14 but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” 15 And he laid his hands on them and went away.
– Matthew 19:14-15
I remember the summer evening as plain as day. I just finished up 5th grade and we were at VBS, the theme was “Heroes of the Bible.” I had been asking many questions with my parents and had some tough conversations with my Sunday School teacher at the time. It came time to make a decision of faith and the heart strings pulled and the Spirit moved in my life, and that day I accepted Jesus as my Savior, forever.
I cannot sit here and tell you how long VBS has been or how long Coats Baptist Church has been putting one on. A few things that I can tell you about VBS is that one it is not just an entertainment service or production. This is a chance for us as a church to reveal God to those kids that attend, not just our kids that are in the church, but those that come in our doors as guests. Through videos, music, Bible lessons, and other different rotations that we provide the gospel is presented and God’s goodness is shown through those who volunteer. VBS is not a performance for us to put on and make it about what our church can do, but an opportunity to demonstrate the Christian life. This will be demonstrated through service, love, and discipleship. We are called to be role models to those kids that come through and the parents that might visit as well. Matthew 5:13-16 tells us to be the salt and light of the Earth, to be an example that others can see. Lastly, it is not mechanical, there is no big machine that keeps running to “keep the show going” or a way for us to just go through the motions day to day. But VBS gives us an opportunity to create relationships with those that attend, and even those that volunteer alongside us. It is important for us to have fellowship with other Christians, but also using this time to encourage kids to create those Christian relationships with one another, and to help them grow in their faith or even share the Gospel with them for the first time and they accept Jesus.
As the church we have an opportunity to love those that come through our doors and share the gospel with them. VBS is not just a chance to have another opportunity to serve our children in the church, but to grow relationships with them and see their faith grow in the process. This is also a chance for us to get involved in the community, to invite them and develop relationships with them. So I challenge you Coats Baptist to get involved this year with VBS here. Whether you are inviting those in your community, volunteering to serve, or bringing your child/children to VBS. I have said this once and I will continue to say this, I have had the joy and privilege of working with our Children’s ministry for awhile now, and let me tell you, our kids here at Coats Baptist are hungry and eager to hear more about the word, to hear more about Jesus, and share His goodness with others. They are such an encouragement to be around and see, this is the child-like faith we are called to have and I am excited to see how the Lord will move during VBS this year!