The church was still and quiet the night before Vacation Bible School. The only noise was just a whisper coming from the cooling vents. The paper leaves and twisted paper vines swayed ever so slightly. There was an expectancy in the air!
It is estimated that millions, all across the world, have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior at a Vacation Bible School in their community. VBS is the largest outreach event, bringing in more people through the church doors, than any other evangelistic event … even though most of those people are only 4 foot tall, or less!
George Barna, in “Transforming Children into Spiritual Champions”, writes:
“A series of studies we conducted regarding the age of which people accept Christ as their Savior highlight the importance of having people invite Jesus into their hearts as their Savior when they are young. We discovered that the probability of someone embracing Jesus as his or her Savior was 32 percent for those between ages of 5 and 12; 4 percent for those in the 13- to 18-age range; and 6 percent for people 19 or older. In other words, if people do not embrace Jesus Christ as their Savior before they reach their teenage years, the chances of their doing so at all is slim.”
The morning of Vacation Bible School arrives with a burst of energy! VBS volunteers arrive early to make final preparations… then the doors open and the church is filled with laughter, wiggles and giggles. Children’s voices raised in melodic praise to God can be heard filling the air… catchy songs that will be sung over and over again with excitement, hand motions and passion! For the next five days the church will be filled with children exploring Bible stories, playing games with a purpose, using their imagination to create works of art, and taking time to connect with God.
Each year North American Division Children’s Ministries partners with AdventSource to create a unique Vacation Bible school that that will draw kids from church and community, with a Biblical view as understood by Seventh-day Adventists. Each lesson focuses on really knowing Jesus! Kids will meet Jesus and learn about His love and the plan of salvation.
Each Vacation Bible School is written by a team of Seventh-day Adventist Children’s Ministries leaders and pastors who meet to pray together, play together and work together to create a VBS that leads children to know, love and serve Jesus.
Jamii Kingdom, which came out this year, launched with of African drums playing in the distance. Jamii is the Swahili word for family and a Jamii Kingdom kids have a great time exploring an African savanna while making friends and learning how we are all part of God’s big family. Christ-centered activities guide kids to understand God’s plan of salvation and how each of us can share the Good News with others.
A special thank you to all who are presenting Jesus to those at the age most likely to give their hearts to Him. That is what VBS is really all about … creating memories and changing hearts.
And coming soon NAD VBS 2020!
Sherri Uhrig is the North American Division Children’s Ministries Director