Some time ago a meeting took me to the top of a Seattle high rise, giving me a new perspective—a bird’s-eye view–of an area I’d driven through thousands of times before. In the distance stood the snow-capped Olympic mountains; in the foreground, a landscape filled with the prolific firs of our Evergreen State—all except for one patch. Amid the sea of deep green stood a circle of trees you couldn’t miss, with stunningly brilliant red leaves.
In the landscape of the church’s ministries, I believe VBS similarly stands out from other (also beautiful) children’s programs. It’s such a significant, one-of-a-kind ministry—usually the church’s largest and often only evangelistic outreach to children—that to remove it from the church’s priorities leaves a truly momentous* hole. (*mo·men·tous: adj. extremely important or crucial, especially in its effect on the future course of events)
In this and our next blog post, I’ll be highlighting the unique impact VBS can have in the work of the Kingdom, with the hope of expanding your—and my—zeal for this awesome ministry.
VBS focuses on the evangelism of those who are most likely to respond to the Gospel—young children. George Barna, in his paradigm-shifting book, Transforming Children into Spiritual Champions, writes that the probability of someone embracing Christ as Lord is one in three during the ages of 5-12, but drops to 1 in 25 from the ages of 13-18!
Those who have studied the data underscore the effectiveness of VBS in bringing children to saving faith. The Christian Post reports, “Statistics show that more people have come to know Christ through VBS than from other church events.” And Kidology.org affirms that “…over 25% of adults state that they came to faith in Christ through VBS. No other piece of our ministry can really say that.”
God has primed the hearts of children to hear and respond to the Gospel. How critical it is for us to keep VBS a vibrant part of our church’s mission!
Watch for more unique features of VBS in our upcoming blog posts.