One of my favorite seasons of the year is Vacation Bible School season. I usually start planning our VBS 2 weeks after our current VBS ends. Some of you may think, wow, that’s crazy. I don’t start thinking about VBS until maybe March or April before we do ours in the summer. Come to find out, Lifeway releases the theme for the next year’s VBS the first week of June. Perfect time to start planning!
One of the things I love about VBS is it doesn’t matter what size church you have. You can pull off a wonderful VBS. All you need is a few committed workers, and confidence. First Baptist Church of Webster is a good example of that. For years they had mission teams come and do VBS at their church. But one year, that changed. A few of them decided they could do it and wanted to try. The Heartland Association helped them with getting materials, a bit of training on how to get organized, and they were off! This is their 3rd year doing VBS on their own, and they love it. They have theirs at the park in town.
Another thing, is our churches love to share ideas, and materials. Last year, FBC Wolsey had VBS the first week of June. When they were done, they packed up decorations, and some materials, and took them to Huron Baptist. When they were done, they packed everything up, and we took all of that out to Calvary Baptist in Blunt. Some of our churches say they may have financial trouble doing a VBS. But when churches are willing to share ideas and materials, it can work!
If you use Lifeway materials, they have VBS geared to all ages from babies to adults. You can customize your VBS however you like. Have a youth VBS a few weeks before your main VBS and your teens are ready to help. Use VBS materials in Sunday School at your church for all ages for 5 weeks. (HEY, A MONTH LONG VBS!!! THAT SOUNDS FUN!!!!!)
Is VBS important??? YES!!!!! For some of our churches, this is the largest outreach event you will have all year. Every day, kids will come to VBS and hear a Gospel Centered message that teaches them how they can have a relationship with Christ. Everything from the stories, to crafts to the songs point to Christ. If you have other events at your church, remember to register every family that attends so that you can begin a mailing list to invite families to your VBS.
Here are the VBS numbers from the Dakotas reported on the 2022 Annual Church Profile by Association:
Badlands 60 enrolled (2 out of 7 churches reported having VBS)
Black Hills 128 enrolled (3 out of 15 churches reported having VBS)
Heartland 337 enrolled (9 out of 16 churches reported having VBS)
Prairie Partners 289 enrolled (2 out of 9 churches reported having VBS)
Siouxland 153 enrolled (2 out of 7 churches reported having VBS)
South Valley 35 enrolled (1 out of 3 churches reported having VBS)
Non Association churches 171 enrolled (5 out of 29 churches reported having VBS)
Total of 1,173 enrolled in VBS with 24 of our 86 churches reporting that they had Vacation Bible School.
VBS MATTERS!!!! If you need help doing a Vacation Bible School, would like help getting one started in your church, or need help with materials, you can contact the Dakota Baptist Convention or your local association for help.