3 Goals for Vacation Bible School

Parkwood just completed her 2016 Vacation Bible School, and we had 3 goals for the week:

1. Show kids love.

Our first goal is very simple yet supremely fundamental. We want to show kids love. Of course we want them to have fun and enjoy themselves. But more than entertain and impress, we want to show love. Many children are no doubt brought to VBS by parents who love them and tell them so every day. Some children, though, are not loved well, and they live in a home that is far from demonstrating or communicating love. For all kids, but for this second group in particular, we want VBS at Parkwood to be a time and place that is unambiguously characterized by love. We want kids not only to know and experience love from adults who care about them, but we also want them to know and experience the love of God which transcends the time and space of VBS. 

2. Be clear with the gospel.

Kids come to VBS as a cross section of the community and from drastically different backgrounds. Some kids have heard the gospel clearly articulated and communicated on a regular basis, while others are completely unchurched from pagan families. We want to be clear with the gospel to all these kids. For those kids that are far from the things of Christ, we want to clearly explain and illustrate the gospel while they are on our campus. For those that have heard the gospel, we want to reinforce the truth and continually encourage steps toward Christ. In all opportunities, we want to be clear with the gospel, not only for the sake of those that might hear and believe but for the sake of Christ and His Word. In 2 Corinthians 4 is recorded how the gospel is a great treasure that has been entrusted to people that pale in comparison. Paul uses a metaphor to communicate his meaning: “we have a treasure hidden in jars of clay” (2 Cor 4:7). We want to be clear with the gospel because we want kids to know the truth and follow Christ but also because we want to be faithful stewards and honor our Savior who gave us the ministry of reconciliation.

3. Connect families to Christ who are not connected to a local church. 

VBS, as with any event for children, involves and attracts members of the family. As already mentioned, many of these families are not connected to a local body of believers. Our goal does not cease with the kids; it extends to families. We want to connect families to Christ and to a local church. Being intentional with conversation and hospitality as parents drop off and pick up their children, as well as hosting a family night, provide opportunities to connect with members of the family beyond those attending VBS. We pray for, and actively seek, families that are not connected to a local church that we might connect them to Christ and His body. One family in particular has already been the source of praise and thanksgiving as members of the Parkwood staff were able to reach out and provide connection. We rejoice that they – a family previously disconnected from the church – are planning to worship with us on Sunday.

We are grateful for the opportunities granted us by hosting a VBS this summer and pray we have been faithful to show kids love, be clear with the gospel, and connect families to Christ who are not connected to a local church. Inasmuch as we have been successful, our success demonstrates “that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us” (2 Cor 4:7).

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