In just a few short months churches across the state will open their doors to children and teens for vacation bible school.
Trainings have been scheduled throughout the state to give churches the opportunity to prepare volunteers to share Christ with students.
This year’s theme, ‘Game On!,’ teaches students that God “wants them to join His team, train hard, celebrate salvation, and encourage one another,” per the LifeWay website.
The theme’s verse is found in 2 Peter 1:3 where it says “His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”
“It’s a great theme because it’s about gearing up and being a part of God’s theme,” said Kelly Peckarack, VBS director for North Jacksonville Baptist Church.
“It doesn’t just focus on sports, you also have the marching band person and the cheer person.”
And the most important aspect of VBS this year is the emphasis on the fact that there are no tryouts needed to be a part of God’s team.
Last Saturday North Jacksonville hosted the first VBS training of the year, but there are still many opportunities and those interviewed for this story encourage all churches to participate.
“Equipping for VBS is essential for us when it comes to people surrendering to Christ,” said Billy Young, Next Generation Catalyst at the Florida Baptist Convention.
“Statistics from LifeWay for 2016 show that for every one person equipped to do VBS there was one salvation decision,” he said.
Rochelle Killam, ministry assistant at Hiland Park Baptist Church in Panama City, said that VBS is one of the best outreaches a church can have. She encourages everyone to get trained, including senior adults saying, “you’re never too old to learn something new.”
“VBS is a concentrated week of hiding God’s word in children’s hearts,” said Stacy Boyette, VBS regional director trainer for southeast Florida.
She adds that VBS is a tool that churches have to reach the unchurched in their communities. It is a bridge to the families of the children who are coming to a local VBS.
“When we want to do things well there are always tools and resources to help us do it well; VBS training is that tool and resource,” said Peckarack.
The theme this year is one that is easy to decorate for, says Boyette, so churches with smaller budgets don’t have to be concerned about spending big to pull off a great event.
Attending the regional trainings gives participants the opportunity to sign up for decoration and curriculum share lists as well as the chance to partner with bigger churches who will share their resources with smaller churches.
A list of training sites and dates is available here.
Spanish and Creole VBS training will be available at the Coral Springs training site.
By Keila Diaz, Florida Baptist Convention, March 7, 2018