Updated: Mar 16
Hello Church Family,
The longer I serve in children’s ministry, the more churches I hear about that have decided to not do a VBS any longer. In fact, the number of VBS programs has shrunk by over 20% in just the last ten years. A few months ago, I learned that VBS was started by a very determined young lady, Walker Aylett Hawes who witnessed the kids in her New York neighborhood with nothing to do after school ended for the school year, except to get in trouble. She began a summer Bible School for 40 of these kids, in believe it or not a beer tavern in New York City! After a tremendous success the first summer, her program grew and she moved into a local elementary school, where by the time of her death in 1922, she was seeing between 600 and 700 kids participate. Upon her death, Dr. Robert Boyle, the director of missions for the Baptist Mission society took her idea to their denomination and the rest is history. By the 1970’s nearly 10 million children a year went to a VBS program.
The history of VBS is rich, but the opportunities for ministry are even better. VBS provides Hyland Heights with a wonderful opportunity to reach out into our community and invite children to come and enjoy five nights of games, music, crafts, snacks, and Bible Study. I think our church does an excellent job and have been told by many parents that their kids love the program and can’t wait to come each night. Around 50% of the kids who attend our VBS are not from Hyland Heights. This gives us a wonderful opportunity to share the gospel with kids and reach out to the entire family. Last year we had nearly 100 children who checked that they did not attend church anywhere on a regular basis. If we had half of these families commit their lives to Christ and join us at HHBC, can you imagine the impact this would have on our church?
Sunday, Dr. Wheeler challenged all us to take a few of the VBS cards and pass them out to our neighbors and let them know about VBS. I join him in that challenge and ask you to make it a priority over the next two weeks to invite at least one other family to attend VBS this summer. We have some great things planned for the kids, like bouncers, a petting zoo, a magic show, snow cones from I Scream You Scream, and so much more. As believers it is our Great Commission challenge to reach the lost for Christ. VBS gives us a great opportunity to fulfill this command. Please pray for us and join us for this pivotal week in the life of Hyland Heights.
Here are a few logistical notes for the week. First don’t forget to register your kids. Here is the link. https://jrichardson45.wixsite.com/kidzrock/events/in-the-wild-vacation-bible-school-2019 The second is this coming Wednesday, Sunday, and the following Sunday we will have registration set-up in the gym if you would like to do it in person. If you did use the online sign-up, your packets will be ready for pick-up at the registration tables. Third, we still need about 25 volunteers to make the week a success. You can email me back and let me know or you can go to this link https://hylandheights.churchcenter.com/people/forms/52952 and fill it out to let us know you are willing to serve. We need people in some of the classrooms, as well as games and crafts. Pastor Carl has agreed to come back and help us in the parking lot so he needs to gather his old team together to help with dismissal. Also we need some items donated for snack time. We are looking for individually packaged goldfish and individually packaged Teddy Grahams. Please let me know if you have any questions and I look forward to see you at VBS.
Serving His Kids with a Passion, Mike
Rev. Michael Summy