I won’t lie…it’s a tough week.
When the relief of summer rolls around, I get lazy and selfish and protective of my “me” time.
And let’s be honest, VBS flies in the face of “me” time.
For weeks leading up to it, there are cut-outs to create, crafts to prepare, ridiculously large decorations to make, volunteers to recruit, supplies to gather, food to organize…
It arrives…and I can’t imagine how anyone ever thought we could fit all these kids into this small church. Oh - and they’re absolutely wired. Or scared to tears. Or too cool to care about anything. Or selectively deaf. Or all of the above.
Yeah…and every group leader looks like a deer in headlights…including me.
But we jump in. We get rolling. We dance and sing, we pull kids off railings, we laugh and play games, we tell silly jokes. We pray, we eat, we talk about Jesus, we talk about keeping our hands to ourselves. We get headaches, we eat cereal for dinner, we faceplant into our pillows at 8pm and get up to do it all again.
Why? What on earth is this even accomplishing? Is this just free half-day daycare at a church?
For many kids in our community, this is the one time a year that they hear about Jesus and his great love for them.
For others, it will be the first time they consider the truth that they need a savior and realize that Jesus wants a relationship with them. For others still, it will be what leads them to decide to give their lives to Him.
For me, 20 years ago, VBS was the first time I realized that I could read and memorize Scripture, and that God would use it in my life. I’ll never forget it.
When we think on these things and remember their worth? Well, we can’t help but show up year after year.
We can’t help but joyfully say “yes” to being a part of God’s pursuit of our kids. We can’t help but jump at the chance to communicate God’s great love to these young ones. As the week goes on and they begin to consider the words from our songs, the teachings connected to the crafts, and the truths contained in their memory verses, the kids begin to ask the most fascinating and challenging questions. They start to consider the truth as it pertains to them. They start to think about their own sin and see what God has done to wash it away and bring them near.
At the risk of sounding like a Macy’s sale commercial…
We’ve just got to be there.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you that VBS transforms us too. Those conversations, those times of worship, those moments of full-on, doubled-over laughter, those earnest prayers from little mouths…
They change us.
You can’t be around that much gospel joy and walk away unchanged.
There is not a single volunteer who leaves VBS without considering God’s pursuit of him, his own weakness, and God’s unlimited strength.
I encourage you to send your kids to VBS and/or consider being a part of it in some way. Everyone is taxed, and everyone is blessed.
No amount of “me” time accomplishes the spiritual growth that God does through that week.
I do not remember even the best “me” times I’ve had.
But I remember my one VBS as a kid.
And I remember every single one I’ve participated in as an adult.
And my kids remember every single one in which they’ve taken part.
Yes, it’s a tough week. But at the end of it?
None of us will be the same.
To find out more about MCC's Vacation Bible School and how you can give up some of your "me time" this summer while serving some East Mountain and Albuquerque kids visit our VBS page!