Back The Boomerang Express stops at BBC Station
July 28th, 2009
This past week (July 13-17), from 9:00 a.m. to noon every day, more than 1,100 kids from three years old to fifth grade filled the halls and 62 classrooms at Brentwood Baptist for Vacation Bible School.
Kids boarded the Boomerang Express and took a trip to the land down under as they made their way across Australia and learned that everything in life always come back to Jesus.
The Brentwood Baptist Children’s Ministry began preparing for what is one of their biggest yearly events in January. Amy Carter, BBC Children’s Minister, said, “We enlisted teachers early on, trained them, and offered evangelism training. We had over 400 volunteers made up of students and adults. People were well-prepared.”
This year, the VBS team focused a strong evangelism and outreach emphasis. At the end of the week, half of the registrants indicated they were not members of Brentwood Baptist.
“We wanted to invite people who were not churched,” Amy said. “We became aware of many families that just moved into the area were looking for a church. VBS was a good way to get them introduced to us and for their kids to meet other kids.”
Wednesday was the highest attended day with 1,618 present (including both kids and volunteers). It was also the day that the ABCs of salvation were presented in worship. This message was extended through Thursday as Pastor Mike talked to the kids about his salvation experience. At the end of the week, 27 kids had accepted Christ.
According to Amy, VBS has a long-range impact on the kids. She said, “Every year after VBS, we continue to work with children and the decisions they’ve made to follow Christ, whether it happens six months or a year after. It usually always points back to their time in VBS, which gets the ball rolling for many of them.”
Each day began and ended in a worship rally where kids learned special VBS worship songs that they practiced through the week.
Dora Pop, a worship leader at VBS, said, “For me, leading worship is my calling, so there isn’t anything more important than to have the opportunity to usher people into the presence of God. And to be able to do that for children meant more to me than anything else.”
In between worship times, the kids were assigned to classes where stayed with the same children every day and learned Bible stories, memorized Scripture, and worked on crafts.
Ryan Harmon, VBS volunteer leader who worked with fifth graders, was looking for a place to serve in the church. Never having worked with kids before, he knew volunteering at VBS would stretch him in more ways than one. He was even called out of his comfort zone and asked to teach one of the daily lessons.
“I went in thinking I wouldn’t make a huge difference, but there was one kid who came up to me and told me I was his favorite teacher,” he said. “At least I could be somebody he could look up to. It was good to have some male leaders there with them. If nobody got anything out of it, I did. God spoke to me by allowing me to teach them.”
It’s commonly known that children are impressionable at this time in their lives. Some experts say that there is a greater chance that a child will come to know and follow Christ in childhood than at any other time in life. After 18 years old, the people who accept Christ drops to 10 percent.
“It’s definitely a much bigger deal to children to attend VBS than some adults think,” Ryan said. “They observe more than we do. They’ll be influenced one way or another. If we’re not there to influence them, then somebody will.”
Throughout the week, the kids collected a missions offering totaling $3,120, which our Missions Ministry offered to match. Part of the funds will go to support two upcoming mission journeys to Hong Kong (next week) and South Africa (in September) where those on the trip will host weeklong Vacation Bible Schools in those areas.
On Friday evening, at the end of a full week, the Children’s Ministry hosted a Family Night to wrap up the week. “We probably had 1,000 people there. It was a huge celebration of the week, and, in that time, the gospel was shared with the parents,” Amy said. “Kids can always look back and remember their time at VBS. It has that kind of lifelong effect.”