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VBS Outreach

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Allison Kelly

on 12 November 2015

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Transcript of VBS Outreach

From Beer to Bibles
the start of VBS
soon other churches caught on with retreats

not just for children but the entire family

So what is VBS like at SAPC?
One of God's Own
chosen, royal, and holy
Let's Do the Numbers
Who makes up VBS ?

VBS runs for 21.25 hours for a total five days M-F 8:45 am – Noon

130 kids (4 years – 5th grade) and nursery for volunteer children

82 volunteers (25 youth and 57 adults) with 24% of the youth being visitors and 15% adults being visitors

Chosen, Holy, and Beloved
VBS has become more and more complicated, especially as publishers develop thematic curriculum, but regardless of the curriculum or format or the outlandishness of the theme,
VBS can be the vehicle through which our faith is caught and taught those in our midst reminding them that they are chosen, holy, and belong to God who loves them. Our volunteers are our curriculum.

It happens when
kids experience the love
of God in a place where they are surrounded by grace overflowing from all directions and every age. It happens when
parents learn more about their faith by sharing it in an intentional way
, and it continues when
families continue
to be enveloped in the life of a church. They can't help but believe this God must be real.
VBS as Outreach
1 PETER 2:9-10
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”

Adults Remember VBS
happy and positive
first or only memory of church as a child
token keepsakes
Why good for outreach?
parents don't attach denominational
barriers - (can go anywhere)

see it as a safe entry because their child is not the only visitor

Began in the 1870s
Summer Sunday School Institutes for all ages in NY
In 1873, Bishop John H. Vincent proposed it to have educational and cultural components
A Sunday school teacher,
Mrs. D.T. Miles felt she was too limited in her time to teach the Bible to children, so she began a daily Bible school during the summer. This school lasted four weeks and enrolled forty students.
Vacation Bible school began to look more like what we know it to be when the Epiphany Baptist Church in New York City noticed large numbers of immigrant children in their neighborhood.
Mrs. Hawes needed a place to hold large numbers and found one.
Called, “Everyday Bible School” Mrs. Hawes rented out the only place she could find —a saloon—to run a Bible school for six weeks during the summer.

Singing, Bible stories, Scripture memorization, games, crafts, drawing, and cooking.

In just three years she directed seven different VBS ministries at seven separate school! From there it grew and spread across the country.
Dr. Robert Boville became aware of the Hawes’ summer program and recommended it to other Baptist churches.

He established a handful of summer schools which were taught by students at the Union Theological Seminary. During one summer, one thousand students were enrolled in five different schools. In 1923, he began to promote VBS internationally and founded the World Association of Vacation Bible Schools.
Standard Publishing in Cincinnati takes the credit for making it popular

• 1923 - full-scale VBS program
• 1948 - divided it by grade level
25 years later
• 1952 - a single-theme concept
1970 - potential exhausted ?

• 1987 (35 years later) offered more than 120 tools for churches wanting to run a VBS
• In 1998, the publisher reported that more than 5 million children attended VBS programs every year.

1997 = 81% Offered 2012 = 68%

1987 - 2012
one week or less

2-4 hours

lots of material over a short amount of time

mainly kids

one of many summer opportunities

Then and Now
intense four-six weeks long

all day

lots of material but over longer time

all ages

primary summer opportunity


For churched who attend other churches and children of volunteers

Two working parents needing trusted childcare

Less volunteers available because they are working with less free time

More user friendly canned materials (more expensive)


For unchurched kids in the community

One working parent

More volunteers available

Simple materials (less expensive)

VBS outreach opportunities during the week alternating each year between global and local outreach. Recipients the past seven years (2008-2015) included:

Honduras Agape

- Water Filtration System
Helping Hands
– underwear party!
Heifer Project International
– collected funds that helped to purchase an entire Ark of animals for developing countries
Greendale Elementary
- collected school supplies for each classroom
Living Waters for the World
– collected funds for water filtration systems for national and global sites
Children’s Place
– collected paper products for their pantry
Cumbee Center
– collected Books 350 children’s books and built a bookshelf for storage in the client center
Honduras Agape Foundation
- school supplies for Las Panales Kindergarten being built

Outreach Through VBS
2008 - 2015
• Graduating 5th graders collect or organize an outreach throughout the week and go off site on Wednesday afternoons to visit more in depth the outreach organization.

• The rising 6th graders also have the opportunity to hear about upcoming youth group ministries

• All VBS families are invited to a dinner provided by our fellowship team and closing program (approx. 250 people)

• Following VBS, we send an email to all families with worship times, Sunday school, and upcoming fellowship events
Membership sends out a letter of invitation to all families

VBS is still one of the best outreach ministries for our church

What churches do they come from?
Cedar Creek - 10 families
St. Johns - 2 families
Millbrook - 2 families
South Aiken Church of God
Long Branch Baptist Church
Grace Church Aiken
Oasis Church
First Baptist
True North
St. Augustine

Glimpses of how VBS works
Preschool and
VBS Rotation Model
Movement and Music
Play and Recreation
Bible Story
Opening and Closing
family groups
family groups
family groups
family groups
family groups
family groups
How do Adults
Remember VBS ?
Then and Now
Opportunity to:
encounter the Word
experience the Living Christ through engagement in methods that speak to them
connect stories to daily life
live out our calling as sent people in response to God's amazing love
Time for Questions
Full transcript