Few church programs are as ubiquitous as Vacation Bible School (VBS). Churches across all denominations prepare for the summer influx of kids. It’s fun. You get to dance in the sanctuary! It’s also fruitful. Kids are saturated with the gospel for a week. “I was saved at VBS” is a typical testimony I hear among adults.
If you’re a lead pastor, it’s tempting to take off that week because you’re not really needed to lead VBS. Many churches have longstanding volunteers and leaders who run with VBS every year. But the week of VBS is not the time to take a vacation. When your congregation is all-hands-on-deck, then you need to be there. The lead pastor should be an active and visible part of VBS. Here’s why.
1. You get to see volunteers in action you might not otherwise see. Most lead pastors don’t interact much with children’s ministry volunteers. They are working while you are preaching. They run programs while you lead prayer meetings or Bible studies. VBS is an excellent opportunity to see some of your most essential volunteers in action.
2. You get to see children you might not otherwise see. As a lead pastor, I’m rarely with my own kids in their church classrooms, much less other children. At VBS, I hang out with children in my congregation I don’t know well. The kids in your church are just as much under your shepherding as the adults. It’s easy to forget that.
3. You get to see a perspective you might not otherwise see. For example, my authority level during VBS week is that of a volunteer. I serve under our children’s director. It’s healthy for lead pastors to relinquish their typical authority and see a volunteer’s perspective. You’ll likely learn people in your congregation are more capable than you realize.
4. You get to see a multi-generational effort work beautifully. Few ministries draw together all generations like VBS. We have four—if not five—generations serving together at our church during VBS. It’s one of the most beautiful scenes in ministry.
5. You get to share Jesus with kids! I saved the best reason for last. Lead pastors should model evangelism in their churches. VBS is your opportunity to share Christ with the youngest generation.
I love VBS, and I hope you love it too. It’s the perfect time for lead pastors to jump in and have a lot of fun. Get involved this year! You will not regret the investment.
Posted on March 30, 2022
As President of Church Answers, Sam Rainer wears many hats. From podcast co-host to full-time Pastor at West Bradenton Baptist Church, Sam’s heart for ministry and revitalization are evident in all he does.
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You left out an important reason!!!
Our church has gotten feedback from adults who did not attend any church. They heard the gospel from kids they dropped off at our VBS, and then began attending themselves!
(I read in a book somewhere about “a little child shall lead them”.)
I couldn’t agree more! VBS is one of the most important weeks of the church year. I believe the pastor should just as involved as the volunteers! I have always loved the interactions with children and the church family during VBS.
A great word, Sam! I pray pastors will heed your wisdom.
Thank you, Don!
I would add that you get to interact with parents in ways you don’t normally get to as well. You also meet many parents in the community that trust your church to teach their kids so there is a natural opportunity to engage them to come to your church.
I must add, you may get the chance to open a dialogue with a parent, grandparent or other care-giver/guardian. Those conversations can be quite fruitful