We had a great week of VBS full of God encounters and making disciples.
When we talk about making disciple of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, there are four things we do that we know produce authentic disciples. Those are Worship, Intentionally Develop Faith in Small Groups, Serve Others, and Make New Disciples. All of those things happened through VBS this year.
Serve Others. Fifteen adults, including Hattie, served the children of our community this year and showed the love that marks our faith with those kids. Patricia was so caring, she even had a little boy ask about her marital status! Service is never just a one-way street, though. Older kids helped younger kids cross the street and partnered up with them for activities.
Small Groups. Small groups are all about intentionally developing our faith. The kids learned how God gives us hope, special abilities, forgiveness, and family this week. We ate together, played together, and learned together, and prayed for each other. In fact, one of our rough-and-tumble kindergarten boys offered a prayer for Von when he had to leave to take care of his sick mother. We all learned that this little boy’s gift is prayer!
Make New Disciples. Monday night we only had 7 kids at VBS, so I challenged the kids to double that number for Tuesday night. With that challenge one girl came up and asked with all seriousness, “Can I invite more than one friend?” The next night we doubled in attendance, and every night after new kids came because every kid was excited about church and busy inviting friends. What started at 7 swelled to 26 kids. By the end, 6 kids had brought 12 friends to church.
Worship. The kids had me sweating Friday night. It was 2 minutes before the program, and one family and my kids were all that had arrived for the program. But sure enough, by 6:05, we had 19 kids and 22 adults, a total of 41 people worshipping together! The kids sang praise to God. We offered $144.50 for God to use in his Lenca church. We heard the messages of hope, calling, forgiveness, and community. Lastly we thanked God for those who had served and praised God for a birthday in our midst. Lastly, our kindergarten boy prayed for our meal together, its own form of communion.
God used VBS in some unexpected ways. I wasn’t expecting the crowd who came. I wasn’t expecting the gifts those kids shared. I wasn’t expecting the number of friends they would bring. God is always doing unexpected things and it is clear that he was busy working through VBS this year. We offered ourselves to his mission, and he used us to produce an unexpected harvest. I don’t think he is done yet either. What will he do through the relationships we built during VBS? I don’t know…and I can’t wait to find out!