Coming Soon to a Church Near You

One of my favorite times of the church year is fast approaching: Vacation Bible School. I know that it is only January, but June will be here before you know it. I enjoy everything about VBS. As a pastor, I enjoy the opportunity to work closely with teachers and other volunteers preparing for the arrivals of our students. I enjoy having kids running up and down the hallways not knowing how to act in church. After all, is it not our goal to get unchurched kids to come to church? Believe it or not, I enjoy being there when the first student arrives and watching the last one get into the car at night. As a pastor I enjoy interacting with the students. I enjoy talking with them, laughing with them, and hopefully praying with them.

I enjoy teaching and preparing others for ministry. It is a passion of mine.  I have had the opportunity over the past several years to share my love for VBS with others at the church, association, and state levels. I have agreed to be a part of the VBS team for the Savannah River Baptist Association this year and help train others across our association. I am looking forward to what the Lord is going to do with Vacation Bible School this year. The potential is great. Begin praying right now as to where the Lord would have you to serve. More to come.

A Pastor’s Reflections on VBS

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.

Vacation Bible School is Here!

 

 Well, VBS has finally arrived. This is a week of ministry that we at our church have been looking forward to. As a pastor, I love VBS. I am allowed to lead the Worship Rally. I enjoy this opportunity to interact with the kids as they come in,  and I have a chance to share the God’s plan of salvation with them. I enjoy the busyness of the week and how we are able to minister to children and families, often for the first time. We are kicking off VBS today with High Attendance Day in Sunday School as a means of promoting both VBS and Sunday School. I intend to post a summary of the week’s activities once we conclude. The Boomerang Express has arrived and it is time for everyone to climb aboard.

The Train is Leaving the Station

The week leading up to Vacation Bible School is always filled with activity. There are teachers decorating, lessons being finalized, and many “quick trips” to Wal-Mart for needed supplies. I always enjoy this week. I enjoy walking around and visiting with our teachers. This is a unique time to spend some time with them in a different environment. I enjoy watching the sanctuary and other rooms being transformed from their typical look into theme-related masterpieces. Hard work is the descritpion for this week. This week of hard work prepares us for a week of hard work of a different sort. Our Vacation Bible School begins on June 7th.  It is on this day that our students will begin their tour through the Australian outback. I have posted some pictures of the work that is in progress around our church as of today. The train has left the station and it won’t be long until its arrival.

Here is our train for the Worship Rally
Here is our train for the Worship Rally
Beginnings of our Missions Harbor
Beginnings of our Missions Harbor

  

Santuary view
Santuary view
Ticket Booth
Ticket Booth