The Value of Vacation Bible School

Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world.
Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight.
Jesus loves the little children of the world.

This song we learned and sang when we were children. We teach our children this tune as well. This teaching is also in line with the teaching of Jesus when He said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:14). Jesus again spoke of children when He said, “Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me” (Mark 9:37).

This is the scriptural basis of why we do Vacation Bible School. Those three words, Vacation Bible School, evoke special memories in the lives of many. It was in VBS that many came to faith in Jesus Christ. For others, it was the precursor to their commitment to Christ as they learned of God’s love for them. The spiritual journey for many in our church can be traced back to VBS following the example of Jesus loving and teaching the children.

Vacation Bible School has changed over the years to stay current with the times. Today Bible School is one week long almost everywhere. The daily sessions contain the use of modern technology to illustrate Bible truths along with the songs, recreation, and snacks. Many churches today are convening their Bible schools in the evening to ensure there are enough teachers to fully staff the School. We, at Birchman, are very fortunate to still provide a morning VBS. This is possible because of the sacrifice of the teachers and workers. Some even schedule their vacation time during the week of Bible School so they can participate.

Contemporary Vacation Bible School has not always been like today. Some can remember the time when VBS was two weeks long! (Just that thought strikes terror in many teachers today). The children used to have projects that would take two weeks to construct. The latest “technology” of yesteryear was a flannel graph and possibly a chalk talk. The last day of Bible School was a “field day” which included games along with a picnic.

The look and feel of Bible School may have changed over the years but its purpose has not changed. The French novelist Alphonse Karr said, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Flannel graphs may have been replaced with videos but the message is still the same; Jesus loves the little children.

Where can a person make a better investment than in the life of another, especially a child? Only eternity will disclose the total dividend paid on the investment made into these young lives. Many who have little riches here on earth will be greatly rewarded for their love, compassion, and truth they have built into these little ones. How grateful I am for a church that is willing to pull her resources together for such a prospective ministry.

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