Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Remember VBS (Vacation Bible School)?

I read an article this week on Christianity Today's website, about VBS (Vacation Bible School). The discussion centered around whether to charge attendees or not. Read it here.

I attended VBS as a child at my home church, which many of you probably did as well. I played the various musical instruments that the visiting teachers brought, heard the Bible stories and created various crafts.  

When I worked for a Christian publisher, one of my yearly projects was to help produce the VBS curriculum. It was exciting to realize I was now on the other side of the desk producing lessons and artwork that would hopefully make an impact on children.

When I married and moved to another city, I read in the daily newspaper the descriptions of each local VBS program. I was shocked to see some of the churches charging an enormous amount for each child to attend. I felt compelled to write a letter to the editor, something I had never done.

In that letter I talked about the importance for churches to provide a program that draws families who don’t attend your church, but also make it feasible for those who have large families or have a lower income, attend. The paper ran the letter, and that day I received a phone call from a local woman. Her purpose in calling was to thank me for writing the letter, for she too felt strongly about not charging for this vital program.  

As the Summer winds down, I know many of these programs are now over. But, I hope for those who are thinking of next year to consider the options of not charging or charging a minimal fee. What a child hears and sees at an early age, can stay with them for years to come.

How about you? 
Did you attend a VBS as a child? 
If you have children, did or do you send your children?