[Ministry Spotlight] Century-old program still makes impact today

A child participates in Vacation Bible School at First Baptist Church in Hot Springs.

In their second week working with the Evangelism and Church Health Team the summer interns had an opportunity to experience a full day of what many of us recall as a fun childhood memory—Vacation Bible School.  

Hannah Coffman, Riley Haile, Kyla Burnett and Jonathan McEndree navigated all the “twists and turns” during the morning at Camp Geyer at Geyer Springs First Baptist Church in Little Rock. They concluded the evening in the Australian outback at First Baptist Church Hot Springs. From learning new song motions, constructing book ends in the construction track and enjoying yummy snacks in the nibble nook to hearing the gospel presented in creative ways for kids, the interns embraced a dynamic day of Vacation Bible School.  

Summer has begun and with this brings many opportunities for children ministries in the state to impact families in their communities. One of the most effective evangelistic resources for more than 125 years has been Vacation Bible School. Although VBS comes in different shapes, models, themes, and formats today, the message is still the same—to share the Gospel with kids of all ages.  

As the interns navigated their adventure packed day, they discovered some of the things adults and children enjoy most about VBS. Louanne said the gospel presentation was her favorite part while Donna loved the Bible teaching. A fifth-grade girls class commented the highlights for them have been the worship, learning God’s word and the connections they get to make during the week. Colby, a parent from Geyer Springs, commented, “I love that they have so much for my kids here.”  

So, the months of preparation, recruiting volunteers, teacher trainings, ordering endless supplies, cooking hundreds of hot dogs, and learning silly song motions will come to fruition this summer during the days of Vacation Bible School. And as the interns learned on their fun-filled packed day of VBS, this century-old program not only impacts the children involved but the leaders and families too. As churches continue to navigate the twists and turns of their summer festivities, be praying God will make a kingdom impact in our children’s ministries across the state.  

At the Arkansas Baptist State Convention, we know there will always be twists and turns in kids’ ministry. Ministry does not stop when the last child leaves on the final day of VBS. In many cases, VBS is a jump start to your strategy for children’s ministry. Let us continue to help you with the next moves in kids’ ministry. 

Emily Smith serves on the Evangelism+Church Health Team as the Children’s Specialist at the Arkansas Baptist State Convention.

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