Few church programs are as ubiquitous as VBS. Churches across all denominations prepare for the summer influx of kids. It’s fun. You actually get to dance in the sanctuary! It’s also fruitful. Kids are saturated with the gospel for a week. “I was saved at VBS” is a common testimony I hear among adults.
If you’re a lead pastor, it’s tempting to take off that week because you’re not really needed to lead VBS. Many churches have longstanding volunteers and leaders who basically run with VBS every year. But the week of VBS is not the time to take a vacation. When your congregation is all-hands-on-deck, then you need to be there. The lead pastor should be an active and visible part of VBS. Here’s why.
- You get to see volunteers in action you might not otherwise see. Most lead pastors don’t interact much with children’s ministry volunteers. They are working while you are preaching. They run programs while you lead prayer meetings or Bible studies. VBS is a great opportunity to see some of your most important volunteers in action.
- You get to see children you might not otherwise see. As a lead pastor, I’m rarely with my own kids in their church classrooms, much less other children. At VBS I get to hang out with children in my congregation I don’t know well. The kids in your church are just as much under your shepherding as the adults. It’s easy to forget that.
- You get to see a perspective you might not otherwise see. My authority level during VBS week is that of a volunteer. I serve under our children’s minister. It’s healthy for lead pastors to relinquish their typical authority and see the perspective of a volunteer. You’ll likely learn people in your congregation are more capable than you realize.
- You get to see a multi-generational effort work beautifully. Few ministries draw together all generations like VBS. We had four—if not five—generations serving together this year. It’s one of the most beautiful scenes in ministry.
- You get to share Jesus with kids! I saved the best reason for last. Lead pastors should model evangelism in their churches. VBS is your opportunity to share Christ with the youngest generation.
I love VBS. Our children this year raised money for a mission partner—enough to fund the entire education of two children from another country. God saved our own as well. We had several children profess faith in Christ. And I got slimed with buckets of pudding . . . for the kids, of course.