We offered VBS at our church last week for kids and families in our church and in our community. Our team did an amazing job serving kids so well, teaching them about Jesus, and giving them an incredibly fun time. Trisha Graves, who built VBS at our church years ago, is a hero as her legacy is on display every year. Jen Epperson and her team a crazy good job stewarding the opportunity and I loved every minute I was part of it. Seeing VBS in action reminded me of at least four truths about kids and kids ministry:
1. Kids can learn more than we often realize.
Lots of volunteers commented on how much the kids were learning, how much they were remembering from day to day, and how much was sinking in even when it looked like not all the kids were paying attention. I taught in our Bible station one day and kids in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade made the connection rather quickly between lambs at the Passover and Jesus being the Lamb of God. Kids can learn much more than “you need to be a nice person,” and they need to learn much more than that! It is likely that kids have always been able to learn more than we realize, but that is especially true today as they are learning challenging concepts in school at younger and younger ages.
2. Kids really do value relationships with adults.
I have TONS of respect for those who work with kids and teenagers. I know one reason that some are hesitant to serve in those ministries at a church is that they think the kids or teenagers don’t want them, are embarrassed by them, or don’t think they are cool. But it does not matter if you are cool. Kids often don’t need more friends; they need more leaders, mentors, and examples.
3. People who enjoy kids ministry are typically amazing and fun people.
Confession: This is my wife’s observation. We talked about what we were reminded about after serving at VBS together and she said, “I love the people in our room. They are amazing. They are fun. Kids ministry just attracts the most fun people.” Kids ministry is fun. We do fun things. We laugh. We dance. We sing loudly. We do funny skits and play games. Yes, all of that is done with intention and is connected to a main point for the day, but it is still fun. People who don’t like fun don’t really enjoy kids ministry.
4. Lives and eternity are impacted.
Volunteering in our room was a junior high student who became a Christian several years ago as an elementary kid at VBS. That is not atypical. The number of lives transformed through a healthy kids ministry is staggering. Not only are kids served but also entire families are impacted.
Thankful once again for all those who serve kids in our churches! And in the church I am honored to serve.