Tuesday, April 15, 2008

What You Need to Know About VBS (Part 1)

It is about time that time again. Churches all over the country will be preparing for their annual Vacation Bible School programs. Some congregations no longer take a full week for VBS. Instead, many have elected for a one day Family Bible Day event. Usually these are held on Saturdays. For those who like to attend week-long VBS programs, there will still be plenty of opportunities elsewhere. Some churches will have morning sessions, while others may have their VBS at night.

But, beware which VBS programs you let you children attend. I would think that most of us would know better. But their are some folks that turn VBS into a babysitter. There are parents who let their kids go to VBS's all summer long. This includes denominational VBS programs. While some might think there is no harm in letting their children attend these services, that it can only be good, there is a stark reality that is much different than they might expect.

Over the last few years, in my visits with young families, I have had some very disturbing reports about VBS programs. How would you like to find out after the fact that your 4 or 5 year-old was "saved" or "baptized" at VBS? Many denominational churches are using VBS to add to their number of adherents. They are telling innocent kids who do not yet understand and who cannot understand that they need to be saved during VBS. If you think this is far fetched, I know of couples with young children who found out later that their kids had been "saved" without their knowing of it or discussing it. I can tell you, that these parents realized that they made a big mistake. Their children will not be going back, and we can be thankful for that. But now they are going to have to de-program their kids. This leads to much confusion and discouragement for their children.

VBS has a primary purpose. It is to educate our children, to teach them the basic truths that the Bible supplies. We are building a foundation for our children, so that when they come of age they will know what they must to do be saved and to stay saved. VBS is not for indoctrinating children. It is for equipping them. I think we need to see that there is a big difference betwen these two things.

Parents, please be wise. Do not just send your kids off anywhere. Sending them to a place that is going to teach them false ideas about God and salvation can be even worse than allowing them to go where Satan is more visible. Satan is doing his best work when he appears as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14). Vacation Bible School can be a great experience for children. But parents need to get involved. The church is not your babysitter.

"And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord." ~ Ephesians 6:4

1 comment:

  1. This is a great article addressing a issue that is not mentioned often. I have seen a lot of our people send their kids to every VBS in town. This is needed stuff.

    Also, can we help with any relief efforts?