Every summer at Northstar we look forward to a week of fun, learning and growing in our understanding of God’s Word at a thing called Kids’ Camp. Kids’ camp is what many may know as Vacation Bible School or VBS. As the children’s ministry director, I have to be real honest with you, it’s a week that I LOVE but it’s also a very exhausting week. I know this is not true just for myself, but for every member of our staff and every volunteer who serves. It’s also very expensive and time consuming.
I was asking myself this question earlier in the year and I came upon a book called It’s Worth Itby Landry Holmes. In this book it talks about all the reasons that it’s worth it for churches to continue to invest in Kids’ Camp or VBS each year. Here’s what I’ve come up with based on reading the book and my own thoughts.
1. You will love your neighbor as yourself. (Mark 12:31)
We are commanded by Jesus to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. If we love our neighbors, we want them to know Jesus. Someone at some point in our lives reached out to us to tell us about Jesus and we are commanded to do the same for others. Kids’ camp is an amazing opportunity for us to reach out to our community and love them by offering a week of learning truth and fun. But, in order for us to love our neighbors in this way we have to talk to them. We have to personally invite them to kids’ camp. Personal invites don’t include posting something on Facebook. Personal invites include calling or talking face to face with someone and letting them know they are wanted there. Personal invites make people feel truly invited. If the church is not personally inviting kids, one of the biggest purposes of kids’ camp is not being accomplished. This is one time of the year that kids who may not know Jesus at all can come and hear about Him and all that He has done in a fun, safe environment.
2. Train up a child in the way he should go. (Proverbs 22:6)
Kids’ camp is an opportunity for kids who regularly attend church to come each night for a time of concentrated learning (in a fun way!) which hopefully will grow kids in their faith journey. The Bible comes alive as kids hear stories from live actors with props. The games, crafts, small group time and even snacks reinforce the Bible story and application to the kids’ lives. Kids come home singing the songs that repeat truth in their minds. Kids look forward to kids camp each year!
3. The Body of Christ
One of my favorite things about kids’ camp is seeing all the different people who are willing to come together to serve and make kids’ camp special for each child there. There is no other time in the year when the church comes together for one purpose for an extended period of time. From youth to the Grand Connect, people are stepping in and helping out however they can. It is such a beautiful picture of the body of Christ to not only see people serving but to see people doing it joyfully.
4. It’s Worth It
If one child comes to kids’ camp that does not know what Jesus has done for him and he hears the good news, it’s worth it. If one child who faithfully attends church learns a new truth about Jesus and how much He loves her it’s worth it. If one member realizes that she has a gift she didn’t know she had or enjoys fellowship with other members in a genuine way working towards a common purpose, it’s worth it. So, with joy and anticipation for kids’ camp in just a short week I say – it’s worth it!