As a kid, how many of you wished you could go away to summer camp? It probably sounded like a magical place. You could try archery, swim in the nearby lake, go horseback riding, and learn so much more about crafts and games. Summer camp meant a week or a month of daily playtime for kids, and served as a help for working parents when school wasn’t in session. Now that you’re grown, why not give your kids the same sort of excitement to look forward to each summer?
Vacation Bible School is a fun event hosted by thousands of churches worldwide, usually during the summer. Think of it as a daytime summer camp, but better. For kids, it’s exciting because it means playtime with friends and a chance to meet new people within the local community. And for adults, it’s a great way to know your children are engaging in the Word of God rather than sitting at home staring at the TV all day. Of course, Vacation Bible School is more than a handy babysitting service during the summer, it’s a vital part of your child’s spiritual upbringing! Here’s why Vacation Bible School matters:
Deep Roots in Faith
Vacation Bible School, as a concept, is much older than you think. It can be traced all the way back to D. T. Miles, a teacher in Illinois way back in 1894, who started a daily Bible school during the summer because she didn’t have enough time to teach the Bible’s lessons during her daily lessons. In 1898, Virginia Sinclair Hawes did something similar for the local children in the neighborhood around Epiphany Baptist Church in New York City. From there, the program grew into the worldwide summer program so many of us know and love. Today, Vacation Bible School programs reach more than 3 million people a year in programs at more than 25,000 churches—and that’s only counting those who get their VBS materials from LifeWay; many other churches prefer to develop and customise their own programs. Though so many years have passed since the first iterations, the most important aspect remains the same: it is a valuable time to teach our children about the grace of God through the Bible.
Sharing The Gospel
Arguably the most important part about Vacation Bible School is that it’s a fun and exciting way to teach the Word to children. There are several points in the Bible that remind us that teaching God’s Word to children is an important part of Christian faith. In Matthew 19:14, Jesus teaches, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Starting a life of faith does not have to wait until eighteen—in fact, scripture tells us just the opposite, as we see in Matthew. In addition, Deuteronomy 11:19 instructs us to “Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” (“them” in this verse referring to God’s Word).
Vacation Bible School isn’t just a way to start teaching the Bible to our children, it’s a way to get connected with the community. Many families with young children will seek out Vacation Bible School programs, even if they don’t attend church regularly, because it’s a better option than daycare. Vacation Bible School can be a great way to reach out and help others in the community as well as to carry out Jesus’ calling to spread His word throughout the world.
Create Lasting Memories
It may not seem like the most important element, but a valuable effect for those who attend Vacation Bible School is the lasting memories that are made—for teachers and kids alike. The games and fun that happens at VBS creates happy memories in those who attend. This, in turn, will help kids connect that excitement to God. Fostering a positive relationship with God’s Word can help your kids get excited to go to church and grow in faith.
At the Community of the Crucified One here in Moretown, we strive to create a welcoming and faith-filled community for kids as well as adults. Contact us today to learn about ongoing kids’ ministry options and our summer Vacation Bible School opportunities!