It's Time for VBS!

I’m dreaming of the morning of July 27, finally, VBS at Bay Harbour church! Children laughing, VBS songs playing, stage all lit up, adults greeting each other, everyone waiting for the week to begin. VBS is finally happening.  After 2 long years, we are about to host VBS in person again.

Over the past few weeks, the preparations for VBS have begun as excitement continues to build. Perhaps this year more than ever. Set design, supply lists, volunteer training…. all our normal preparations have an extra energy and zip to them this year! We will never again take for granted the VBS experience, all centered around our mission of introducing children to God’s amazing love for the first time or the twentieth time. VBS has a way of reaching children that no other program has. We have a chance to minister to children who may never have come to church or who do not come on a regular basis. It seems to resonate with the community and appeal to even the unchurched population, so the responsibility weighs on us to provide the best week ever, impacting young hearts and planting seeds for their future spiritual growth. I’m filled with such joy, knowing that we are about to pull back the curtain on a fantastic week of helping children grow close to God.

After a year of isolation and online learning, we will finally have the chance to connect with children in person again. Whether outside or inside, with or without masks, ministry seems more effective when being able to sit face to face with a child and hear their stories, their challenges, and their laughter. They can feel the care and connection when we can look right into their eyes and truly listen to their concerns. Seeing the silliness of the VBS leaders, hearing the shouts and cheers of the students, watching the science experiments up close, making the crafts with friends, and munching on the yummy snacks are all the experiences we look forward to again as we eagerly anticipate VBS. It will be a blessing to share in this time together this year.

While the connection and interaction this year will be amazing, the ability to truly minister to these children will be enhanced. Our Bible Story station always has a huge impact on the children, as the teenage actors bring the story to life through their skits and drama. VBS leaders add meaning and interpretation to the story as they discuss what they discovered with the kids. And, through the assemblies and large group gatherings, we worship God and recognize how we apply the Bible story to our lives. At Bay Harbour, we always seek to add a component of service to our VBS. By adding an outreach component, we teach kids how important it is to live out our faith through loving and serving others. This year, we plan on adding a different service project each day, helping children develop a passion for service:

  1. Decorating paper bag lunch sacks and then filling them with a water bottle, snack, fruit, and protein for our local Kids Meals program.
  2. Creating and decorating small friendship bracelets to add to the backpacks of our local back to school drive.
  3. Coloring cards for our local seniors to brighten their days.
  4. Wrapping up small toys for children in Colombia for our fall mission trips to deliver.

No matter what station a child loves the most, VBS introduces children to the gospel of Jesus Christ in a fun and captivating environment. Then, we seek to continue this connection during the school year through regular worship, outreach, and fellowship.

So, pull back the curtain! VBS is about to take place, and God is on the move. Together, across the country, VBS will bring a light to this world and connect young children together and to God. The VBS experience is set to bring hope, joy, and love to a generation that so desperately needs a deep, personal connection with Christ more than ever before.


Laurie Hembree

Bay Harbour United Methodist Church

Bay Harbour, TX