During summertime, churches and ministries plan for many special activities for youth to provide spiritual growth in their walk of faith. One of the most popular methods that most church leaders use to offer youth an opportunity to hear the gospel is Vacation Bible School.
Statistics show that more people have come to know Christ through VBS than from other church events, reflecting the effectivness of the program.
Recent statistics from the year 2000 revealed more than 91,000 decisions for Christ through VBS and an enrollment of almost three million people in Southern Baptist Vacation Bible Schools alone.
“Bible school gives kids a chance to learn about the love of Christ in a context that is fun and exciting for them,” said Alan Beasley, pastor of First United Methodist Church in Russellville, Fl.
As usual, VBS is actively running this summer at the local levels across the U.S. For example in Florida, churches in Franklin County are holding their annual Vacation Bible Schools across the county.
“It is probably the spiritual equivalent of going to church for several months because it is an everyday event for several days,” said Matt Hall, pastor of Russellville’s Calvary Baptist Church.
For VBS, churches usually select literature and activities that provide children with creative and interactive programs to learn.
“We used the theme, ‘Discovering Bible Treasures,’ which dealt with castaways on an island. Although they were stranded on an island they were still thankful for God’s treasures,” said Keith Barnett, pastor of North Highlands Church of Christ.
“Our themes are generated by the material that we pick from. This year we had ‘Lava Lava Island-Where Jesus’ Love Flows,” Beasley said.
VBS is not only good for children but it also gives an opportunity for many adult church members to put faith into action by teaching or cooking for VBS students.
“We averaged about 75 kids and 40 adult workers,” Beasley said of his church’s VBS which was held from June 20 through June 23.
Hall also said that the members of his church were very willing to help, “We had around 90 adult workers involved in helping this year.”