Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Summertime, and the Livin' is BUSY!

By late March, most congregations have decided on their VBS theme. Teachers are recruited, the long list of needed supplies is posted, materials are ordered, and intense preparation begins. This yearly outreach spreads across the community, entering homes to capture the hearts of young children. They are drawn, through lively activities, Bible stories, crafts and snacks, into God's loving embrace.
From an early age, many of us have grown up learning about Moses and the burning bush and Daniel in the lions' den. We sat mesmerized as teachers recounted the feeding of the 5,000, Peter's angel-assisted escape from prison, and the glorious acount of the empty tomb.
Perhaps now, we may listen to such stories with a ho-hum attitude of familiarity. But at this time of year, may we consider our "Jerusalem" (Acts 1:8), where thousands of kids know nothing of these precious stories. If they hear the name of God or Jesus, it is a part of casual or cursing language.
May God awaken our hearts to this incredible mission opportunity, and support it through active participation, or if this isn't feasible, by our Spirit-led prayers. And may our congregations think outside the box; the church campus is not the only place to have an effective VBS. Consider bringing it to neighborhoods, YMCAs, apartment complexes and mobile home parks! VBS weeks on-site at church do draw in those outside the congregation, but many attendees are associated with the church. Not so with the off-site events; most will probably be non-churchgoers. (The photo I've included was taken at such a place.)
And why should kids have all the fun, anyway? What about a senior adult VBS at a retirement community? What other ministry/mission projects can touch lives of those who live on the streets you pass on the way to your place of worship? What ways can you incorporate children and teens into such projects?
"Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!" (John 4:35)
Let's ask God to enable us to see our community with His searching, compassionate eyes, and pray for His vision to permeate it with His saving grace!
Best wishes from lefthandrightbrain:)

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