Overall, we had a successful VBS this year: 4 teens saved and 3 other children received reassurance of their salvation. So Praise Our Heavenly Father!!!
Vacation Bible School is a mixed bag of thoughts and emotions. On one hand it is an opportunity to share Jesus with children that may not have heard a clear presentation of the Gospel & an opportunity to encourage christian children to witness and show them how to be a witness for Christ. Then there is the other side of VBS: the hoards of children, some of them unruly; the long hours after an already full day; the noise, oh the incessant chatter; and the picking on each other (the children, not the teachers haha). But the one thing that I get hung up on every year is the competition. Boys against Girls. And the Noise that comes with that! Aye! The children are excited, bouncing in their seats yelling the appropriate responses, “who’s going to win tonite’s penny offering?” “Giiiiiiirrrrrrrrls!” “Booooooooooyyyyyyyys” And the kids go wild!!! You can’t help but smile at their enthusiasm; but you can’t help but notice the looks of unbelief on the ‘other side’ yep, the losers, the looks of defeat, the looks of jealousy. Hmmm….makes me think. Now I am not of the ‘lets not keep score so no one is offended’ crowd. If one team plays better ball than the other, guess what? They win! But, why are we setting these children up in this situation? It is not just the competition with the penny offering (which in itself is a good thing….all the ‘pennies’ go to one of our missionaries and it is usually $1000-1500…a blessing to the missionary, no doubt), it is competition with everything we do with the children except games, crafts, and snacks. Points are awarded for each memory verse recited, attendance, bringing a visitor, bringing your bible and a few other events. Points are tallied and prizes/accolades are doled out accordingly. Because THE POINTS determine who wins daily and for the entire week, THE POINTS become paramount….not the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Where is the line between creating fun and excitement for the kids without putting too much emphasis on the POINTS. I dunno. Some teachers emphasize memory verse recitation for comprehension & precision…quality. Some teachers emphasize the quantity of memory verses because that is how the children can rack up points. I think that is wrong and treating the Scripture superficially. We had children that recited 10-15 verses a night! A night! I can’t even think how the teachers had this much time to devote to one child. I obviously have some teaching techniques to learn.
If the points/competitions are eliminated, do the children still come? Do they come but are bored and apathetic? If some points are eliminated….which ones? If it is just a competition with the penny offering…then does it appear that VBS is all about the money?
So there is my rant on VBS POINTS. What is your ‘point’ of view, your insight, your experience?