By Amanda Lewis
I love to hear stories of the wonderful things that happen during VBS. Unfortunately, there are also stories of things not so wonderful. After VBS, reviewing what worked, what did not, how God moved, where Satan was present, and much more is a key step to recognizing godly success.
It is essential to get the opinions of the VBS staff and perhaps some of the children that were in attendance. Evaluation forms and meetings are a good way to recognize how successful your VBS was. There is always room for improvement and change.
During this evaluation, however, it is important to maintain the correct focus — “Did VBS glorify God?”
While planning our VBS one year, I recall telling the staff, “Even if we only have our church young people, we will do VBS the same as if we have 200 children. They are worth it.”
While planning, and praying, God showed me that when we glorify Him through VBS, He provides above and beyond our greatest expectation; we had many visiting children, parents and friends!
This past year, I asked God to help me lead with this same mindset and encourage others to keep this frame of mind, as well. God blessed us with two people saved and many visitors at our Sunday closing program. We also had new volunteers, more visiting children and the opportunity to evolve together as a group.
Make no mistake, Satan tried his best to divide us, attacking the staff on almost every side. But, while he was pesky, mischievous and annoying, he was anything but victorious.
Colossians 3:17 says, “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”
1 Corinthians 10:31, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”
If the world measures success in numbers, and God’s people are called to be different than the world, how can VBS success be measured? The answer is when the focus is glorifying God.
This happens while praising Him for working through you and in the children that provided an opportunity to minister to parents. This means that every sticker you help add to a craft, every snack given, every game played, every lesson taught, every song, every skit, every conversation is a blessing and a ministry.
Ultimately, when VBS workers keep their eyes on Jesus, giving Him all glory through a lifestyle worship, this is where success is found. The number of attendees, professions of salvation, and returning visitors may not happen immediately; it may take multiple years of VBS to see these things happen.
While exciting, these things are the result of success, not success itself. Even without exciting things like this, God should still be glorified.
Godly success is not measured by the world’s standards. VBS is successful when we can sit down afterward and praise God for simply using us during VBS ministry, regardless of the outcome.
VBS is successful when we say, “No matter what, to God be the glory; I will serve because He is good.”
Success is when a united VBS staff, surrendered to the Holy Spirit and following His leadership, simply loves God and loves people.
This information is courtesy of Bogard Press, the publishing ministry of the Baptist Sunday School Committee of the American Baptist Association, www.bogardpress.org.