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FIRST-PERSON: VBS is worth it

VBS at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Rochester, Minn. Submitted photo

Editor’s note: Leo Endel is executive director of the Minnesota-Wisconsin Baptist Convention.

ROCHESTER, Minn. (BP) — VBS is over! Like every other volunteer across the country who is trying to recuperate and catch up with all the regular tasks that have been left undone, I’m drained emotionally and mentally!

Please let me share some random thoughts from a worker too weary to be organized. If you’ve just finished VBS, I feel sure you understand!

  1. VBS is still the number one outreach of most of our churches. If not for VBS, many of our churches would be completely disconnected from engaging their community with the Gospel.
  2. VBS takes more effort than I usually remember. VBS takes planning, recruitment and preparation. None of this is difficult, but it is important.
  3. VBS will both bless the church fellowship and challenge it. When you work together, you simultaneously bless and stress each other. Our differences and immaturities need extra grace during VBS.
  4. VBS will let you share Jesus with people you’ve never met. I can’t remember a single VBS in 35 years that did not produce opportunities for us to share Jesus with new adults and families.
  5. Lifeway continues to hit homerun after homerun with their VBS music, kids’ video theme interpretations and missions segments. Watching the kids sing the music and follow the accompanying motions always amazes me and makes me smile.
  6. Working with kids restores my hope in the future. Children remind me of what it looks like to live in the moment. They remind me of the relative innocence of childhood, and of the pure joy they experience in simple activities and in new friendships.
  7. Kids remind me of how quickly the window of Gospel opportunity closes. Children are open to Jesus. They’re not yet too burned and broken by the disappointments of life. They’re not too cool to hope for a God who loves them. They’re not yet stifled by negative peer pressure.
  8. Children remind me of how much has been lost to the “screen culture” that will soon completely dominate their lives. They’re not yet constantly checking their posts and messages. They haven’t yet replaced real life with screen life. If they are with you, they are with you. Too soon, they will be marred, poisoned and disappointed by their “status” or lack of it.
  9. Nothing is more exciting than explaining the Gospel to kids and watching them think through the simple ABCs of salvation. A-admit to God that you’re a sinner and repent (I haven’t met an 8-year-old yet that doesn’t understand that). B-believe that Jesus is the Son of God. C-confess that Jesus is Savior and Lord.

To all of you, fellow recovering VBS leaders and volunteers, “Thank you!” Whatever we thought we gave up, VBS was worth it.

    About the Author

  • Leo Endel

    Leo Endel is executive director of the .Minnesota Wisconsin Baptist Convention.

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