Thursday, June 18, 2009

Read and Learn -- VBS 2009

First, a disclaimer. I didn't like children much when I was one, and they haven't grown on me since then. I stay away from the children and youth ministries at church, but I am not deaf, dumb AND blind -- so I am aware that we had Vacation Bible School week before last. Evidently, we had 220+ children, about half of whom were from outside the church.

The curriculum used was Crocodile Dock, which is put out by one of the major VBS publishers, by all accounts they do a nice job. From what little I saw the curriculum exposed the children to a number of Old Testament stories using as a uniting theme, Fear not for God is with you. The older children, 5th and 6th graders, spent at least some time each day out of the Church doing some kind of hands-on mission work. They made and delivered meals, sorted food at the local food bank, that kind of thing.

I am not a big fan of evaluating church activities by numbers only, but any program that draws in this many children (and this many non-member children) must be providing some kind of useful service. The children were exposed to substantial scriptural content, the older kids did some hands-on mission work; and from all appearances they had quite a bit of fun to boot. Kind of hard to argue with.

So, what are your churches doing this summer? Is Crocodile Dock this year's hot topic or are we alone in the bayou? Has anyone found a better way to do VBS to make it more relevant?

Oh, if you are looking for a little theological reading this summer Christianity Today has a column, Ten Theology Books for Your Beach Bag, with some recomendations.


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