Column: VBS spreading the gospel in Chilton County
Published 1:29 pm Monday, July 3, 2023
By Jason Green | Pastor Mineral Springs Baptist Church
I spent last week working Vacation Bible School at the church I pastor. It was a wonderfully organized, beautifully decorated, and excellently executed event. That’s not because of me, mind you. Our children’s director and her team did a fantastic job.
I started thinking about the history of Bible school. The program has been around longer than anyone reading this. There have been millions of children from around the world who have come to salvation through Christ because of the faithfulness to continue on with this traditional program. Bible school doesn’t look like it used to, though. At one time you had a few posters on a wall, a VBC booklet that told you what to sing and when to sing it and a series of played notes on a piano to help you know when to stand up and sit down. Snack time consisted of cookies and fruit drinks and rec time was kickball or wiffle ball.
Now it is so much more. Classes rotate, full meals are served (a real blessing), and VBS more often than not takes place at night in many places now. The music is exhilarating with motions to match the words. Decorations are colorful, if not overwhelming. It is an event that requires a year to plan. But at the core of it remains our only hope – the Gospel. The appearance of VBS has changed over the years, but bless God the heart of it hasn’t.
Paul told the Thessalonian church in his letters to them to do something very important. He told them to stand firm in what they had been instructed. In other words, stand on Biblical truth. Don’t deviate from what God has said. The truth never changes. But this same Paul also said in scripture that he was willing to become all things to all people that he might reach them with the Gospel.
Here’s the simple truth all churches must understand. The Gospel must not change. Our emphasis on sharing the Gospel must not change. However, in a rapidly changing world, we must be forward thinking and strategically thinking enough to recognize and implement ways of sharing it and standing for it in a rapidly changing world.
There’s an old saying – “if you win them with hotdogs, you’ll have to keep them with hotdogs.” That’s not necessarily the case. The truth is we must show the world that we are passionate about spreading the Gospel because it matters enough to us to do it. And that same world must see us committed enough to using the Gospel to reach them where they are as they are. The idea is that once someone meets Jesus, the hotdogs no longer meet the hunger, only He does.
Keep trying new things, please. That’s what society demands. Keep being innovative and forward thinking when sharing the Gospel. But let’s all be certain we are doing just that – not allowing the show to take control, but simply sharing Jesus in fun, new ways. The Kingdom of God is built on such things.