Saturday, June 16, 2007

VBS: A TRIED AND TRUE TRADITION

Last week we had around 350 children registered for Vacation Bible School. Add all the volunteer coaches and we had over 500 people engaged in learning and serving. And, most importantly, a number of children gave their hearts to Jesus. I believe VBS has been around as long as sliced bread. Some traditions come and go; some need to go; and some still hold long-time effectiveness. VBS represents the latter.

The thunderstorms during the week slowed no one down. Every night was filled with children eager and ready to learn more about God in Game Day Central. It’s amazing to see how everything falls into place. It doesn’t take long for the Sunday evening chaos to turn into well-oiled machinery. VBS at CBC demonstrates what can happen when tons of volunteers pitch in to help boys and girls become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ.

I had the opportunity to talk to a few children who made significant spiritual decisions. What a joy to see God begin His transforming work in the life of a child. One eight-year-old girl and her family had just moved from Maryland a few days previously. How she found out about VBS, who knows? I was talking to an eight-year-old boy about salvation, and I tried to explain to him we must pay a penalty for our sins. I asked him if he had any idea what that penalty was. He responded, “I guess it’s like the time I did something bad. Then when I opened the pantry, a can fell out and hit me on the head.”

I guess the most memorable conversation with a young fellow happened when I led him in a prayer to receive Jesus into his heart. After we said Amen, I could see the tears well up in his eyes. No wonder Jesus said we must become like children if we are to see the kingdom of heaven. Tears of joy because he had just made the most important decision he will ever make in his life.

It’s Saturday night and I just got through going over my Father’s Day message for the next-to-the-last time. I’ll look over it again on Sunday morning. I will be talking about a parent’s greatest challenge—modeling the life of Jesus before our children. I couldn’t help but think about the many new families I met at VBS this week. As much as I am grateful for the opportunity we have to minister to their family all week long, it grieves me to know that for many, that will be the last time they will have significant spiritual nurture until next year’s VBS. Join me in praying that these families will take the next step and start attending church on Sundays—if not CBC, at least somewhere.

We exist to help people connect with God and become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ. I think I’m safe in saying that VBS hits the vision bulls-eye every summer. I’m grateful for Virginia, Troy, Kyle, Crystal, Elsie and all the children’s ministry staff for a job well done.


(Take a look at the blog webpage, www.pastorkenkelly.com, for recent blogs as well as links to other helpful sites and other helpful information.)