Having been raised in a Christian home, Vacation Bible School, aka VBS, was as normal as hot weather and watermelon in the summer time.
At VBS I was surrounded by other children who may or may not have been churched as regularly as I was. We invited our friends and our neighbors to come. VBS was fun, lots of fun. It was not like grown-up church on Sundays. It was absolutely geared for the small fry intellect.
There were penny wars between the girls and the boys. March Madness had nothing on the excitement of this battle of the sexes. Each group tried to bring the most pennies and the best offering for the week. We probably robbed piggy banks, searched under couch cushions, and begged for money from mom and dad or any other relative in sight.
I learned to say the pledge allegiance to the Christian Flag and the Bible. They took their place in my memory right along with the pledge to the American flag.
The songs were kid songs, lively and rhythmic. We could sing to the top of our voices, move and groove, make motions with our hands, and no one thought it was out of place for the church house.
But the Bible stories were the best. My childhood memories are of flannel graph figures being put on a flannel board. The figures depicted the Bible stories very visually and non-abstract so a child like me could understand that Jesus loved me and wanted to be my friend.
One year my craft was making a miniature flannel graph board and story figures. After the week of VBS, I set up my board in the garage of our house and told the stories to the neighborhood children and anyone who would listen.
It was only natural that when I grew too old for VBS, I became one of the workers, one of the assorted volunteers needed to bring all the pieces together. I’ve taught classes, worked with the music, and directed VBS. I give my time so other children could have the same wonderful experiences I had.
The last couple of years at Little Flock, I’ve taught second graders, a bouncy, energetic group of boys and girls who are like little birds waiting to be fed the Gospel. It has been such a privilege to share the stories of Jesus with these little ones.
In the months that followed the week of VBS, I have joyfully watched as some of the children in my class walked forward and publicly affirmed their faith in Jesus as their savior. And I have witnessed the baptisms that followed.
I am so aware that the parents, Sunday School teachers, and those who weekly train and nurture this young lives are planting the seeds of salvation. My part was small, just one week long. But I rejoice that I had a small part in watering those seeds during a week of VBS.
Tomorrow, June 6, begins Vacation Bible School at Little Flock. I anticipate hot weather, tired legs and feet, and a weary-to-the-bone exhaustion at week’s end. If you ask me on Friday if it was worth it, I will say, “Yes, eternally worth it.”
Vacation Bible School will be held at churches all over the country this week or sometime during the summer. Take your children. Be part of the volunteer team. Make a difference in the lives of children. Do it for the kingdom’s sake.
Did you attend VBS as a child? Feel free to leave a memory.