During summer break, many children spend their days swimming in pools, jumping on trampolines and sleeping in. Churches use this time to teach children about God through Vacation Bible School.
“We share what the Bible says with them about Jesus and Christianity,” said Eric Wright, music director at First Baptist Church of Caryville. “(VBS)’s main focus is to share the love of Christ with them.”
Most Vacation Bible Schools are similar and involve Bible studies, crafts, games and music, Indiana Avenue Baptist Church member Barbara Roach said when she described the program planned there.
Many programs are already underway.
Tonight is the last night of Vacation Bible School at Woodlake Baptist Church.
“It’s been good,” Pastor George Asbury said.
WBC is reaching out to children outside the congregation. There were 53 children in attendance opening night, Sunday.
“We’ve got them coming (in from) different communities,” Asbury said.
WBC has used the theme “Investigation Destination.”
“It’s like little detective stories to prove the evidence (for the) Bible,” Asbury said.
Colossal Coaster World
Many area churches are using the same curriculum for their VBS programs—“Colossal Coaster World: facing fear, trusting God.”
“It’s centered around a fair (or) theme park,” Wright said.
Colossal Coaster’s primary Bible Verse is 2 Timothy 1:7, which says, “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
First Baptist Church of Caryville, First Baptist Church of LaFollette and Indiana Avenue Baptist Church are all planning programs around Colossal Coaster themes. The Colossal Coaster material is from Lifeway Christian Resources, which is a large provider of Christian literature and is connected to the Southern Baptist Convention.
First Baptist Church of Caryville’s VBS will be June 10 through June 14 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. each day. FBCC hopes to reach children outside the congregation.
“We’ve already canvassed the local area this past Saturday, and we’ll be doing that again this Saturday,” Wright said.
FBCC also hopes to meet needs in the community.
“If they need clothing, we provide it, if the need food we provide it,” Wright said. “We basically try to meet their physical, emotional and spiritual needs the best we can, and if we aren’t qualified, we’ll refer them to someone who is capable of doing it.”
Indiana Avenue Baptist Church is having VBS June 16 through June 20 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. each night. Four year olds through teenagers in the 12th grade can participate in VBS. IABC also wants to reach out with VBS.
“We want everyone in the community to come,” Roach said. “We just want to reach children for Christ, and plant seeds.”
In addition to the Colossal Coaster VBS activities, there will be a mission’s study and family night.
Family night “is just going to be a big carnival out back,” Roach said. Family night will be June 20.
First Baptist Church of LaFollette will have VBS June 24 through June 28 from 6 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. each night. FBCL’s VBS is for children in kindergarten through the sixth grade.
“We are also running the church bus,” said Angie Martin, VBS co-director.
People who need to have their children picked up by the bus can call FBCL 562-7649.
Instead of VBS, First Baptist Church of Jacksboro is offering something different this summer—Kid’s Klub.
Kid’s Klub allows FBCJ more time to minister to children this summer than a one week VBS, said Randall Davenport, Children and Family Pastor at FBCJ.
Kid’s Klub is for children pre-K through the fifth grade and is held every Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Kid’s Klub uses an animated band who put Bible verses to songs, helping children memorize them.
“It’s really to give the kids an intentional opportunity to memorize Scripture,” Davenport said.
There are also crafts, small groups each week to help kids learn more about the Bible. Resources are also given to parents to help their children with verse memorization. This “helps us partner with parents to help them (children) memorize Scripture,” Davenport said.