The 21st century is such a peculiar time to be alive when you look at the rest of world history. Children are inside more than ever, and while they may not be experiencing more ultraviolet rays on their skin, they are receiving light rays from an overload of screen time.
Our children today are often being amused through entertainment and technology, but are often not challenged to muse over things that matter or make use of their imaginations by playing outside. This is why many parents (who are cognizant of their child’s need to leave their four walls) look for things for them to do, especially when school is out for the summer.
For decades, churches all across the country have offered opportunities for families to do exactly that: by sending children to Vacation Bible School (VBS) for a whole week of the summer.
To some parents, it understandably can function as a free babysitting service, and I don’t blame them, but at the same time, it is an excellent opportunity for a child to meet friends, be in a safe environment, and most importantly, learn about the God who created them.
In a time where kids have faced greater isolation, an event like VBS could be a breath of fresh air for your child. They get out of the house. They meet new friends. They learn about the love that Jesus Christ has for them, that he died on the cross for their sins and rose again from the grave. They do all this, all while having fun.
Being a father of three rambunctious boys, who are ages seven, four, and two, my wife and I greatly appreciate the ministry of VBS and what it does for our boys. They can hardly contain their excitement when we drop them off every morning, and they are excited every day to share with us their favorite craft or Bible lesson they learned while at VBS. Not to mention their cute little voices singing the VBS songs on the way home.
While it is the responsibility of every parent to train up their children in the ways of Christ, the church and its ministries, like VBS, exist to come alongside parents to help them disciple their children in the ways of Christ.
The rhythms of events like this happening regularly in the life of a child does something powerful: it helps shape and mold them.
Much like learning an instrument, by regularly hearing, singing, and recounting what they learn through VBS and other summer church activities, their lives can be shaped like a beautiful song to bring praise and glory to Christ, as instruments in His hands for His glory.
And when they reflect on those many years of this rhythmic routine, we hope that they will know the Lord, His Word, and His ways.
My hope for you as a parent who is wondering how to wisely steward the few years you have with your children, is that you would send them to the church this summer, and when looking back on their time spent at VBS, I am certain that you won’t regret it.