we did this week. If down the road a year or two, in God’s timing, a gospel presentation is given and they respond because of something that planted in their heart this week, then we were faithful to have done our part.
4. Sharing: Once again this year we had the opportunity to share and pass on the decorations we used to another church who needed them. The bulk of our props, supplies, and decorations went to two different churches. I believe this is a stewardship issue. Lifeway VBS material is not cheap. It does not make sense to speand all of that money and then store everything in a closet. One of the churches using our material was thinking about not having VBS at all due to a small budget and limited funds. I am pleased that we were able to help them.
Overall, we had a great week and look forward to what comes out of the efforts of this week. I again want to thank every teacher, worker, and parent who allowed their child to be a part of our VBS.