Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Vacation "Bible" School
Did you know that Vacation Bible School doesn't require a bible? Did you know that you could be a VBS leader and teach the "bible" story and not even open up a bible? At no point during the curriculum for the week does it say "Open up your bible and read to the kids Mathew 2:2" (I just chose a random verse there so I am hoping I didn't pull a Tim Hawkins and post some crazy verse about loins. And if you don't know what I am talking about do yourself a favor and google tim hawkins "my favorite bible verse" it is hilarious). The program we purchased offers a nice packet for each leader and it has all the stories and verses you need. That makes it so much easier to pull your lesson together.
But here is the thing. At what point do the kids get the message that the Bible matters? It is Vacation BIBLE School after all. Are we teaching that the bible is the divinely inspired word of God? Or are we teaching them stories. I do believe that the kids need to hear the message in as many was as possible. I believe they can be taught through song, through drama, through play, and even through snack (who doesn't love a good snack lesson) but at some point they need to see that all this comes from the word of God not some pull out lesson sheet from Group Publishing.
I think this is a big thing for me because this has always been the hardest part for me to grasp. The idea that these words where not Paul's words, Mark's words, or John's words but God's words spoken through Paul, Mark, and John. I mean WOW a message for all time straight from God. How amazing is that?
Many churches are actually moving away from this idea. When I google divinely inspired to check my spelling (Thank you God for google and spell check) I ran across a wikipedia article that talks about how the "modern" Christianity has moved away for the idea and believe that the Bible while a sacred text is not the divinely inspired word of God. This is not the message I want to sent to these children that have been entrusted to us for instruction.
Don't get me wrong here. I LOVE a preplanned prewritten lesson. I am a BIG fan of the verses put up on the screen during the service. I like studies like the ones Beth Moore and Priscilla Shirer write that help us to put our Faith into action in everyday life. But there comes a point in each study, in each VBS program, and in each Christians walk when you need to crack open the Bible and see what God Himself has to say.
I hoping that this year anyway we can work on this. I have a meeting with my Pastor this morning. He is doing the "bible" story for the snack area for VBS. We are working on a plan to simplify the snack and use that time to actually pull out the Bible and let him teach the story they are spotlighting for the day. I think this would be a great option. Then we will have it taught in song, games, drama, and from the Bible itself. I feel pretty good about this and as director I am hoping I can set a precedent for future years.