If you have children and are active in a church, you probably know a little something about this thing called Vacation Bible School, or VBS for short. It’s been around forever as far as I know. Even with the limited church exposure I had growing up, my Grandma took me to VBS quite a few times. But it wasn’t until about 4 years ago when I started volunteering and the moved into leadership, that I truly understood the magnitude of this production.
I’m going to make a quick disclaimer and say that my church probably does VBS bigger than your church. Icouldbe wrong, but we do it bigger than just about every other church around and are widely recognized to have the best program in the area. This week we have nearly 900 children in attendance and 400 volunteers. And we go all out. Every part of the church is decorated, there are costumed youth servants, themed snacks, and music so loud you’d think you were at a rock concert.
This is not a mega-church, this is a suburban neighborhood church of about 1000 members. None of this is saying that we do it better, we just do it BIG!
I would guess that the theme for next year has already been chosen, but I don’t really want to ask. (I’ll learn what it is by the end of the week when I am asked if I’m going run snack services again next year!) Those of us on leadership for this even will begin meeting next year in February to plan for VBS 2013.
It takes months to make all of the decorations, plan and order the crafts, modify and figure out portioning and shopping lists for the snacks, recruit volunteers for things like music, theater, outdoor games, Bible adventure and more. It’s probably the largest, most time-consuming and labor-intensive process I’ve ever been involved in.
But I love it!
The noise, the crowd, the mess; it’s just amazing to see the energy, excitement and fun just rolling through the hallways! It’s vibrating off of the ceilings and walls, and beaming from the huge smiles on the hundreds of faces crowding the building.
Hearing those kids yelling out song lyrics like, “Yeah, the word of the Lord holds true! You can trust Him! You can trust Him!” and “I’m counting on God, I’m counting on God!” and seeing them all dancing (even the teenage helpers!) just makes me so happy. It reminds me of why I plan months in advance and labor over serving sizes and shopping lists.
VBS week is like one big party, with Jesus as our guest of honor, and we just want it to be the biggest and best it can be!