MEMPHIS – Churches all across the country spend the summer months focusing on a very important ministry – Vacation Bible School. VBS is perhaps one of the most widespread and popular ministries available. It’s an effective way to reach young people for Christ on a massive scale, and allows for children to connect with Scripture in new and interesting ways.
For First Baptist Church of Memphis, VBS is a valuable opportunity to reach children in the community. Associate Pastor of Students Josh Black recognized the importance of programs like VBS to engage children.
“It’s a real challenge to present the Gospel to younger children and not have them feel bored or disinterested,” Black said.
To combat that issue, Black and other ministry leaders at FBC Memphis chose to use a VBS program called “God of Wonders” from Sharefaith Kids. It’s a five-day program focused on telling the story of Moses through music, videos, skits and activities.
For Black, the skits were one of the highlights of the program.
“We performed a five-minute skit each day,” Black said. “They were funny, interactive and drove the points home very well.”
Along with the skits, each day of VBS had a theme with a corresponding activity. The first day dealt with Moses’ trip down the Nile in a basket. Black and his team of workers and volunteers set up an obstacle course designed to look like the Nile River, which students had to navigate.
“It was our desire that students connected the difficulty of a baby [travelling] the river and tied that to God leading and protecting Moses,” Black said.
The fourth day of the program was all about the plagues, and the skit included frogs being tossed on the audience and softball-sized hail flying around the room.
For the grand finale on the final day, a leader dressed as Moses “delivered the students and their teachers away from Pharaoh by parting a sea of volunteers dressed in blue,” Black said.
Each of these skits and activities were created to keep kids engaged while learning about God.
“The most difficult part is making sure each child learns that we can have a fun time and discuss the principles and nature of God,” Black said.
Beyond the lessons and the fun, VBS attendees also raised money to send boxes through Operation Christmas Child. For extra motivation, Black and the Lead Pastor of FBC Memphis, Dan Hite, made a promise to the kids at VBS. If they could raise enough money for 25 boxes, Black and Hite would be covered in slime by their wives.
By the end of the week, they had raised enough money to send out 76 boxes.
Even with the sliming, Black was very pleased with how the week went.
“It was a fun, uplifting, glorifying week filled with countless man- and woman-hours and volunteers who gave of themselves,” Black said. “God really used each of them in a mighty way.”