I Heart VBS…

iheartvbs_clipartVacation Bible School for 2015 is quickly approaching the church at Eastgate Baptist (BTW…Click here to Register).  This year our church facilities and volunteers will be taking a “Journey Off The Map” as a way to explore the unknown and the knowable.  The whole goal is for those that enter in to discover that Jesus makes Himself known to us and wants to be known by us.  VBS will provide an opportunity for others to trust & #FollowJesus.   I have always loved Vacation Bible School although there have been years where I was not able to be a part of this unique ministry.

One of the unique reasons that VBS is so popular during the summer is because it has become on of the most valuable tools/methods to reach families for Christ in our country.  Each set of days has elements for children, teens, and adults to discover the Bible but also to incorporate lessons with music, games, crafts, and even snacks.

There are so many reasons to incorporate VBS into your church and why I hope all hands possible will be on deck to support it this year at Eastgate.  Let’s count the ways that the impact of VBS is clearly seen!

  1. The excitement,  smiles, joy, & laughs of a kid racing into the building from her parent’s car.
  2. A teary-eyed & often tired worker that shares: “Thanks for giving me this opportunity to serve. I was even more blessed than these kiddos.”
  3. Big smiles with lips stained from the fruit punch.
  4. Remembering that the Gospel really is a gift…and we get to share it!
  5. Adults that become kids again and love making (and showing off their) crafts as much as the 1st graders.
  6. The look of wonder when a child “gets it” during Bible study.
  7. The chaos of the first day.
  8. The random VBS tunes that pop into your mind at strange moments…along with motions.
  9. The baptism of a parent who met Jesus as a result of their child attending VBS.
  10. Shell macaroni glued to almost anything and painted… now adorning the fridges of many homes.
  11. The unchurched family that comes back on Sunday because they saw their kids were loved and had a great time at church?
  12. The timid first-time volunteer who shines like a star in the universe as they share the Word in their words and deeds.
  13. The kindergarten boy who breaks every rule in the book yet melts your heart when he hugs you good-bye.
  14. Total exhaustion resulting from a day but excitement knowing that day made a difference.
  15. The effectiveness of a time-tested outreach method that year after year impacts more lives and results in more professions of faith than any other single ministry.

These are just a few reasons that I feel and have heard others share about why they believe and know VBS is truly a good thing in our churches.

Over the last 15 years, the producers of the curriculum have united the lessons under a theme.  These themes provide an element of adventure that sparks the imagination and gets those creative juices flowing… For the majority of Southern Baptists (my home denomination), the Lifeway company has shared the following themes… going from most recent progressing retrospectively… I share these so that you will have the fond memories and also the lyrics to those theme songs start dancing around in your noodle.


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The Preceding Years Did Not Include Cohesive Curriculum Themes From Lifeway…

But They Do Have These Listed Titles…

1996: Go For the Gold
1995: Windows on the World
1994: Trail of Treasures
1993: Summer Shine
1992: Fantastic Journey
1991: Celebrate Jesus
1990: Share Hope: Reach Through VBS

The Upcoming 2016 VBS Theme…Drum roll please…

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Communicate Truth… More Clearlierly Better

I have laughed at and shared this video with my friends.  Many in the business world, education world, and church world have been a part of similar scenarios.  We enjoy the communication of new ideas or even the renewal of what we know to be true, but sometimes the way things are communicated actually distorts the message.  I don’t want this to be the case any time I share something of importance, much less when I teach & preach the Gospel.

I am very thankful that I serve the one and only God.  He is perfect and it is He who is able use me in my imperfections.  But I know that I must be ready to listen, trust, and obey Him as He guides me in what to say, do, and be.

The Scriptures give us a great promise and challenge.  These can be very familiar scriptures to those familiar with the Bible, but may I ask you this question?

Is your prayer today something like this?

“God, I am a mess with out You.  Help me to show how truly great You are in the ways I communicate about You through my words and actions.  Help me to know You with greater clarity.  Help me to share You with greater clarity.  Thank You Jesus for Your grace and Your gospel.  Now let what You lead me to say and do…bring you glory.”

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Lame Excuses…

So, I have to give credit to a great teacher and friend for the list that follows.

It is funny and yet poignant considering that people (even people that call themselves Christians) fill as if the following excuses have validation for them not belonging or connecting with a church.  And yet…humorously, these same “good excuses” breakdown when used in other references.Image

A pastor who got tired of hearing “reasons” why people don’t go to church have quit coming, decided he would quit bathing and gave the following Top Ten List why…

1.  I was forced to as a child

2. People who wash are hypocrites, they think they are cleaner than anyone else.

3. There are so many different kinds of soap, that I can’t decide which is the right one or what’s best.

4.  I used to wash, but I got bored and stopped.

5.  I wash only on special occasions, like Easter and Christmas.

6.  None of my friends wash.

7.  I’ll start washing when I get older and need it more cause I’ll be more dirty then.

8.  I don’t have any time to spare for washing.

9.  The bathroom is never warm enough in the winter or cool enough in the summer. (My favorite).

10.  The people that make the soap for washing are only after your money.

Okay, this isn’t meant to offend but to get a chuckle and hopefully bring an honest look to the silliness of those who call themselves Christians and don’t connect with other Christians in God’s church.  The local church is so important for growth in this life as a believer and Disciple (follower) of Christ.

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”  -Hebrews 10:23-25

Thanks to Dave Turner…and amazing friend, for the list and the shared dry humor.