“Can I get a drumroll please…” the emcee baited.
Little hands frantically fist pounded their seats while beads of summer glistened off their sweaty skin. “And the winner is…” Every child’s eyes were wide with the suspense of possible victory.
“Collecting over $150 for our week’s mission…” Jaws dropped at such an unimaginable amount of money.
The crowded pews of kids erupted, half in thrilled shrieks and the other half in an “awwwww…” But all of them experienced the blessing.
Parenting is tough stuff. Summertime can put an extra stress on schedules that don’t allow for stay-at-home-parent down time, and tax the juggling working parents. The absence of structured school days challenge “teachable moment” opportunities. Here are five reasons you should bring your son and/or daughter to VBS 2017, I hope it helps.
1. The Lessons
“Teach a child how to follow the right way; even when he is old, he will stay on course.”
VBS teaches kids to relate everything back to God, which is healthy. It’s not something they’re going to learn outside of church, but it’s the core of our faith.
Some points on the childhood map can be plotted in absence of the parent watch. A brief stint away from home can allow the opportunity for a teacher or leader to repeat words of wisdom into your child’s ears. Parents can repeat the same wisdom, but when their favorite group leader, preacher or teacher echo’s the same ideas, ears perk up and seeds are watered.
2. The Friends
“A true friend loves regardless of the situation, and a real brother exists to share the tough times.”
-- Proverbs 17:17
VBS encourages children to request prayer, and pray for others. It helps them grow their bedtime and mealtime prayers into something connected to current situations. It welcomes them into the Christian friendship of praying for each other. There’s nothing sweeter than little voices praying into big microphones.
In a safe place, where the judgment gloves are off and the forgiveness hats are on, friendship in faith is forged. Jesus didn’t favor one friend over the other. He was kind, but did not let others waver His ethics. Our personal best friend, He will never leave us alone.
Humanity bonds us together in the roller-coaster of relationships, but we are never alone. Youth need to know how to lean on each other, their parents and mentors, and most importantly for those moments to expose Jesus. It’s a crucial concept for kids to grasp.
3. The Songs
“Deep within me I have hidden Your word so that I will never sin against You.”
VBS allows them to opportunity to experience the joy of worship, and begin to connect the power of singing those songs to lifting their spirits. The songs my kids learn at VBS every year get stuck in their head and hidden in their hearts. They teach the songs to their friends, to me, to the stuffed animals, to their robots. I hear them singing them as they play, in the bath, all over.
Singing praise teaches them be joyful and thankful for the world they live in. Smile, laugh, dance, and sing! God knows why the truth of those verses are tucked inside of their souls. He will bring to the surface those treasured childhood lyrics one day when their hearts are desperate for a joyful song.
4. The Change of Hearts
“If you were full of goodness within, you could overflow with generosity from within, and if you did that, everything would be clean for you.”
VBS teaches generosity. The mark of a Christian is their search to help others rather than be helped. Children need a chance to live this out in basic ways so that they can make a healthy transition from parental dependency. They are all God’s children, and VBS is a fantastic way for parents to lead them back to Jesus' feet.
He’s got a plan for each of our kids. Each one is designed to serve His Kingdom. By getting them involved in VBS, they can start feeling the tugs on their heart that are wired from within. Dropping them into that environment opens their eyes and stirs their hearts. It’s fun to watch them want to give and help. It reminds us that we are all created in His image.
5. The Peace (and Quiet)
“I want you to know that the Eternal your God is the only true God. He’s the faithful God who keeps His covenants and shows loyal love for a thousand generations to those who in return love Him and keep His commands.”
VBS provides a peace in knowing your kids are absorbing truth in your absence. God blesses obedience, and I believe that when we place our kids within His walls and are willing to “let go” and let Him take over for a little bit, our efforts are blessed and our hearts experience His peace.
Parenting is hard. Christian parenting is even harder. God didn’t promise it would be easy, but He did promise it would be worth it and He does assure us that we don’t ever have to do it all alone.
Remembering that my children are actually His removes the pressure I place on my parenting. An annual step aside from teaching the lesson allows them space to absorb it from Him… and my mind a moment of peace to process the blessing of His providence.
Check out more details about VBS 2017 in the SMCC bulletin. Check it out: www.thesouthmillschurch.com