10 Myths People Believe about Vacation Bible School, Part 2

Last week we looked at five of the ten myths people believe about Vacation Bible School. If you missed the post, click HERE to read 10 Myths about Vacation Bible School, Part 1. 

Today, we'll look at five more myths:

Myth #6 It’s not just for kids. 

“VBS is also an opportunity to engage young adults in service,” says Clint Jenkin, PhD., vice president of research at Barna Group

“So many young adults lose their connection with a local church because they feel underutilized. Churches can give key VBS volunteer roles to young adults and college kids in their congregations. 

Colleges (or even large churches) could sponsor teams to travel the country and host VBS for churches that cannot afford or staff their own. Using young people as servants and not just consumers is an important way of establishing a faith that lasts.” 

My small church, for example, struggles to recruit enough adult workers because many members are elderly or work during the day. For several years a team of summer evangelists from Child Evangelism Fellowship has come alongside us and made it possible for us to offer a week-long program in our neighborhood. We couldn’t have done it without them. 

Some churches even offer VBS for teens and adults. Melita Thomas, in the article, “6 Things You Need to Know About Working with Adults During VBS,” says, “When we host VBS for kids only we are missing a tremendous opportunity to share God's Word and the Gospel with older siblings and parents. If the truths being taught during VBS are important for kids then they are just as important for teens and adults. LifeWay (the leading producer of VBS materials) creates VBS resources for the entire family - babies through adults - because we believe VBS remains one of the most successful ways to evangelistically reach families and not just kids.” 

The Covington Baptist Association agrees. Listen to the logic in its article, “Reasons for Conducting Adult VBS.” “Parents consistently show they are interested in participating in the activities of their children. Just spend a morning at a little league ball field and you will see dozens of parents actively and enthusiastically participating in their children’s activities. If given the luxury of time and resources today’s parents often desire to take an active role in their children’s extra-curricular activities. Why should VBS be any different? Given the choice, many parents will choose to attend an Adult VBS in order to stay close to their children and know what is being taught and the people doing the teaching.”

Myth #7 To be successful, it has to be big, loud, and high tech. 

My children have attended VBS at a 6,000-member mega church and a tiny, 25-member church. Both experiences were significant and life-changing. One daughter, an extrovert, loved the excitement of 800 kids crowding the sanctuary of the big church we attended. The high tech sound, lighting, and drama engaged her imagination and provided oomph to the message. The sheer number of adults volunteering their time to share the story of Jesus added a weight and credibility to the faith stories she heard that week. 

My other daughter is an introvert. VBS at a large church would have been overwhelming and intimidating for her. She thrived in a small environment where everyone knew her name, and she had a chance to shine. She eagerly memorized Scripture verses every day because she knew she’d be asked to quote them one on one to her teacher. Being selected as VBS Camper of the Week was an honor she’s never forgotten and probably wouldn’t have experienced if we’d taken her to a larger program. 

The key to a successful VBS program isn’t money, facilities, or manpower, it’s dedicated believers who love God and love children.

Myth #8 VBS is just a babysitting service. 

For every church member who’s excited about VBS, there’s usually be one who isn’t. “People use VBS as a babysitting service,” they say. “Parents don’t care about spiritual things. They just bring their kids to get them out of their hair. And they’ll probably never come to church here, anyway.” 

These statements may be true, but this shouldn’t stop you. That unsaved or uninterested parents would entrust their children to you and allow you to share your faith with them? What an opportunity! The chance to pour spiritual truth into a culture suffocated by spiritual darkness? Priceless! The privilege of loving a child in Jesus’ name? A privilege! 

“The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me’” (Mat. 25:40). 

Myth #9 VBS isn’t effective any more. 

A national VBS statistics study from Lifeway, “VBS, a Most Effective Evangelism,” shares these impressive stats: 

• 25 percent of baptisms reported by the SBC (Southern Baptist Convention) come from VBS 
• Every one person trained in VBS results in 1.1 salvation decisions. 
• 10 percent of people enrolled in VBS are unchurched. 
• 2.7 million people enroll in VBS each year. 
• 72,925 people each year accept Christ as Lord and Savior. 
• 2,666 people commit their lives to church-related vocations through VBS. 
• 56,386 people enroll in Sunday School/Small Group Bible Study as a result of attending VBS. 

These stats testify to VBS’s success on many fronts. 

Would your church like to connect with more unsaved people? Host a VBS. Is it struggling to lead people to Christ? Host a VBS. Would it like to encourage people to consider full-time Christian service? Host a VBS. In whatever way your church is struggling to fulfill its mission, Vacation Bible School can be a valuable tool in its arsenal. 

Myth #10 VBS is a failure if no one gets saved. 

I often wonder what conversation took place at the close of VBS in the little Primitive Methodist Church I attended so long ago. Did the men and women who volunteered that week wonder if they’d wasted their time? After all, no one had accepted Jesus as their Savior. And if success is measured by whether a participant eventually became a church member, the time they invested in me was a failure. 

Isaiah 55:11, however, promises us God’s Word never returns empty, but “will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Any time we speak the Word of God, whether it’s to ten children or to a thousand, he promises to use it for his good purposes. This was certainly true in my life. 

As your church decides whether to have Vacation Bible School this year, and you choose whether to volunteer, Jesus, our example for life and godliness, exhorts us, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these" (Mat. 19:14). 

I can’t think of a better, more effective way to teach children about the kingdom of heaven than Vacation Bible School. 

Now it's your turn. How has Vacation Bible School impacted your, your children, or your grandchildren's lives? Leave a comment below and share your story.

This article originally appeared on and is shared with their permission.

Here's a fun photo from our 2016 time together.

Next month, I'll be leading a one day seminar at Good Shepherd UM Parish in northwestern Pennsylvania on Saturday, July 14, 2018. 

I'd love, love, LOVE for you to join us if you're anywhere nearby. Two years ago I met readers from Delaware, Ohio, and Pennsylvania in this same location -- how fun is that? We got to learn, worship, and pray together. It was a day-long glimpse of what heaven's going to be like when we're all together. If you're too far away, I'd love to work with your church's women's ministry to put together a one-day or weekend retreat or special women's event. Click on the Speaking Ministry tab to contact me.

Here are all the details about Today You Have Two Choices:

What: One-Day Ladies Seminar
Where:  Brookville, Pennsylvania
When: July 14, 2018
Cost: $35, which includes lunch and a prayer journal
Cost Saver deadline: June 15
How to Register: Contact Kathy Shaffer (814-328-2034)

Three Fantastic Sessions:

Session 1 - Today You Have Two Choices: 
Grumbling or Gratitude
In this hilarious session, Lori shares a story from her life that demonstrates how life can go from cruising to crashing in an instant. We'll examine the two options that usually accompany a crash and see what God's Word (and modern-day research) have to say about them.

Session 2 - Today You Have Two Choices:
Bitterness or Forgiveness
Bitterness, it's said, is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die. We know it's destructive, yet we often struggle to overcome it. Sometimes we're not even sure we want to. In this powerful session, we'll study two women who made two very different choices, learn from their examples (good and bad), and discover what God can do when we surrender our bitterness to Him.

Session 3 - Today You Have Two Choices:
Fear or Faith
Hebrews 11:6 says, "Without faith it's impossible to please God," yet it's often easier said than done. When the circumstances of life hit us hard, fear often becomes our default setting. How can we resist fear and choose faith instead? Practical and personal, this workshop will lift your eyes beyond your circumstances to see what God can do if you commit your life to wholly trusting Him. This session includes a simple yet profound method to make your Bible reading come alive.
Melissa Sylvis will lead us in worship. 

When you register, please let me know so I can look forward to meeting you!

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