taking kids on
evangelistic thrill ride this summer
Amanda Crane and Sydney Bonner
Local churches are taking children on the ultimate evangelistic ride this summer.
Vacation Bible School (VBS) is a week-long event for elementary and middle school aged children to connect with God’s word in a creative setting. Each year, organizers and volunteers decorate church sanctuaries and various other rooms to reflect the theme of stories to be told.
Cypress Baptist Church in Benton attracted more than 400 children and 100 adult volunteers to their amusement park themed event last week. Colossal Coaster World, a product of LifeWay Christian Store, challenges children to “face their fears and trust God as they zip along the roller coaster of life.”
Based on the scripture 2 Timothy 1:7, Cypress Baptist’s VBS had excitement around every curve as children discovered that God has given them a spirit of power, love, and sound judgment.
Stacy Loe, children’s minister, said the goal is to create a fun and exciting evangelistic event that will ultimately lead down the road to Christianity.
“Statistics show that children are much more receptive of the gospel than adults. Not because of manipulation, but they just seem to be a lot more open to the thought of salvation, spirit and the love of Christ,” Loe said. “We want to share that with them as early as possible.”
By the third day, Loe said children are introduced to the ABCs of becoming a Christian – to Admit, Believe and Confess. Older VBS participants are also pulled aside for a special group presentation about what it means to be a Christian.
The main goal of VBS, Loe said, is to share the word of God and give the students an opportunity to respond.
“It’s a program where we see the most response to the gospel,” Loe said. “It may be the week that some of our regular attendees give their life to Christ or it may be a time that we introduce the gospel to a child who has never experienced it before. It’s something we build up to and where it all just seems to come together.”
Not only is VBS a local ministry, but it serves as the gateway for children to become involved in global mission work. This year, Cypress Baptist Church collected money to rebuilding a playground at an orphanage in Panama in a friendly boys versus girls match up.
The money will be used to build things like picnic tables, benches and new playground equipment.
“These are kids helping kids,” Loe said. “We want the kids to get excited about sharing the word of God and making a difference in the world.”
Cypress Baptist’s week-long event kicked off the start of VBS programs around Bossier Parish. Next week, Asbury United Methodist Church will venture into the royal realm of Kingdom Rock, the place where kids learn to stand strong for God.
Asbury UMC will host children aged preschool through fifth grade June 24 through June 28. Julie Weilmuenster, Children’s Director, said the event is open to any child who is interested in participating.
“The underlying message is to stand strong for God and with his love, family, prayer, the Bible children will learn how to stand strong together.”
VBS is a free service Asbury UMC provides to area children. Weilmuenster said there will be minor changes to their program this year.
“We’ve always done rotational activities, but this year is different with more hands-on learning activities such as Bible tournaments, imagination station and many more opportunities,” she said. “Every day has something different for students to learn–a different message.”
St. Jude Catholic Church is inviting local youth on a journey to Athens as they study the story of Paul, who travelled the Mediterranean just to tell people about God.
“Imagine leaving a life of privilege and power to face angry mobs, painful imprisonment, and chain-breaking earthquakes—all to spread the life-changing truth of God’s love,” their website states.
Blake Royall, Coordinator of Youth Ministry, said that St. Jude hopes to give children a unique experience with the founder father’s history of the church, which he said separates their event apart from others in the community.
“We aim to help children further understand their relationship with God and give him the respect and worship he deserves….while having fun at the same time.”
St. Jude Catholic Church will hold their Vacation Bible School June 24 through 28 from 5:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. Registration is $20 and the deadline to sign up is June 24.
For more information on St. Jude’s VBS, call 746-2508 or visit http://stjudebossier.org/
Asbury United Methodist Church VBS is scheduled for June 24 through June 28. Dinner will be at 5:15 followed by VBS activities from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. Children ages preschool through fifth grade are welcome to attend.
For more information, call 746-5349 or visit www.asburybossier.org/