One of the hardest questions I think that a church activity has to answer is are we trying to be too much fun. The question that I believe we are trying to answer, though, is scary in its bluntness:
“Why should someone want to come to my church activity?”
Our answer to this question will say a lot about our ministry, what we think of God and the message that we have to give. What I find interesting is that traditionally the feature that “sold” Christianity was salvation from sin. Sure, there’s the promise of Heaven, and the chance to escape Hell, but when a preacher came on the scene and proclaimed the Word, people came forward, lives were changed, and a world was impacted.
Now, we have to hope that we can get a famous person to come. Or we have to stress about what activities we have planned. We’re concerned about if children think that we’re fun, and we’re moving as quickly as we can out of the lesson and to the times that we think the kids enjoy more: refreshments, crafts, game time, and openings/closings. Does something seem amiss here?
Tuesday, Michelle Potter, commented that a community that she was involved with held an all day VBS. The more I think about this, the more interested I become. If you start to think about parents sending kids with enrollment forms (relieves the pressure of wondering whether the kids will come back), different classes you could have, more exposure, and leveraging the Christians in the community you think– whew– that’s a lot of work.
But after you get over that, you begin to wonder why we don’t do this more. Partner churches together. Maybe make it more than one week. Esp if you have a church school.
Or are we just not really all that serious about reaching the lost as we say we are?
2 thoughts on “Are We Too Much Fun?”
Interesting questions. I certainly think there is no reason why we can’t both teach the word AND have fun in the process. I don’t think they have to be mutually exclusive. Even tasks such as crafts if handled properly can tell some story in the bible or express some characteristic of Christ.
Yet at the same time if we’re trying to move kids from the “not so fun” programs to the “fun programs”, thats going to be communicated to the kids. Kids pick up on stuff like that pretty easily. If they pick up that they’re now not in the “exciting” part of the day they won’t pay attention. If they’re missing an alter call because they weren’t listening certainly thats probably not a good thing. At the same time most people don’t suddenly make a decision for Christ. All the other activities ultimately should be shaping them in a fashion to make that decision. When its all said and done though, it is the Holy Ghost that calls people to Him. While we can be obedient to set the setting, we can’t make people give their lives up to Christ. Its good to have a healthy balance between striving for excellence and realizing its all in God hands.
In regards to the all-day VPS, it sounds good to me :-). I think there are certain advantages and disadvantages of each. E.G. Now days both parents tend to work. If you hold it all day in the day its likely that the un-saved parent is just going to take the child to their normal childcare. If you hold it in the evening its more likely the parents will want a “night off” and drop of the kids. Then again, this is assuming the VPS is just for the kids. Personally I would think that VPS designed for both kids and parents would be a lot more effective since if one parent gets saved its much more likely the whole family will become saved (the cumulative effect being much stronger if its the male).
You’re right that it can be done together– we just shouldn’t be in the business of “trying to make God fun”. It’s not the point.
The VBS I’m currently associated with has a class for parents as well. I think that this is a good thing.
The question about the all day VBS is whether or not parents would send their children to a free “day camp” for a week, or keep paying the babysitter/daycare. I think that will differ on the individual. I think that “free” is a two edged sword, but could be a good sized draw depending on the area.
If you can get the child saved, and can get a foot in the door, you have a “warm” way to reach the parent. I understand the statistics as far as reaching each family member, but reaching the child as a way in is a valid strategy to winning the family.