It is important to note that old dogs can still learn new tricks. I’ve been involved in ministry for many, many a year or two and somehow avoided the experience of vacation bible school. After a week of VBS’ing, I can now declare that it was surprisingly my loss. VBS has great possibilities for youth ministry.
It offers MEANINGFUL SERVICE. Well, it offers the opportunity for meaningful service. As with any service opportunity, it is all about the context and the opportunity to consider the significance of what has occurred. This was my first experience and I know now that I need to better organize the adults and the teams where the adults are not only serving the rug rats but also empowering the service of the teens as well. I’ve got to have better organized game to maximize the ministry of the adults.
Because we want to offer the youth REAL RESPONSIBILITY, providing them with something more than warm bodies (Hey, it is summer) offering churchy babysitting. In advance meetings, I encouraged the kids to aspire to be role models. Next year, I am upping that expectation towards the Great Commission and disciple making.
Teens had a further opportunity to make a CONNECTION TO COMMUNITY. I was most appreciative of other staff members chipping in as well as the pastor’s drop-in’s and participation in the closing. But, regarding the teens, being able to make CONNECTION TO OTHER ADULTS through the five-six days to collaborate, hang, sweat, and minister alongside adults was also something that does not happen everyday in youth ministry efforts. What a blessing!
I am not laying claim that I / we did all this wonderfully in (at least) my first VBS dance, but, jinkees, Scooby, the possibilities are all right there and I am looking forward to growing into this next summer.