By Allen Palmeri
JEFFERSON CITY—Vacation Bible School (VBS) is in its peak season now as it continues to be one of the powerhouse tools in Missouri Baptist life to impact people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ
According to a state statistical summary provided by Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) Childhood Specialist Sondi Scroggins, 639 MBC churches reported doing VBS last year with an enrollment of 58,320 and 1,556 decisions to accept Christ. She said that nationally, numbers should be up this year due to the popularity of the current LifeWay theme, “Saddle Ridge Ranch: Roundin’ Up Questions, Drivin’ Home Answers.”
In 1992, Southern Baptist VBS set an enrollment record of more than 3.7 million.
“I think children are hearing about God, that God has a place in their lives, and they’re learning that it’s not just for this week but that I’m supposed to live out my life 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,” Scroggins said. “For some children it’s a springboard of introducing them to the idea of who God is and what He’s done for us.”
Scroggins said VBS “never really ends” in that there is associational training in March and subsequent training of church volunteers in April and May. Then there are the actual VBS events themselves which can go on into the fall and winter. One church even did it around Christmas, Scroggins said, with the children out of school.
The current Western motif is a big plus.
“It’s a fun theme,” she said. “It’s an easy theme to decorate for.”
One of the more rewarding aspects of VBS, she said, is when previously inactive churches get involved again, for whatever reason, and see some success.
“I love hearing stories of churches that have not done VBS for awhile,” she said. “They thought they couldn’t do it, and then they do it and they get so excited because they have children, and they have a good experience, and they want to do it next year.”
The LifeWay VBS theme for 2011 will be “Big Apple Adventure,” which is centered around a New York City concept.