The year 2020 brought many dips and turns to navigate through for kids ministry, but even in the midst of the pandemic, churches managed to pivot through the new challenges to make an impact in kids’ lives through VBS. Their approach may not have fit the ‘traditional’ model of their past Vacation Bible Schools, but the approach was still effective.
First Baptist Dierks did not want to sit idly and let summer of 2020 pass by without doing something to impact kids in their community. There had never been a summer where VBS was not a part of the kids ministry. After being challenged by a friend in Texas, Anna Blasé and her husband David, the interim pastor at FBC at the time, decided to do their first ever virtual VBS. They had never done this before, nor did they know how all the technology would work out, but they were determined to make it happen. After reaching out to other churches in their community, all the pieces started coming together, from take-home kits to videoing the lessons and gospel presentations. Anna’s friend from Texas even got in on helping with promotion. The end result of their efforts—133 kids registered for VBS (they normally only have about 25 kids attend); 133 home kits were hand-delivered to each home; 11 foster families in the community participated; a local mission project to benefit foster families was completed; and there were 880 views for the week. Anna even shared how a young boy in their community whom they had been inviting to church, participated in their VBS and accepted Christ as his personal Savior on day 4. Their first ever virtual VBS had been a success.
First Baptist Dierks' virtual VBS is just one example of the many ways churches chose to navigate the changes 2020 brought for summer activities. Others adopted new strategies for their VBS plans through incorporating VBS at home, virtually, in an abbreviated day camp model, or as an outside event.
So, what does this year look like for VBS? Well, according to LifeWay’s 4 VBS Strategies for the Summer, VBS, at its core, was designed to be a flexible, evangelistic experience for churches. With this comes endless opportunities to adapt to ongoing changes and customize VBS to fit the needs of your church, your families, and your community. Maybe you’ll capture a new vision like FBC Dierks and take a virtual approach or adapt your traditional model to incorporate a safe social distanced VBS. Regardless which approach you may take, kids matter and VBS can still be a powerful tool to make an impact in your kids ministry this summer.
For additional helps in developing your VBS approach, visit absc.org/vbs for VBS & Kids Ministry trainings near you and additional resources to help you have big wins in kids ministry this summer.