Thursday, April 17, 2008

Evangelistic VBS in a smaller membership church

I just posted a new article in the Pastor's area of LifeWay.com on Tuesday. It was written by our new director of Pastoral Ministries and Church Consulting at LifeWay, Dan Garland. I wanted to make sure you saw it.

Dan Garland believes that Vacation Bible School (VBS) is one of the most effective ways* to fulfill Jesus’ call to, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14). Dan says that the most important part of VBS is not cookies and crafts, but rather the built-in evangelistic opportunities to do the following:
  • Build relationships with children who need Christ.
  • Present the gospel in terms and ways children will understand.
  • Provide a fun time where children will feel good about God and the church.
As many as one fourth of all baptisms in Southern Baptist churches can be tied directly to VBS conversion experiences. In a 2003 study by the Barna Group, data from churches showed the probability of someone accepting Christ after age 12 dramatically drops. (George Barna, Transforming Children into Spiritual Champions, 34)

We must reach children with the Good News and VBS is one effective way.

Here are 5 keys to an evangelistic VBS in a smaller membership church.

*Almost 1-in-16 children ages 5-12 in America was enrolled in a Southern Baptist VBS, according to figures from 2006 (see article - Two million 5-12 year olds enroll in VBS)

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