Summer is still 4 months away, but thousands of churches across the country are gearing up for vacation bible school. Shane Garrison is an assistant professor at Campbellsville University in Kentucky, and he says when he was a child, it was Vacation Bible School that introduced him to Jesus.
In a story in Baptist Press, Shane says "I grew up in a home where no one had any association with God or Jesus or a church. I knew there was a church in town, but I didn't think it was someplace I could go. It was for other people.”
“But one summer, VBS became a bridge ... a way for me to get from my house to the church."Garrison was the keynote speaker at LifeWay's 2013 VBS Preview events this winter. VBS leaders attending the preview events will return to their states and associations to train thousands of local church leaders.Every year more than 25,000 churches host VBS, enrolling nearly 3 million children and adults. Those VBS experiences result in more than 80,000 professions of faith in Christ.This summer the theme will be “Colossal Coaster World,” based on 2 Timothy 1:7: "For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment." The curriculum will challenge kids to face their fears and trust God on the roller coaster of life.
Shane Garrison is challenging local churches to reach out to the “spiritual orphans” in their community. He says these kids have no spiritual influence in their homes, and their home life may be stable or completely dysfunctional. They don't attend church, and they don't know anything about the Bible or what it means to be a Christian.
To learn more about Lifeway’s VBS curriculum for 2013, just go to lifeway.com and click on “Vacation Bible School”
I’m Bill Maier for WBCL.