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Please tell me what is VBS?


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Episcopalian here. Our VBS is of the song and dance, craft, activities, snack, and bible story variety. They buy a pre-packaged national curriculum, have a boat-load of adult and teen volunteers, and end the week with a lunch and song program done by the kids for the parents. It's basically kids from our church and their friends. There's definitely no altar-calling or pressure of any kind. It was free, though they've been charging $5-$10 (if you can pay, if not it's fine) the past few years as the church is hurting financially. They pick up/drop off those who can't get there on their own (we have a separate Spanish service and many of them ride the bus to VBS). It's just a fun, three-hour, week-long Sunday school in DS's opinion.

 

I do know people who VBS-hop all Summer for inexpensive/free childcare, and I don't care for it, but the churches don't seem to mind,

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Now the Catholic churches up here have a VBS, but I checked in for my own kids and the cheapest was $65 for the week. Heh, no thank you. Our own parish had one for $100 for the week for three hours a day, but you had to be paid up on your religious education classes. I still owe $500.

 

Wow! Our parish is running one for $15/kid for the week.

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This is how it is in our church as well. My kids have all volunteered once they are past the age that they can attend.

 

On the last day, we do tell the kids if they want to know more about living for Jesus, to fill out a card. It gets brought to the youth director, and she talks with the parents first to see if it is ok that she discuss what the kids want to know about. No pressure, and certainly not done without parental consent. Though I don't understand why someone would knowingly bring their child to BIBLE school, and get offended that they were given the opportunity to learn more.

 

:lol: good point.

 

Our church doesn't talk to the kids about that kind of thing at all. At the week-ending program, parents are told that of they'd like information on the church, they can fill something out to have someone contact them. There's no pressure on the kids at all.

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My kids tried out VBS a couple of years ago. They got to dress up in robes, set up an "ancient" marketplace, had a petting zoo with goats, chickens, etc. In between all the arts and crafts activities, they heard Bible stories and sang songs. They had a lot of fun.

 

Pentacostal btw.

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How on earth does a thread asking about VBS get 20 deleted posts, and why on earth did I have to miss them all??

 

My kids LOVE VBS, ds13 is bummed he has aged out of them but is not quite ready to help out running them. It is just like fun sunday school, the kids have done 1/2 day VBS, and full day. The 1/2 day classes you have your verse/theme for the day and all the crafts/song/games etc match to that verse/theme, the full day classes did that in the am, then they had lunch and after lunch was a fieldtrip. My kids loved that one the most.

 

We do not go to church every sunday since we moved here 2 years ago, but my kids still love what they do in VBS, they ask for the songs on youtube throughout the year etc.

 

If you are a Christian looking for a daycamp for your kids that teaches about the bible than VBS is right for you, if you are not Christian, or don't want a bible camp than it is not the right fit. Easy as that.

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I went to VBS with my cousins as a child, and enjoyed it very much. It was mainly just learning Bible stories and verses and doing crafts. I'm an atheist now (not because of VBS :tongue_smilie:) but I've thought about sending my kids to our local Lutheran VBS, to learn about the Bible (DH's family is Lutheran, and both of my parents grew up attending Lutheran churches). I thought it might be disingenuous, though, as we'd never plan on attending church.

 

P.S. I have to admit, I'm dying to know why there are so many deleted posts in this thread. I never knew VBS was such a controversial subject. :confused:

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I take our kids to VBS at our church. They have a theme each year and they completely transform the church! It is so much fun. This year the kids walked into the sanctuary by a bridge over a pond. Everything was decorated to look like the wilderness. They did a running skit throughout the week about some kids camping.

 

They studied the story of Moses all week. They learned Bible verses, sang songs, did crafts, played games, jumped in bounce houses and much more. They both came home having learned something and they made some friends. We do pay $10 for the t-shirt they wear all week.

 

I loved VBS when I was little.

 

Our old church in the city did this, it was the one with field trips in teh afternoon, the kids LOVED seeing the transformation and entering the sancutuary via the various ways set up to match the theme.

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Wow! Our parish is running one for $15/kid for the week.

Yeah, it's crazy But everything around here seems to cost a ton! I had sticker shock when we moved back and look forward to getting back out of this whole area. :tongue_smilie:

 

My kids will probably end up attending the non-denominational Christian camp at their aunt's church because it's free and fairly mild. I think it's mostly crafts and songs and water balloon tosses.

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VBS is essentially "it takes a village" style of bringing together adult/youth volunteers to share the joy of their faith. Crafts, songs, being silly, being encouraged and nurtured by volunteers and celebrating being a kid and learning more about who God is...It is a great ministry.

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How on earth does a thread asking about VBS get 20 deleted posts, and why on earth did I have to miss them all??

 

I was wondering the same thing!

 

For the past 5 years we have belonged to 2 churches that do VBS. In my experience they have an enormous cost (financial and volunteer) for very little apparent benefit. Most of the kids attending already have a church and the moms are just using it for free time during the week. I guess I can't blame them, though! I might have done the same if I hadn't been volunteering. ;)

 

That said, we (kids and me) usually help out. (I do believe in supporting the church's activities even if they are not my favorite.) My daughter is excited that she has finally aged out and can help this summer. She has found it too babyish for the past 2 years but has gone because everyone else has. This year, they are helping and I am taking the week off to do much-needed house projects. ;)

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I think originally it was a way for churches to reach out into the community and encourage "un-churched" children/families to come to church. It's been around since I was a kid.

Now, well... the only people I know who take their kids to VBS' are already involved in church- they use it as free daycare/babysitting during the summer. :/ I actually know several people who take their kids to ALL of the VBS' at ALL of the churches ALL summer long. Personally.. I kind of think it's past it's usefulness. I tend to believe there are more effective ways to reach out and help a community.

 

There was exactly one year when my three girls, at the time, age 4, and finishing 4th & 6th grade, could all go to a VBS. (around here, 4 is too young, and finishing 6th is too old.) I took them all to the Lutheran church 1 mile away and ENJOYED my mornings. The girls loved it so much they invited friends... who happened to be our Pastor's kids. :lol: He let them attend, and it was a great experience for everyone.

 

This year, BabyBaby is going to our former church's VBS because it is the Answers in Genesis VBS that we love, and she is the only one young enough to attend.

 

 

 

How on earth does a thread asking about VBS get 20 deleted posts, and why on earth did I have to miss them all??.

 

I hope this doesn't get me in trouble, and I only saw the first post when I peeked in earlier... it was a comment implying VBS is a tactic to provide groups of children in unsupervised situations. I hope the rest of the deleted posts were correcting that misconception.

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I hope this doesn't get me in trouble, and I only saw the first post when I peeked in earlier... it was a comment implying VBS is a tactic to provide groups of children in unsupervised situations. I hope the rest of the deleted posts were correcting that misconception.

 

Yes, the other deleted posts were responding to that snidely made comment (and I'd imagine any quoting it too).

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I have never been to a VBS with an altar call (church camp, yes). In my experience (as a child, teen/adult volunteer) they mostly involve crafts, games, songs and Bible verse memorization built around a central theme.

:iagree:

 

Son went to VBS every year (and I volunteered too) and I never saw an altar call moment. It was fun. We both were in AWANA (Cubbies-Sparks-T&T) and again I was a leader... never saw an altar call moment.

 

Having said that, I am non-denominational and I recall my old Assemblies of God and Foursquare churches having altar calls every week. ;) But that was for adults.

 

Ds and I participated in denominational VBS and AWANA programs which for a child were fantastic. Ds now is 17 years old and has grown up with his father being a non-denominational minister and the altar call or ministry time. We kept him out of the ministry time for many years when he was little -- as we did not want him confused or thinking God was "magical".

 

Ds officially began particpating in altar call ministry at age 15 and we never force him to participate. He chooses to pray for the person. We have never pushed him up front or to attend. If he does not want to, fine -- no problem. He needs to realize God loves him unconditionally and does not care how religious or ritualistic you get. God is wanting a relationship with you. If son grows up and doesn't attend church, I will not be upset. If he grows up and attends a denominational church, no problem. If he grows up and becomes a televangelist hawking innocent people for $$ -- it is a problem and he will have his mama on a rampage as I did not raise my baby to be like that. (Sorry for the rambling... hope that makes sense.)

Edited by tex-mex
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I went to all the local VBS when I was a kid, and got "saved" every summer. :glare: When I was a teen and had to help with our church's VBS, I saw how targeted it is really towards the salvation experience {or was at that church at least}.

 

My dd won't be going, even though we have some really cool ones a block away. The closest thing we do to VBS is the local back to school bash which is sponsored by 7 different churches and a bunch of community groups. They do a puppet show that is slightly religious, and if it gets too religious we leave for popsicles or something.

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Dear Moderator....

 

 

Why in the world was my message deleted? All it said was...

 

Originally Posted by Michelle My Bell

This is the purpose of it for our church. We sent out over 10000 flyers, and visited door to door inviting families. They also use it as an opportunity to get the teens involved. The entire thing is ran by our youth group (with adult leaders supervising.) It is wonderful!

 

All I was talking about was that our church has VBS to be a community outreach. I am very perplexed by this.

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Dear Moderator....

 

 

Why in the world was my message deleted? All it said was...

 

 

 

All I was talking about was that our church has VBS to be a community outreach. I am very perplexed by this.

 

umm Michelle that post is still on page 2, it was never deleted. :tongue_smilie:

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Dear Moderator....

 

 

Why in the world was my message deleted? All it said was...

 

 

 

All I was talking about was that our church has VBS to be a community outreach. I am very perplexed by this.

 

Are you sure you didn't quote one of the deleted posts? Posts get deleted for that too (not as a slap on the wrist, but just to clear the air of the offending posts). Otherwise, it was probably just a mistake.

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I am not a huge fan of VBS. our church had one 2 weeks ago. Fairly typical - Bible time, craft time, rec time, snack time, crazy skit time. I volunteered. We had about 30 kids attend. It went fine. My kids had a good time. Gave the something to do. If our church never had another VBS I wouldn't be broken hearted. As another poster said, I think it's past its time.

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OK,

 

This is weird....

 

It was gone a few minutes ago...

 

OK, I just went back and looked, it was some other message I posted. It is still weird however because I didn't post anything bad.

 

Huh. Sounds like they're either still monitoring and pruning the thread or there was some kind of glitchiness. I don't think you did anything wrong though, don't worry.

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As someone who has given 15 hours a week for the last 5 years to teach during VBS (not to mention the countless hours of decorating, planning, and praying), this is what it is to me: I come those nights and teach those kids to plant a seed. We get children who have never heard of God before - who don't know how to pray or Who they are praying to. I spend my week telling them about God's love for them and planting a small seed that I hope, one day, will start to grow. I also spend that week showing them God's love...trying to be the hands and feet of Jesus and let them know that they are loved. No matter what life may be like at home, there is always Someone who cares what they are going through and who loves them. To the non-believer it looks like a bunch of games and silliness with no point. To me, it is a week to start a foundation of faith in a child. :)

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As someone who has given 15 hours a week for the last 5 years to teach during VBS (not to mention the countless hours of decorating, planning, and praying), this is what it is to me: I come those nights and teach those kids to plant a seed. We get children who have never heard of God before - who don't know how to pray or Who they are praying to. I spend my week telling them about God's love for them and planting a small seed that I hope, one day, will start to grow. I also spend that week showing them God's love...trying to be the hands and feet of Jesus and let them know that they are loved. No matter what life may be like at home, there is always Someone who cares what they are going through and who loves them. To the non-believer it looks like a bunch of games and silliness with no point. To me, it is a week to start a foundation of faith in a child. :)

 

 

Love this! Amen!

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As someone who has given 15 hours a week for the last 5 years to teach during VBS (not to mention the countless hours of decorating, planning, and praying), this is what it is to me: I come those nights and teach those kids to plant a seed. We get children who have never heard of God before - who don't know how to pray or Who they are praying to. I spend my week telling them about God's love for them and planting a small seed that I hope, one day, will start to grow. I also spend that week showing them God's love...trying to be the hands and feet of Jesus and let them know that they are loved. No matter what life may be like at home, there is always Someone who cares what they are going through and who loves them. To the non-believer it looks like a bunch of games and silliness with no point. To me, it is a week to start a foundation of faith in a child. :)

 

As a VBS director for the last 3 years this is what I believe as well. VBS is not just a faith plant for children either. I have been the adult who came back to church because of VBS and I have seen other adults come back to church because of VBS. Parents are reached and I have had 2 sunday school teachers come teach because of their involvement in VBS. It is a great week for many people. Our church also participates in a weekly mission so kids can have the chance to be the hands and feet of God. We use a pretty liberal curriculum and don't have an altar call. Our volunteers have all had background checks and we practice something called safe sanctuaries where there is never a child alone with an adult or with two adults who are related. We try to be as safe as possible so the community will trust that their children are safe with us. :) I think I read somewhere that VBS started in the 1970s not too long after Sunday school.

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Very well said!! I just finished volunteering at my 12th VBS in a row. My dd has attended since she was three; when she aged out of it last year she started volunteering. It is a LOT of work to put on a VBS and every year, I'm so tired at the end of the week, I say it's going to be my last. But I keep on doing it for just this reason. VBS has been one of the highlights of my kids' summer for years.

 

And as for paying to attend VBS--I had never heard of that until I read it on this board a couple of years ago. Our church doesn't charge, although it does cost money and I can see why churches would charge a small fee. We do usually sell T-shirts and music CD's but there is no fee to attend.

 

As someone who has given 15 hours a week for the last 5 years to teach during VBS (not to mention the countless hours of decorating, planning, and praying), this is what it is to me: I come those nights and teach those kids to plant a seed. We get children who have never heard of God before - who don't know how to pray or Who they are praying to. I spend my week telling them about God's love for them and planting a small seed that I hope, one day, will start to grow. I also spend that week showing them God's love...trying to be the hands and feet of Jesus and let them know that they are loved. No matter what life may be like at home, there is always Someone who cares what they are going through and who loves them. To the non-believer it looks like a bunch of games and silliness with no point. To me, it is a week to start a foundation of faith in a child. :)
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I hope this doesn't get me in trouble, and I only saw the first post when I peeked in earlier... [...] I hope the rest of the deleted posts were correcting that misconception.

 

oh, I think you're right. When I started reading, that one was still there, and (what I guess was) the first response. But, then a whole bunch of deleted posts that I assumed were about something different since those were there. But, I must have looked in when it was happening.

 

FWIW, we also follow "safe church" procedures. Two unrelated adults with children at all times, background checks, seminars on recognizing abuse and how to avoid any situations or appearance of impropriety, etc.

Edited by kebg11
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Wow. Okay. Thanks for the replies. I can't believe there are so many deleted posts. I didn't think it could be a controversial topic, I was just wondering what VBS was about.

 

There are a lot of churches around here. We don't attend any because it's so confusing, to say the least, with all the different beliefs, doctrines, way things are done, etc, but all of them seem to have a VBS. I never really understood Sunday School either, so that aids in my ignorance.

 

It sounds like at one point VBS was outreach, but now it would be hard to attend unless you went to the church or knew some one that went or were invited? Well, that's the general feeling I get around here anyway.

 

I didn't know about the altar call and have always been a bit confused about that too. Thanks to the poster that explained it (although I'm sad that it was a terrible experience for you, but you did make it pretty clear what it was.)

Edited by jadedone80
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OK, I just went back and looked, it was some other message I posted. It is still weird however because I didn't post anything bad.

 

If you quote a deleted post, then your post will get deleted too. That is why I responded twice. Once to reply to the deleted post and once to respond to the thread at large.

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It sounds like at one point VBS was outreach, but now it would be hard to attend unless you went to the church or knew some one that went or were invited? Well, that's the general feeling I get around here anyway.

 

They have always been and are outreach and inreach programs, in m experience. If you are interested for your child, then find a non-denominational church (since that will be the most neutral) and give them a call. It is easy. :)

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I went to VBS with my cousins as a child, and enjoyed it very much. It was mainly just learning Bible stories and verses and doing crafts. I'm an atheist now (not because of VBS :tongue_smilie:) but I've thought about sending my kids to our local Lutheran VBS, to learn about the Bible (DH's family is Lutheran, and both of my parents grew up attending Lutheran churches). I thought it might be disingenuous, though, as we'd never plan on attending church.

 

P.S. I have to admit, I'm dying to know why there are so many deleted posts in this thread. I never knew VBS was such a controversial subject. :confused:

 

A lot of times what happens is one or two people say something snarky, then others quote them in their replies. When it gets cleaned up, if a poster has quoted someone's snark, even if they have replied respectfully, their post will get deleted too, because otherwise, the snark is still visible in the quote. That can result in something appearing more controversial than it was.

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As a VBS director for the last 3 years this is what I believe as well. VBS is not just a faith plant for children either. I have been the adult who came back to church because of VBS and I have seen other adults come back to church because of VBS. Parents are reached and I have had 2 sunday school teachers come teach because of their involvement in VBS. It is a great week for many people. Our church also participates in a weekly mission so kids can have the chance to be the hands and feet of God. We use a pretty liberal curriculum and don't have an altar call. Our volunteers have all had background checks and we practice something called safe sanctuaries where there is never a child alone with an adult or with two adults who are related. We try to be as safe as possible so the community will trust that their children are safe with us. :) I think I read somewhere that VBS started in the 1970s not too long after Sunday school.

 

Kissy, could you share some stories of parents being reached?

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Wow. Okay. Thanks for the replies. I can't believe there are so many deleted posts. I didn't think it could be a controversial topic, I was just wondering what VBS was about.

 

There are a lot of churches around here. We don't attend any because it's so confusing, to say the least, with all the different beliefs, doctrines, way things are done, etc, but all of them seem to have a VBS. I never really understood Sunday School either, so that aids in my ignorance.

 

It sounds like at one point VBS was outreach, but now it would be hard to attend unless you went to the church or knew some one that went or were invited? Well, that's the general feeling I get around here anyway.

 

I didn't know about the altar call and have always been a bit confused about that too. Thanks to the poster that explained it (although I'm sad that it was a terrible experience for you, but you did make it pretty clear what it was.)

 

If they've got a sign or ad for it, they are inviting the community at large, but the majority of attendees will usually be members and their friends.

 

As for Sunday school, at my church and a lot of churches whose signs I pass, Sunday school hour is between the earlier and later church services. It's a time for religious education and discussion.

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Wow. Okay. Thanks for the replies. I can't believe there are so many deleted posts. I didn't think it could be a controversial topic, I was just wondering what VBS was about.

 

There are a lot of churches around here. We don't attend any because it's so confusing, to say the least, with all the different beliefs, doctrines, way things are done, etc, but all of them seem to have a VBS. I never really understood Sunday School either, so that aids in my ignorance.

 

It sounds like at one point VBS was outreach, but now it would be hard to attend unless you went to the church or knew some one that went or were invited? Well, that's the general feeling I get around here anyway.

 

I didn't know about the altar call and have always been a bit confused about that too. Thanks to the poster that explained it (although I'm sad that it was a terrible experience for you, but you did make it pretty clear what it was.)

 

Most (around here) are come one and come all. My church even went and knocked on tons of neighborhood doors to invite people. We had well over 100 children on the first night and most were NOT children of church members. We also had two church buses go around and pick up children who didn't have transportation to attend.

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I did it once when I was a kid- it was horrible! Toward the end of the week (or maybe it was the end), the preacher led a service and we were all told to close our eyes and if we loved god more than anything- even our mother and father and siblings- then we could come up and be saved. I remember just crying b/c how could I say I didn't love my family more than anything? I was like 8 or something- it was really confusing and I knew I was going to hell but I could not say for sure. I still have no idea if no one came up or everyone did but the sobbing little girl. He said not to open your eyes so I didnt- feeling certain that if I did I would be struck dead or something. :lol: I went to another church camp- overnight, years later and it was a very similar feeling with similar reactions.

 

It is good to hear that other people have positive reactions :lol: I honestly thought they were all pretty much like the ones I attended.

 

 

My experience was similar to yours except that , in addition to pulpit pounding Protestant preacher, I was tag-teamed by teachers as I steadfastly refused to go up front to be "saved." Later on, I was told it was an altar call and that Southern Baptists do not do those anymore. I couldn't say. I never returned.

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As someone who has given 15 hours a week for the last 5 years to teach during VBS (not to mention the countless hours of decorating, planning, and praying), this is what it is to me: I come those nights and teach those kids to plant a seed. We get children who have never heard of God before - who don't know how to pray or Who they are praying to. I spend my week telling them about God's love for them and planting a small seed that I hope, one day, will start to grow. I also spend that week showing them God's love...trying to be the hands and feet of Jesus and let them know that they are loved. No matter what life may be like at home, there is always Someone who cares what they are going through and who loves them. To the non-believer it looks like a bunch of games and silliness with no point. To me, it is a week to start a foundation of faith in a child. :)

 

 

:iagree: This is me exactly. No altar calls. No sermons. Just trying to show the 5th and 6th graders who come to my class exactly what Jesus wanted them to see....God's love lived out through those who bear His Son's Name.

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I never heard of VBS until I was helping run one a couple of years ago! It was great fun but tons of work and you need a lot of dedicated volunteers. The program we used was by "Group" which makes "VBS in a Can". They have wonderful programs. Though we are Orthodox, we just had to tweak it a little to make it suit us. We didn't have an altar call (I forget whether Group has it in their plans). We could add Saint of the day and had the Missions section relate to our own Church's international outreach/churches, and tried to use our own music as well, and adapted the skits a little. The Group program plans games, crafts, snacks, music, skits, icebreakers, etc, (so you can have your volunteers do just the piece they feel confident of) all relating to a Bible story or theme. It was a wonderful way of reinforcing a good lesson. (They also have a Catholic version, but we just adapted the evangelical one.)

We found it a great community activity for the adults involved and also for the teen volunteers, who learned some things as well. The kids of course had a great time. I'm pretty sure this is the program momto2Cs is referring to:

 

My kids tried out VBS a couple of years ago. They got to dress up in robes, set up an "ancient" marketplace, had a petting zoo with goats, chickens, etc. In between all the arts and crafts activities, they heard Bible stories and sang songs. They had a lot of fun.

 

Pentacostal btw.

I highly recommend this program if you are thinking of VBS. They also have a forum where you can look up what other churches are doing with the program you hope to use, and you can borrow supplies/scenery, etc, from other churches and pass them along.

I think ideally it would be nice to do VBS for outreach, but in practice I would want to have the program run for a while & have some experience before trying that.

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My kids are attending one this week and it is so much fun for them! I wanted them to get to know people in the community since they are going to school in the fall.

 

They have dinner, then crafts, games, singing, etc. Then they have snack!:lol:

 

I won't send them to "let's save all the heathen children" type camps because we are Catholic, but most are very mild programs based around a theme.

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I read most of the posts, not all. Here's what we do that might not already be mentioned on this thread -- or maybe it is, as I skimmed quickly.

 

A few months ahead of time, we round up adults and teens to help. And we put in a lot of time decorating, planning etc.

 

A month or so beforehand, we sign up church kids participating in it.

 

We hang a huge banner from the front of our corner-lot church with a phone number. And, put out flyers in the neighborhoods right around the church (we're in a fairly residential area). There are a lot of kids that are within walking distance to the church that come year after year.

 

We ask for church kids to pay if they can afford it and for church members to either give money or food (for snacks -- we provide a list) or art supplies (again, a list).

 

Everyone gets a tee shirt. We start shopping early and usually can find shirts for $3 each. Our church has a screen print machine and the teens do the screen printing. Most VBS's have templates you can order. The shirts can be color-coded by age group and while the kids can wear them or not, the adults and teens must wear them and a nametag for easy recognition.

 

We do not do "altar calls" but simply emphasize God's love. If a child shows an interest in getting to know God better we tell the mom at pick up time that "Sally is interested in getting to know God better. Here is a brochure that outlines our service times, our AWANA times, and Sunday School." If the child walks home, we send the material home and include a phone number if a parent wants to call us.

 

Our church keeps a good supply of new hardcover kids Bibles available for kids that visit us during the year. Upon their first visit, we ask if they have a Bible, and if they want their own Bible. So, during VBS, we also offer Bibles to kids who want one but don't have one. Oh, we have a box of nice adult Bibles to hand out too. That way, anyone who visits us for whatever reason, can take home a Bible if they want.

 

Friday, the last day, we often have a big lunch for the families as the day is wrapping up. Often it's something like a big barbecue with ice cream and watermelon -- a picnic at the church. The leaders can get to know the parents of the kids (and parents that don't usually come to pick up their walking-distance or carpooling kids come for a good lunch!). Our pastor has a two-minute speech (thanks for sending your kids, I am the pastor, I'm here during the week if you want to stop by, here are our service times, pray for the food -- eat). The big barbecue is a great way to wrap up the week.

Edited by Bassoonaroo
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Kissy, could you share some stories of parents being reached?

 

Sure. In my personal experience I left the church after becoming a teen mom. I felt like people would not want to see me there. I brought my son to VBS when he was 5 because I loved it as a child. I didn't want to just leave him so I hung around for a bit and everyone was so welcoming to me. It felt like coming home so we stayed.

 

This was at a small church. I have heard at bigger churches you don't stay around you drop and go so this opportunity would be missed. I have heard some churches use this as a time to offer a class for adults on the same topic as VBS or a new member/church info class for adults who are interested. I think just some coffee or tea and small snacks with some of the members might help to bring in more adults.

 

Another lady I know was asked to bring her kids to VBS by a friend and when she came she also said she felt everyone was so warm and inviting. They came back for Sunday service and have been coming every since that was in the early 70's.

 

When I was directing VBS we did Holy Land adventure Rome one year (love those because they focus on one character in depth). A lady who volunteered to be a leader had been active at our church but not in Sunday school just in regular church. She said she learned so much about Paul and had so much fun with the kids. She became a Sunday school teacher for us and is great at it.

 

As a United Methodist our VBS centers around Biblical teaching but not on bringing people to Christ because salvation is a very personal issue and we wouldn't want to ever push that on someone. We want people to come to Christ because they want to and if a child made that decision before doing anything we would talk to the parents. We want to have the parents involved. Personally I would be upset to pick up my child from VBS and learn that I missed out on them going through the steps of being saved. I would want to feel involved not just get a note that says ".... was saved tonight. Yay!" For us the focus is on showing kids that living a life of faith can be fun, teaching them about the Bible and preparing them to want to be saved, and on being a welcoming church to all who enter. At our church it is still an outreach to the community.

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When my 18 and 19 yr olds were 3 and 4, they went with my mother the summer she worked at her church's VBS. It was free, and my only memories are the kits eating zillions of animal crackers and cheesesticks, and drinking far too mich applejuice, which was a huge treat for them. There were crafts; things like fuzzy lamb book marks , keys rings that said God Loves Me, and they heard parable stories. I was fine with all of that. I saw it is acutlural literacy with some nice, low key folks I could trust. The children came home nice and tired, and fell into long afternoon naps. I know they didn't go to church at all at that age. They are still heathens (who respect the religons of others), and mother is still Baptist. My mother never did do another VBS at her church, which was too bad, because I loved the peace and quiet. ;) She said it was exhausting, and she was getting too old for that much constant activity. lol It must have been very hard work, as my mother was and is, very energetic.

Edited by LibraryLover
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My kids are at VBS this week at a church we don't normally attend. I am a believer and am attempting to raise my kids in my faith but today I'm totally wigged out.

 

THey must have done an alter call today. My 6yo came home telling me that she said a special prayer and that today is her new birthday and I had to make her a cake. If I thought she had the understanding to KNOW what they special prayer meant, I would be happy. ( Before you say that 6yos can totally know, this is not a normal 6yo) She was more excited about the prizes they got to pick out when they went up front. :glare: Not to mention, nothing was sent home for me, besides her certificate saying she said the special prayer. What if I hadn't been a believer and had no idea what to do with this child???? ugh. There were tons of kids filing out with their certificates so I'm assuming there were some very eager crew leaders today. :(

 

Sorry for the vent. I thought of this thread when I was mulling it over.

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My kids are at VBS this week at a church we don't normally attend. I am a believer and am attempting to raise my kids in my faith but today I'm totally wigged out.

 

THey must have done an alter call today. My 6yo came home telling me that she said a special prayer and that today is her new birthday and I had to make her a cake. If I thought she had the understanding to KNOW what they special prayer meant, I would be happy. ( Before you say that 6yos can totally know, this is not a normal 6yo) She was more excited about the prizes they got to pick out when they went up front. :glare: Not to mention, nothing was sent home for me, besides her certificate saying she said the special prayer. What if I hadn't been a believer and had no idea what to do with this child???? ugh. There were tons of kids filing out with their certificates so I'm assuming there were some very eager crew leaders today. :(

 

Sorry for the vent. I thought of this thread when I was mulling it over.

:svengo:

Oh, good Lord. :glare:

I mean yeah, I'm with ya that if she had known what it meant... but a prize? And all that mess? :rolleyes:

Our VBS doesn't do altar calls. The Kids Crusade that comes to town does, but VBS does not.

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