VBS is finally here! We are having an amazing week at Austin Baptist Church, as we have welcomed nearly 500 children and leaders for our annual Vacation Bible School. I’m so thankful for our church’s steadfast commitment to VBS, because I believe this week has the power to transform a young child’s life, and the future.
I think back to my time in Houston at Second Baptist Church, and I remember my former Pastor, Dr. Ed Young, would often share about his childhood experience at VBS. He would recall how a friend invited him as a 7-year-old boy to attend a VBS at a small-town church in Mississippi. Ed agreed to attend due to the advertised crafts and fun, but little did he know that he would end up making the most important decision of his life that week. He surrendered his life to Jesus Christ and was baptized at that small church, and it is incredible to now consider what God has done through him since that day. Dr. Young has impacted millions of lives around the globe with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But we must not forget that those 60+ years of fruitful ministry were only possible because a few nameless leaders at a small-town church chose to invest in his life.
Because of this, I always approach VBS weeks praying for God to raise up a few more Ed Youngs from our midst. You just never know what could possibly come from a week of ministry like VBS. The reality is Children’s Ministry is a long-term investment, and we will not see the full return while we are on this earth. But I do believe investing in a child’s life is the best kingdom investment you can make because God uses our efforts to help impact an entire generation that is yet to come. So, I don’t just pray for the salvation of the kids who walk through our doors. I also pray for God to call some of them to be world changers for Him. I pray that God will capture their hearts, and then use them to capture the hearts of others for Christ in their own generation. The theme verse this week is Ephesians 2:10: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” God has mapped out good works for each of these young children to walk in, just as He has mapped out good works for me and you to walk in today.
I’m thankful for the good work that our church does week in and week out for the next generation. The truth is many churches have scaled back their efforts in children’s and youth ministries these days. Some don’t offer on-campus Bible studies, special events and outreaches, or provide staff who are devoted to children and youth. But I’m proud that ABC has always looked for ways to improve and expand our impact on the next generation. It has been a banner summer for our ABC Kids and Student Ministries. They have offered Pre-Teen Camp, Beach Camp, Creative Arts Camp, Pre-school Camp, and now VBS. In addition to this, we have continued to invest in kids’ lives through our weekly BFG classes, and we even launched a brand-new Preschool worship service this summer called, “Uplift.” Here in a few weeks, our kids will be back in school and we’ll start back up our Wednesday night discipleship classes called, “Kids Encounter” and “Axis.” I hope your children and grandchildren have gotten to experience it all, but if not, I encourage you to get them plugged in this week. I believe they will discover what I already know to be true: ABC loves kids!
I look forward to reporting more this Sunday as we worship together. Be praying for our decision service this Thursday, and come prepared to give glory to God for all He has done and all that He will continue to do.
Onward and upward,