The Wall Street Journal ran an editorial on Vacation Bible School and had some interesting things to say:
Vacation Bible School, or VBS, differs by denomination, but churches that offer it share a common goal: to expose children to the Gospel, and maybe, just maybe, recruit their families into the church. For Southern Baptists, the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S., VBS is the most effective tool of evangelism, the impetus for 26% of baptisms in 2006. Nearly three million children and adults attended VBS at Southern Baptist churches last year, resulting in 94,980 “decisions to receive Christ as Savior” and 280,693 “Sunday School prospects discovered,” according to Southern Baptist Convention statisticians. “Vacation Bible School is today’s revival,” said Jerry Wooley, the VBS specialist for LifeWay, the SBC’s publishing agency.
My first thought here is “Wow.” Having argued against doing VBS because of my belief that it has lost its way, I’m staggered at the statistics. Some churches have VBS as their biggest outreach budget item. Some are seeing children and parents start attending their church because of VBS.
However, they also say that people are aware of what they are getting into– mainly, that the Gospel will be shared. When comparing VBS with other summer activities, they know that they will be told that they need to make a decision for Christ, which I believe is a good thing. It needs to be transparent.
So, what about your VBS? If you ran one, how was your turn out? Did you get any decisions for Christ? Any new people coming to your church?