We did VBS for 5 years in a row and stopped doing them for the past 12 years because we weren’t accomplishing what we set out to accomplish with them. Last year we started to do them again here is why we started again and why you should do VBS as well.
- We live in a very pluralistic society that doesn’t value church but values traditions. There are many parents who have young kids who either don’t go to church or infrequently attend church but have great memories of VBS. They want their kids to have those some memories and will put their kids in VBS before taking them on the weekend.
- Having 15 hours in the VBS week to speak new truth or reinforce what is being taught at home is invaluable. The new regular attendees standard is now 12 to 24 Sundays a year. VBS gives you a nice chunk of time to drill down into core truth that kids need in the world we now live in.
- Partnering with parents starts with equipping parents. Doing VBS with this in mind makes VBS more valuable than a simple stand alone program.
Rethink the needs of your church – What do the families in your particular context need?
- When are they dialed in? Do they need a resource or a program? Here are a few we have identified.
Baby born – resource
Baby dedicated – program
Talking to your kids about sex – resource
Baptism – resource
- Don’t reinvent the wheel but make the wheel fits your car. – A few things out there to check out, Group’s milestones, Orange’s parent resources, and D6.
- Make sure the steps are practical. – Parents need simple and step by step.
- Make sure you help parents see that their story for their family is part of a much bigger story.
- Make sure that in everything you do Jesus is clearly seen. We have to partner with Christ before we can partner with parents.
One of the things we have to do in family ministry is do a better job of defining to parents what we mean by being the spiritual leaders of your home. I have heard many messages and have had many conversations around the concept of parents being the primary spiritual leaders. I totally agree and think these conversations need to continue. The question I have asked myself and other family ministry leaders is what do the practical out working of partnership with parents look like. We really get the problem and the need but the solution isn’t one size fits all.
Whether you’re a parent or a leader, you’re making history. The question is, what kind of history are you making with the kids and teenagers who are closest to you? Playing for Keeps is a book about six things every kid needs over time from the parents and leaders who are closest to them.
The people over at Orange are launching the book with a short, fun webcast at 12:30 EASTERN TIME TODAY, SEPTEMBER 18. Don’t miss Reggie and others as they introduce these ideas and tell why they think they’re so important. To view the webcast, go to www.OrangeTour.org
Over the past 10 years that has been a gathering storm of energy behind the idea of family ministry. Reggie Joiner was first and has put powerful imagery behind the idea of ministry to families in the context of the local church and beyond. Reggie helped paint a picture for so many of us through the imagery of Orange. The combination of the influence of family “Red” with the light of the church “Yellow” creating “Orange“.
Orange is more than a curriculum Orange is an idea that needs to take root in our churches. Does every church need to use Orange curriculum? No. (It is great we used it for years) Every church needs however to have a comprehensive practical out working of the idea that getting kids to church is not enough.
Over the course of the past few decades there has been an unhealthy co-dependent relationship that has been created between youth pastors/kids pastors and parents. Kids and Youth pastors ask parents to bring their kids to church so we can “straighten them out” “fix them” “Bring your kids to us we are the professionals”. Parents gladly comply because they want their kids to love Jesus and they either don’t know where to start or they don’t mind having one less thing to do.
Do kids need church? Yes. Will church “save kids“? No. The role of a pastor is not the salvation of children but the equipping of saints to do the work of the ministry. The role of the pastor is to preach to teach in such a way the wonder of the gospel flourishes in our churches. The desire to know God and be satisfied in Him alone becomes a reality.
The most damaging thing we can do in the postmodern culture we find ourselves in, is to build programs and create our own kingdom that both point to God’s kingdom. In doing this we make our churches primarily about us. We CAN NOT AFFORD TO DO THIS. We MUST make our ministries to build the Church through the accurate preaching of gospel. Our kids need pastors who make Jesus beautiful and who equip their parents to be the priests of their own home. Our preaching should drive them to the feet of Jesus and into the community that God has placed them in.
I strongly believe in the idea that what happens at home is more important than what happens at church. We must dig deep and not just agree in principle but seek God talk to our leaders to find out what this looks like in the congregation God has placed you. There is no set formula but there must come a passionate desire that drives us to do more than agree it’s important but to do what we must to make sure that our churches are not co-dependent.