I was an adult when I became a Christian and didn’t have the Vacation Bible School (VBS) experience as a child.
I knew kids who went to VBS but I was never invited to attend.
Interestingly though, any adult Christian that I know can speak to their childhood VBS memories.
Since I’ve been a Christian I’ve had the privilege of being a part of a great VBS and can see the benefit of investing the time and resources into this great summer event for kids.
Interacting with the kids and watching them learn and grow is an invaluable experience. Something that everyone should experience at least once.
4 Reasons to Host a VBS
1. Impact on the Kids
This summer event not only gives kids something to do but has a significant impact on their future.
According to a Barna research study, 43 percent of Americans who make a commitment to Christ do so before the age of 13, and 64% of born again Christians do so before their 18th birthday.
If these statistics are true, every church should be investing time and resources into impacting our kids for the future.
2. Effect on Volunteers
People who give of their time to be part of a VBS program do so because of the impact it has on their own lives.
Giving our precious time to the kids is a rewarding experience and once you get a taste of it you want to do it more.
The bible says that it is more blessed to give than to receive, and a well run VBS program demonstrates that principle for the volunteer.
3. Impact on the Church
While VBS programs target children to attend, the not so visible impact is on the families of these kids.
Many kids who attend VBS don’t belong to a church and this is an opportunity to expose your church to families in the community.
It is not uncommon for kids to come to Christ and then bring their families along for the ride. Use VBS as a way to expose your church to families in the community.
4. Impact on the Community
Local communities love having planned summer activities for kids.
A well run VBS can impact the community by setting an example for organized and safe fun for kids.
This impacts the community because it respects organizations that invest the time and resources into their children.
VBS is Declining
The Barna study also suggests that 68% of churches offered a Vacation Bible School (VBS) in 2012 which is down from 81% in 1997.
So why is the number decreasing if the data is clear that reaching children at a young age is important to influencing their commitment to Christ?
The study states that 30% of churches have stopped doing VBS because of a lack of volunteers and 19% because of not enough time. So let’s talk about these barriers.
Lack of Volunteers
All churches struggle to find enough volunteers to support their programs and services. To address this, it is important to create a volunteer program that is efficient and effective.
What this means is developing an organized system that creates a great experience for the volunteers. If volunteers feel valued, and that the service they provide is a good use of their time, they will, in turn, be advocates and help to recruit others to help. The secret is to create a great experience that the volunteer wants to share with their friends!
Not Enough Time
Planning for VBS should begin months before the actual event so that there is ample time to prepare all of the logistical details.
For example, begin the planning process six months before the scheduled VBS and take that time to plan the details so the week of VBS, all you need to do is implement the plan.
We all get caught in a frenzy if we don’t take the time to plan. When the reality is, effective planning is a time saver.
The Barna study data just validates what we all believe that the kids are worth the time and effort that is put into a great VBS.