By Trey Wooten
Think outside the box! Vacation Bible School is probably your biggest outreach ministry of the year. Are you looking for ways to get the un-churched into your church?
Do away with your normal “Friday Family Day/Night” and replace it with “VBS Family Day” on a Sunday morning.
At Oak Grove Baptist Church in Bel Air, Md., we did just that, and the results were amazing! God was definitely at work throughout the VBS week and on our family day the following Sunday.
Are there logistics with which one has to worry? Of course. You have to consider space, parking, and other details when you are inviting in many more people than you normally have on a Sunday morning. Give it all to God and let Him work out the details.
Oak Grove had almost 400 children (three-year-olds through fifth grade) enrolled in their Vacation Bible School in July 2013. Every person was invited back to worship on family day. Oak Grove normally offers a traditional worship service and a contemporary worship service. However, on VBS family day, both worship services were identical and were designed in VBS-rally style. The VBS elementary students were encouraged to sit together during the worship service. Preschoolers were given the opportunity to go to the preschool area for their own age-appropriate Bible study or sit with their families. Mostly all VBS music was used during the worship services and as minister of children and senior adults, I brought the message from 2 Cor. 11:22-33.
Following the second service, all VBS children and their families were invited to an afternoon of food, fun, and games. Everyone enjoyed the time of fun and fellowship including the moms and dads! Because the girls won the missions offering contest in which the children collected a record amount of money for a missionary in Bolivia, they got to slime me! (See above photo)
Another creative idea being used in Oak Grove’s VBS is to have an adult “mom time” for a portion of VBS time. Moms like to have time to run their errands but Oak Grove has found that many moms don’t mind taking time for a short Bible study with other moms.
Why a Sunday morning family celebration? Why a daily mom time? Connecting with the people! Other than the top priority of sharing Christ, a church must be willing to connect with the people. Oak Grove is willing to do whatever it takes to get the Gospel of Jesus Christ into the homes in its community. Will you join them in your community?
Yes! Oak Grove is going to do it again in 2014. Vacation Bible School is scheduled for July 14-18 with family day scheduled on July 20. If you live in the Harford County area, come join us as we teach the children (and adults) through LifeWay’s “Agency D-3” to discover, decide, and defend!
Trey Wooton has been serving in full-time children’s ministry for over eleven years. Over half of his ministry career has been in Maryland. He is part of the BCMD children’s teaching/training team and is available to give advice in the area of children’s ministry to any church. You may contact him at (410)838-9898 or firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a time to meet.