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To VBS or not to VBS

Summer is here! For many of our kids, that means staying up a little later and sleeping in a little longer. For some, it means extra time outside and splashing around in the pool. For others, it means it’s time for VBS.That leads to a question that we hear this time of the year: “Why isn’t OneLife having Vacation Bible School?” That’s a great question!

VBS began in the 1890’s by a school teacher who wanted more time to teach students the Bible. By the early 1920’s, it gained popularity and the first VBS material was published. For the decades that followed, VBS programs continued to grow. It served as a great way to introduce children and adults to Jesus. Today, we see many churches carrying on the tradition of VBS. What we may not see, is that VBS has been steadily declining in recent years. And while my own children have fond memories of attending VBS each summer, I can certainly understand why ministry leaders are rethinking VBS.

For OneLife, it boils down to four reasons:

  1. We want to be wise in how we distribute our children’s ministry budget. Some churches spend 75% of their yearly budget on a week long event. Because Kid City wants every Sunday to be a fun and engaging place for kids to experience Jesus, we find it is better to stretch our dollars to make every Sunday special. Plus, we’ve decided to stretch our summer fun out all summer long rather than for only one week, and we have fun times planned for your kids in June, July, AND August! (see below for our Summer Guide!)
  2. We want to use the best methods possible to reach unchurched families. Statistics tell us that most of the children that attend VBS are already involved in a local church. Many families sign their kids up for multiple VBS programs. (I’m not saying this is wrong – I’m just saying this doesn’t reach many new families.) We believe that by offering a variety of family friendly opportunities throughout the year, we will reach a different sector of our community.
  3. OneLife is not driven by events or programs. We believe that the best way to reach people for Jesus, is through YOU – not through an event or program. When we share our faith where we live, work and play, we will make a greater impact in our community.
  4. We value our volunteers. We have an awesome group of Kid City volunteers. They serve faithfully each Sunday so that kids can experience Jesus on their level. Creating a great VBS requires a huge number of volunteer hours. I have no doubt that our team could & would pull off a great event. But instead, our focus is on small group leaders connecting relationally on a weekly basis.

While we are not offering VBS, we are offering a variety of opportunities to connect and grow. Everything is listed in our 2017 Summer Guide. Some of these dates will provide opportunities for families to get to know each other. Some are family experiences. Some are great ‘invite a family’ events, such as “Come to the Castle” & “Glow Night”. Lastly, there are serving opportunities. By serving with your family, you are showing the next generation how to care for our community.

Let’s make Summer 2017 incredible!

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