Revitalizing VBS from a Glorified Daycare to a Glorious Opportunity
Vacation Bible School has been a valuable tool for Sunday School teachers and congregations for many years. However, in recent years it seems as if attending a Bible School during the summer is losing its appeal. This doesn’t necessarily mean fewer numbers though. Parents still find these types of programs invaluable as they look for something to keep their children busy during the long summer months. Some even use these programs as a free daycare service. But does this mean that kids are in VBS for the wrong reasons and won’t get anything out of it? Some pastors whom I have interviewed expressed the need to rethink the way they do VBS. The need for revitalization is evident. But are there variations of the traditional VBS that retain the true essence behind a Bible school program while still attracting families? In this paper, I will explain how the purpose of Vacation Bible School has changed during its lifetime. I will also take a look at what is needed for a congregation to design a program that fits their needs and works well in their setting. Finally, I will explore variations on the traditional VBS program and evaluate how they meet the needs of the congregations that use them.