I am a big fan of Vacation Bible School. I think it is one of the most effective evangelistic tools we can use to win boys and girls and their parents to Christ.
This month at SundaySchoolLeader.com we have been blogging about the benefits of and the great advantages we have by using VBS as an effective outreach tool. Here’s a quick story to show how VBS connects with people and why your church should have a VBS or a backyard Bible club this summer.
I was pastor of a church in southeast Iowa several years ago. We always had VBS every summer. We would work hard to register unchurched kids and we made sure that we had an evangelism day and we attempted to lead the lost children (the older ones anyway) to Christ during the week. And then we followed up with these children and their parents and tried to enroll them in Sunday school and encourage them and their parents to come.
One of those little boys that came to Christ that week was named Tony. Tony accepted Jesus and his parents weren’t too interested in him being baptized because he was of a different religious background, but they said he could come to Sunday school if he wanted. He did and we ministered to his family through our church van ministry for a few years (kind of off and on attendance).
I moved away from that church and served in another state and then later moved back to Iowa to serve in the state Baptist offices as a church consultant. So one day, about ten years later, I found myself driving into southeast Iowa on a Saturday afternoon to preach at a nearby church the next day. I stopped at a hotel in this same town and spoke to a nice young fellow about checking into the hotel for the night. That day I had put on a Vacation Bible School t-shirt with the current LifeWay VBS theme on it.
So I’m standing there absent mindedly checking into the hotel and this young man says “I recognize that t-shirt. Isn’t that about Bible school?”
I said, “Yes, that is our church’s Vacation Bible School theme this year.”
He said, “I know, they had signs for that hanging up at the Baptist church here in town last week. My grandmother’s funeral was there. That church really helped our family out when she died.”
He had my interest now. So I asked him his name. And sure enough it was Tony, the little boy that had accepted Christ in Vacation Bible School a decade prior. Now he was a young man, running the front desk of the local hotel. And he and his family had been ministered to by that same church where he attended VBS many years earlier.
So of course, I got in touch with the current pastor of the church and told him the story and encouraged them to follow up on Tony and minister to him.
These are the kind of things that happen in VBS. I hope you plan to have one this summer. If not a church-wide VBS, consider having a Bible club on a picnic table in a park or in your backyard? You will invest in the souls of little boys like Tony and you will find it well worth your time and efforts.
Richard Nations is the Church Health Strategist for the Baptist Convention of Iowa, Des Moines, Iowa. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org for more suggestions on effective VBS ministry.