Emily Smith serves on the Evangelism+Church Health Team as the children’s specialist.

After making 53 phone calls, five paper cuts from cutting out 112 fish, multiple runs to Walmart and Dollar Tree, countless hours decorating, 10 hours studying and prepping five Bible Studies, one must wonder is it worth it? Are the months spent in preparation for one week of organized mass chaos…aka Vacation Bible School…truly worth all the effort?

For Virginia Hawes, it was worth it. School was closed for the summer, when Virginia noticed the streets in her community swarming with idle children—no place to go and no plans in place. No Little League games, summer camps, or activities in which to participate. Virginia saw an opportunity. “We felt that the Bible is not taught in homes as it used to be, nor as it should be, and it is not taught in the public schools.”[1]  So in the summer of 1898, Virginia Hawes opened in New York City “a school in which we made the Bible our only textbook,” thus spurring what has become known as the most prominent precursor of today’s Vacation Bible School.[2]  

Fast forward, and according to the book It’s Worth It by Landry Holmes, there are 2.5 million reasons why the endless runs to Walmart, multiple paper cuts, gallons of Kool-Aid served, and countless hours decorating and prepping for VBS is worth it. In 2017, it was reported that almost 2.5 million people enrolled in VBS, over 65,000 professions of faith were made, and over $7 million was given to missions. In our Arkansas churches alone, the gospel was shared with 81,020 kids who attended VBS. All because one person over 125 years ago saw a need, seized an opportunity, started a summer Bible school, and shared the gospel with kids.

Today, the Bible is not taught in our homes as it should be nor is it taught in our public schools. The need for the gospel still exists today in our communities. Churches have an opportunity to share the gospel, make a difference, and change a child’s life. Kids are worth it and VBS can still be a powerful tool to make an impact in your kids ministry this summer.

For additional helps in developing your VBS approach, visit ABSC.org/VBS for Kids Ministry + VBS trainings near you and additional resources to help you make an impact in kids ministry this summer.


[1] It’s Worth It by Landry Holmes.

[2] It’s Worth It by Landry Holmes.

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