NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–The numbers are in for 2007 Vacation Bible School, and once again they show that VBS is the most effective evangelistic strategy for most churches.
“Game Day Central: Where Heroes Are Made” and “Club VBS: Jungle Jaunt” were the 2007 themes that were embraced by churches and enjoyed by children.
The VBS area of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention released the 2007 statistics based on information provided by churches submitting a Vacation Bible School report and/or Annual Church Profile:
— Number of congregations reporting VBS: 25,574
— Total VBS enrollment: 2,876,877
— Decisions to receive Christ: 88,097*
— Decisions for church-related activities: 2,380*
— Total Sunday School prospects discovered: 267,771*
— Prospects enrolled in Sunday School: 37,888*
— Prospects added to Sunday School prospect files: 198,774*
— Percentage of SBC baptisms resulting from VBS: 26 percent*
“The whole point of Vacation Bible School is to lead the children, youth and adults who attend to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Bottom line. That’s it,” said Jerry Wooley, VBS specialist at LifeWay.
“The fun, the games and the music are the means to getting the opportunity to talk with the children and their families and share the Gospel with them,” he said, noting that about 26 percent of the total number of baptisms in SBC churches in 2007 were a direct result of VBS.
“These numbers are just the ones we know about, that we have documentation about,” Wooley said. “I can only imagine how many more people are reached when you think about the parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents and friends of these children.”
*Numbers are projections based on the ratio of the total enrollment from VBS reports (1,751,384) to the total enrollment reported on the Annual Church Profile (2,876,877). The process is that which has been followed in research with a select number of churches representing the total. Polly House is a corporate communications specialist with LifeWay Christian Resources.