VBS Changes Lives
By: Bob Wallace
VBS. These three letters bring up an array of emotions. They bring up the thought of kids, crafts, yummy snacks, and outreach. They can also bring up emotions of chaos, craziness, and stress. One of the most important things those three letters should bring up is the thought of planting seeds and changing lives. Many people each year spend tons of time, energy, and dollars to bring a fun, biblically sound, and a life-changing VBS to their churches.
Whether you do a traditional weeklong VBS, a summer event, or just a once-a-month program, the love that goes into getting ready, planning, and then pulling off this outreach event is tremendous. The joy of seeing the kids learn about Jesus is what keeps you going each year, but have you ever stopped to think about how many kids’ lives and families have been touched by what you do through VBS each year?
Here are just a couple of stories about how VBS changes lives.
A Lifetime of Changing Lives
As each VBS has come and gone, I look in awe at how Hatie has spent a lifetime making a difference in kids’ and families’ lives and how much I hope, just a little, that I can be more like her. The stories of lives she has touched never cease to amaze me. Hatie is a true servant and a true person that changes lives every day!”
A Jewel in Our Crown
VBS Is Worth It!
What was so great about this? He told me his mom had become depressed and had many boyfriends in and out of the house. He had no idea (at that young age) where his dad was. When they moved, he and his sister kept several of the crafts and activities they had made at VBS so they could play VBS at their new home.
They talked about the stories they learned and kept them close to their heart. They grew up and went to college. While at college, he met his wife, and a couple of summers ago, went home to his wife’s church to help with VBS. It brought back so many happy memories during a troubled time. Because of that, he went on to study with his future wife and gave his life to the Lord that summer—some 10 years after VBS! It just goes to show you that all the time, energy, and money that goes into VBS pays off in the long run! I will always believe in the ministry of VBS!”
Happy Birthday, Jesus!
When VBS was done, he came to Sunday school every Sunday. He loved God, who he knew loved him. Christmas that year was on Sunday, and my friend planned a huge birthday party for Jesus. The little boy was so thrilled, because he wanted to sing Happy Birthday to Jesus. On Christmas Eve, the little boy and his family were in the family van Christmas shopping. Their van was hit head-on by a drunk driver and the little boy was killed. At his funeral, his teachers were ashamed because of their attitude toward him, but they realized also that because of VBS he was singing Happy Birthday to Jesus face to face.”
Stories of changed lives through VBS can be found everywhere. Everyone has a story or a memory of VBS.
The adults who volunteer each year at VBS will not remember all of the kids’ names or all the Bible stories taught, and they won’t remember every song sung. But what they need to remember are the seeds that were planted in the lives of the children who came to their church and how someone cared enough to teach them about Jesus, even for a day. You may never know how much impact you or your church has on a kid’s life.
So think about what you do each year to get ready for VBS. Think about the fun, Bible teaching, crafts, music, and all the kids. Think about VBS changing lives. Isn’t that really what it is all about?
Bob Wallace is the VBS and Children’s marketing manager for Standard Publishing and works with children’s ministry through their local church camp and other organizations, www.standardpub.com.