Raising the Bar with Your VBS Music: The Significance of Discipling through Song

VBS Reachout Adventures - Raising the Bar with Your VBS Music

In this series we’ve looked at the compelling need to raise the bar at VBS, and proposed two key ways to do so: through in-depth Bible teaching and strong Scripture memory. Today’s post will begin to explore a third essential component in raising the bar at VBS: offering quality music with a meaningful message.

To be sure, when it comes to music in the church, emotions and opinions run deep! Godly, committed Christians differ widely in their views on the subject—most of us know folks who’ve left a church over its style of worship music—so we won’t go there! Where we will go, however, is to lay out what we at Reachout believe are some non-negotiables when it comes to VBS music. ...read more...

The Power of Scripture Memory: Two Beautiful Examples

VBS Reachout Adventures - The Power of Scripture Memory

Raising the Bar, Part 3

My last two posts addressed how we can and must combat the increasingly “lite” culture in our churches by offering children engaging and challenging VBS material. Here we’ll look at two very different but equally encouraging victories in the battle for our children’s hearts and minds.

One Sunday morning during worship, our congregation was reading the beautiful and poetic Philippians 2:5-11 passage, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God…” I happened to glance across the aisle, and noticed a young high schooler reciting it from memory. I couldn’t help but continue to watch as she flawlessly recited the verses through to the end. And I knew why. Kolleen had grown up going to Reachout VBS’s, including Upward Bound where she and other “Backpackers” memorized this wonderful hymn of the Early Church. Though it had been many years since she’d attended VBS, Kolleen still had those words—The Word—hidden in her heart. ...read more...

Returning to In-Depth Bible Teaching: A Lesson from the Past

VBS Reachout Adventures - A Lesson from the Past

Raising the Bar – Part 2

In my last post, Raise the Bar at Your VBS and Get Ready to be Amazed!, I proposed that we should do all we can to stem the tide of the current trend to “dumb down” VBS and instead make the most of the opportunity we have to teach kids the riches of God’s Word. Listen to this story of what one pastor years ago felt God was calling him to do, and the incredible way God worked through his obedience.

Can you visualize thousands of kids happily spending 5 weeks of their summer vacation studying the Bible, memorizing Scripture, and taking tests? Hard to imagine? Sound like a fairy tale? It was unheard of until a Pennsylvania pastor, concerned with lethargy, Biblical illiteracy, and a revolving door in his congregation and many others (sounds familiar?), committed the matter to prayer. Dr. Abraham Lance Lathem felt God leading him to start a Summer Bible School back in 1912 that would get children engaged in studying the Word. ...read more...

Raise the Bar at Your VBS and Get Ready to be Amazed!

VBS Reachout - Raise the Bar

“Children rise to the level of expectation set for them” has long been advocated and well documented in educational circles. Yet when it comes to VBS, churches tend to forget this golden truth!

Too often we set the bar low in what we think our kids can learn at VBS, and consequently decide to water down what we offer them. I don’t know all the reasons for that; perhaps it’s because in VBS we’re reaching out to kids who aren’t used to being in church or who don’t know much about the Bible or the Gospel, and we’re afraid of putting them off. Maybe it’s because we think kids won’t come if VBS feels too much like school, that they can’t possibly equate learning with having a fun time. Or maybe we think VBS is just too short a time for kids to really learn anything of consequence. Whatever the reason, many churches have reduced VBS to a “sports camp” week of fun and games with some basic “lite” teaching tacked on, rather than providing a life-changing time of learning deep truths from the Word of God while having great fun in the process. ...read more...