Updated: Mar 16, 2020

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 con