VBS is finally here at Austin Baptist Church! We are just days away from the official kick-off, and our ABC Kids team is doing a great job getting things ready for the hundreds of children who will walk through our doors. Decorations are going up, leaders are being trained, and rooms are getting set for an incredible week of ministry. Enrollment has already exceeded last year’s numbers, and we’re looking forward to adding even more kids into the mix in these final days before the event.
Why does VBS matter so much to our church family? This is an appropriate question to ask considering the vast amount of time, money, staff, and volunteers that are committed to this event each year. VBS is one of those “all hands on deck” events at ABC, so why do we feel it is important to put so much effort into it? For starters, it is because children are a blessing from the Lord. Psalm 127:3 tells us, “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.” We believe every life is a precious gift from God, so we rejoice when God brings His children through our church doors. Children must never be viewed as a burden for a church because they are a gift given to the church for us to steward well.
Secondly, children are a mission field. Psalm 145:4 says, “One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.” The church should carry a burden to share the good news of Jesus Christ with the next generation. The Great Commission calls us to go and make disciples of all ages, but research shows us that children and youth should be a central focus of that mission. NAMB reports that 77% of Christians in America were saved before the age of 18. Further, nearly 95% of Christians in our country came to know Jesus as Lord by the age of 30. This means it would be wise and fruitful for any church to place a strong emphasis on reaching children, youth, and young parents. We are biblically called to pass on the baton of faith to the next generation, and VBS is just one of those great opportunities for us to do so.
Third, children are vital members of the church. As our children and youth come to know Jesus, it’s important for us to remember that they are not the future of the church. They are the church right NOW. 1 Corinthians 12:14 says, “For the body does not consist of one member but of many.” If a child or teenager has accepted Christ, that means they are filled with the same Holy Spirit who lives in me and who lives in you. This means they also have spiritual gifts and callings given by God, and for God (Cf. Ephesians 2:10). And this also means they are vital parts of our church membership, so we must disciple them and empower them into Christian service. This is why we do an ABC student weekend, Beach Camp, Bible studies, mission trips, and service projects. This is why we do events like ABC Serves and White Christmas, where even young children can serve with their parents. This coming week, teenagers will be serving our kids at VBS, and many of them do that every week at Elevate. We will continue to seek ways to empower and train the next generation because they are called to help us build up this house (cf. 1 Peter 2:4-5).
Please join me in praying for a great week at VBS. Pray for our ABC Kids staff and volunteers. Pray for our teachers as well as those who will be serving in positions behind the scenes. Most of all, pray for our children. Pray that many will come to know Jesus Christ as Lord for the first time, and pray that many others will come to better understand Jesus and His love for them. Pray that parents will come to know Christ and find their place in the church, as a result of their own children doing so first. Also, take time to consider any neighbors, friends, or colleagues with kids in their homes, and I encourage you to invite them to VBS. It isn’t too late to sign up, and registration is still open at www.austinbaptistchurch.com. One simple invitation always has the power to potentially change a life. Have a great week, and I look forward to worshipping with you this Sunday.
Onward and upward,