Well, it was a pretty good week for our VBS. We allow kids from age 3 through grade 5 to participate. We had no idea we would have about 18 preschoolers there…man…do they have energy.
Last year we decided to do VBS a bit differently. We decided to begin it on Sunday instead of Monday and to have a celebration night on Thursday night. What we discovered is that it seems VBS goes quickly. Sunday works well because people don’t have to rush home from work (we do the VBS at night).
What happened on Thursday was simply amazing. We decided last year to have a full blown celebration rather than a “VBS Program.” This means, we call the kids up and have them sing songs (with a live band consisting of my wife and me, some of our praise band members and some high school students). The music is ‘edgy’ and the kids love it.
I do the story time. Instead of just telling the story I brought some kids up and had them help me act it out. That worked out well.
Each day we took up an offering. We made it a competition between the girls and the boys. We were giving the money to Hefer International so we were trying to connect the kids with the animals and how they would help families. The kids raised $175!
We had planned on challenging the congregation to match that, but someone from the congregation matched it on Wednesday, so we were up to $350.
Then the amazing happened. After the celebration night one of the grandparents came up and matched it! That brought us up to $525. Also, someone came up and handed on of the helpers some money for the offering (we didn’t take one up). They said that they just wanted some part of the “joy in this place.”
Of course the workers were amazed…to say the least. There was joy that night and many were probably surprised. My prayer is that same joy will spill over into the congregation. The emerging church folks keep saying that we (as the church) need to move from propositional truth, to experience. During the VBS celebration, I did not preach a 3 point sermon on joy, yet, there was joy. People didn’t leave with new knowledge about joy, they experienced it. Perhaps we need more experience of God’s truth on Sunday mornings…