When I was much younger I was part of a VBS kind of by default. My brother was injured when he fell down some stairs and so we went to stay with some friends who happened to be in the middle of their VBS while my mom and dad took care of him. I don't remember much except going from station to station and that the lessons had to do with the fruits of the spirit. I don't remember having a good time. I remember being worried about my brother. But the friends (the parents) were very kind to my sister and I and our friends whose names I don't remember were nice to us. I am sure my memories would be happier if I wasn't worried about my brother at that time so I don't fault the VBS people. They worked hard and welcomed my sister and I very lovingly. - Fast forward to the week we've all just finished. Most of the people who read this blog experienced PUMP VBS with me and so you will understand it when I say that it was exhaustingly fulfilling. But there's something about working together to teach consentrated lessons to children for five days that causes one to wonder... why are we doing this? I really have struggled on this question. Will the kids remember thier time with us? Will they remember having a good time? What is going on in their lives at home that might cause them to think of this time in a negative way? And equally in a postive way? Are we serving any significant purpose in their lives or are we "doing VBS" for the sake of doing it?
Now let me back up for just a second. There was a group of incredible people who came from Houston Texas to do this for us and with us. They worked very hard to provide this time for us and I don't want to discount their efforts in any way. They are all cherished friends of PUMP. All I am saying is that my experiences, being my only real reference point, are what caused me to ponder our VBS week last week. Is it really worth pre gluing little Jonahs together and staying up until midnight or later to prepare for 20 hours of bible stories and activities? If it is, is it worth it or necessary to do this kind of thing ALL of the time or at the very least for our Sunday bible classes? We are talking about major prep with props, costumes, painted back drops, intricate art projects, and snacks to go along, not to mention the puppet shows, the songs, the T-shirts and transportation for kids who need it.
I certainly don't have the answers to all of these questions. But my point is this; I hope that in all of our efforts the kids like Demarje and Aunika walk away knowing that there are people who love them and more that GOD loves them. And I hope that if it means that we can reach our kids better that we would be committed to props, costumes, practices, intricate art projects and songs for the long haul. And even more than that, I hope that we are committed to think ahead to the day when those kids are not interested in plays, snacks and gluing things together anymore... that we are prepared to teach them about the love of Jesus and his call to them to be disciples.
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