There has never before been as great a need for prayerful diligence and creative initiative in getting children engaged in reading and learning the Bible. According to the latest research done collaboratively by the Barna Group and the American Bible Society, Bible skepticism is inversely linked to Bible engagement. Their 2014 study revealed that “The number of those who are skeptical or agnostic toward the Bible—who believe that the Bible is ‘just another book of teachings written by men that contains stories and advice’—has nearly doubled from 10% to 19% in just three years.”* Their research showed that two-thirds of those are 48 or younger, and compared to all adults, this demographic is less likely to read or own a Bible, or to believe it contains all we need for living a meaningful life. Their conclusion was striking: “Given the increase in Millennials who don’t believe the Bible is sacred and the decrease in Bible awareness among Millennials, Bible skepticism will likely continue to rise in the next five years.”
For those of us who love VBS, the challenge is clearly before us. In VBS, we have an amazing and unique opportunity to challenge and engage kids with the power of the Gospel, the unchangeable Word of God. But what’s too often the reality? In an effort to draw kids in, programs often dumb down the focus, concentrating on sports or crafts and fitting Scripture in almost as an afterthought. Fun activities and interpersonal development are extremely important, but how much more valuable to build a clear and meaningful picture of the Gospel in the hearts and minds of our children through learning the Word of God?
Maybe the problem is closer to home than we want to admit. Perhaps without even realizing it, the Bible has become less important in our own lives personally, or even in our churches. The same research study revealed that only 37% of Americans read the Bible once a week or more, and the predominant reason was distraction and busyness. Our lives are increasingly full and the harried pace of our lives often crowds out our own time for sitting at the feet of Jesus, listening to His Word.
So here’s my challenge—wouldn’t it be an incredible joy to be a part of God’s work of raising up a new generation of kids who know and love their Bibles? I often think of what Seattle Seahawk quarterback Russell Wilson’s dad said to him about aspiring to be a great football player—“Why not you, Russell?” Why couldn’t I, why couldn’t you, be someone God uses to accomplish a transforming work of grace in the hearts of children through VBS?
Let it start with a personal commitment to pray for the kids in your church and community. Let it start with boldly proclaiming God’s Word in an uplifting, fun-filled, and faith-building VBS! Summer Seaquest will take your children deep into God’s Word in a way few other VBS programs do. You can begin reversing the trend. Order your Starter Kit today!