Friday, August 14, 2015

Why Vacation Bible School is not for the Weak

My church just finished our Vacation Bible school today. It was a great success, I'd say, with 187 kids in attendance, give or take.

I volunteered and was put in charge of a group of nine kids, ages 2 - 6. Yikes!

First of all, this age group is way out of my comfort zone. I taught English to high school aged kids in my past life. If I was asked to teach below 9th grade, I was unsure. I mean, those 7th graders are like another species!

Secondly, not only was I with my 9 kids, but we traveled from station to station with 3 other groups. Little kids were everywhere! I was slightly overwhelmed. Thank God for my 3 helpers! We all needed each other, that's for sure!

Within minutes of the start of day 1, I knew I was going to have to suck it up. These kids were here. They were expecting fun. Their parents were expecting them to learn something. Ready or not, I was on!

Why Vacation Bible School is not for the weak...
  • Some crafts can take a high level of concentration. It's hard to make binoculars, ok?
  • Game time may or may not involve rubber balls bouncing off your person.
  • The visiting animals may become violent and spit or kick.
  • Food allergies are real, folks. (What is really in green Jello?)
  • Story time with young children is a battle of wills.
  • Songs have enough actions to qualify as a Zumba workout.
I came home every day this week and practically beat my kids to nap time. I was exhausted!

What I Learned from Vacation Bible School

Of course, when I participate in something that God wants me to do, I learn something from Him. This experience was no different.

I woke up Wednesday morning feeling tired and not all that excited to begin day 3. God quickly put me in my place!

I was reading in my First 5 devotional for the morning (from Proverbs31), and the verse jumped out at me. It was taken from the passage of Jesus washing the disciples' feet. Quite an unpleasant job, yet here was Jesus, the Son of God, doing it anyway out of love. The verse was, "I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you" (John 13:15).  This passage reminded me of another.
"For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others" (Matthew 20:28).

Yep, I was humbled. I didn't think I was above helping with VBS; I just had a stinky attitude about doing it. But, as Philippians 2:5 reminds us, "You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had." So, I knew what God was calling me to do. He wanted to me serve the kids in my group out of love and with an attitude worthy of a Christ-follower. Even if some of the kids in my group were difficult, it didn't matter. Because, by the way, Jesus even washed Judas's feet. The man that He knew was about to betray Him.

I can say that I am blessed to have served so many kids at VBS! One of the kids in my group even prayed the prayer of salvation! It was a great, busy week.

At the end of the day today, I found myself wondering, 'how did Jesus do so much ministry? Wasn't He exhausted? Wasn't He worn out mentally, physically, and emotionally?' I knew I was!

God again gently reminded me of something that I had been missing this week. In Luke chapter 5, we learn that "Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer" (verse 16).

Jesus often needed to be alone to pray. He knew that communion with God was the key to refreshment and renewing.

Why is it that when we are busy, the first thing to go is our quiet time with the Lord? Busyness and stress should prompt us to burrow deeper into God, to spend more time with Him to be refreshed and ready to face the stress or the demands of our busy schedule.

So, while my kids learned some great Bible verses and completed some cool crafts, this lady learned some things at VBS too. Isn't it amazing how God works on each one of us exactly where we are at? While kids learned the basics about God's love and Jesus's work on the cross, this mama learned a thing or too as well.

Linking up this week at: #soulsurvival,  #intentionalTuesday, #RaRaLinkup, #threewordWednesday, #livefreeThursday, #belovedbrews, #dancewithJesus, #fellowshipFriday, #graceandtruth, #coffeeforyourheart, #TellHisStory


  1. Hi Kristen,
    VBS is super exhausting and so worth it! I had to giggle as I read your line about almost beating your children to nap time! Ha! so true! Our Church hosts VBS in the evenings which is trending in the Phoenix area now because the heat of the day can be too intense to get outside with the children for fun games. With the sun out of the way we can play water games, relays and all kinds of stuff. However, we don't walk in our doors until nearly 9:00 and we are all wiped out!!
    Thanks for blessing me today! I'm so glad I stopped by from the #RaRa linkup!
    Blessings and smiles,

  2. So great that you served in VBS! It is overwhelming and exhausting and the crafts, yup! My son aged out this year and we'll miss the fun that was had. Thanks for sharing! #raralinkup

  3. This made me smile and you are SO right! I've been in children's ministry for 9 years and VBS volunteers are AMAZING!!!

    1. Childrens ministry workers are awesome and so important!

  4. I can so attest to this, too! I helped with 35 four year olds at our VBS this summer. Though I have three small children, serving in this way isn't my first choice, not where I would say my gifting shines. But sometimes it's not about our preference or our pleasure, it's about being obedient to what God asks us to do. And surely He is pleased when we do! Way to persevere and keep a tender heart toward the lessons God was teaching you in the process.

    Glad to be visiting you today from #TellHisStory.

    1. Becky, I'm in the same boat as you! Thanks for that encouragement!

  5. Kristen, I love how God manages to teach us wherever we, however we're serving, and whatever season of life we're in. Thanks for sharing some of that with us. I'm glad you linked up at #ThreeWordWednesday.