What kind of impact can you really make in one week? An eternal impact! Sure, you have volunteered at Vacation Bible School - had a blast during the week - but once it was over everything just went back to normal, and you never saw any of the kids that visited that week again. That happens. Perhaps it even happens often. But do you know the rest of the story?
To think that kids go away from VBS without being impacted is silly. You showed them God’s love, taught them God’s Word, and had a blast with them! Just because you don’t see them on the following Sunday doesn’t mean that you didn’t have an impact on their lives. If you want more information, please check some help me write my essay services and you will know something new. It is too easy to step into the pitfall of an outcome based ministry. If you don’t see the kids come back, it was a failure. But again, do you know the rest of the story?
Consider the fact that during that week, you may have been one of the few people that will ever share the gospel with that child in his/her life. Was it worth it? Maybe they didn’t come to Sunday School the next week, but wasn’t it worth it to put all of that time and energy into VBS, even if all it meant was sharing God’s love with that one child?
VBS is a unique opportunity where a church has the occasion to build into the lives of kids who perhaps have never stepped into a church before - perhaps they have never heard anything about God, or His love. It is with this perspective in mind that a VBS should be put hosted.
Maybe those children didn’t come to church after VBS was over, but remember what happens at VBS is planting seeds. Don’t expect transformation to happen over night. Hope for it. Pray for it. But if it doesn’t happen, don’t consider it a failure. Who knows, it won’t be until that child becomes an adult that what was presented to them at VBS will "click" for them.
That said, one of the most important things that you can do at VBS is to build foundation into the lives of the kids that are there. If you do this, there is a better chance that they will come back, because you have developed a relationship with them. Even if they don’t, this is important as it brings them one step closer, and this is an important part of planting seeds.
Here are a few things to think about as you build into their lives:
- Perspective is everything. Remember, you goal is not necessarily to get them to come back to church, but to maximize the time you have with them by seizing the opportunity. Kids can spot a phony a mile away, but if you are truly interested in them, they will pick up on that too.
- Remember that each child has a personality, and each child has a story. With only a week, it is easy to connect and interact with the more outgoing, talkative kids. But it isn’t just those who are the loudest that have personalities. Get to know each child, and try to learn their story.
- Foremost in this endeavor is learning their names, not only so they know you care about them, but so you can collaborate with your fellow VBS workers about your students. Id badge holders with name tags attached to lanyards are excellent tools in learning names. If you haven’t typically had id badge holders in the past at VBS, talk with your director. The lanyards and badge holders can be used from year to year, and are an invaluable tool in connecting with the students.
- Observe the kids during "down" time. Whether it is before the day starts or after it ends, during snack time, or between stations, make a point to find out how each child in your group is getting along. Are they part of the "crowd," or are they off by themselves? Are they showing off and trying hard to fit in? These valuable insights will inform your outreach to each child.
- Spend time with your kids during "down" time, too. You want to be watching to see how they are getting along, but these unstructured free times are great times to connect on a deeper level. Kids will know you really care about them when you sit down at their lunch/snack table and eat with them, or sit with them as they are waiting for their parents to pick them up.
- Connect with their parents, too. Make a point to get to VBS early and stay late so you can interact with the parents as they drop off and pick up their children. Let them know how much you enjoy their children, and be sure to share positive things their child did that day.
VBS is a worthwhile ministry. Even more worthwhile is the time you can spend building into the lives of the kids there. You never know the rest of the story…