In a VBS, kids retain and remember what?


I have a new pet peeve. VBS at churches which don't teach children the true meaning of stewardship or giving or anything of the sort. We have devolved these "immersion" education experiences into competitions to see who can give the most money or whose family will buy the most things at a market or the such. By embracing secular "giving competitions" we have created a scenario which puts giving to the church on the same plane with college fraternity fundraisers or public school PTA games which dunk the teacher whose class gives the most. Is this what we want our children to learn about giving to the church and missions. As for me and my house, that is not the game and I am taking responsibility to teach my children why this is wrong. I wish I didn't have to use a church's ministry as an example of what NOT to do.

This AM, I actually had a conflict with a daughter who was concerned that money given to the boys wasn't as much as what was given to the girls. She wasn't thinking about what she was giving, or that I had given them every dollar in my wallet. It didn't occur to her in the moment of what the real goals or intentions were. What will she remember in 6 days, 6 months, or 6 years. There was no mention of the biblical imperative for a tithe or even for the real usage goal of the VBS offering.. "Watering Malawi". (BTW, if you are reading this, please consider giving to this cause and making a difference.) We wonder why we lose these kids when they grow up. Could it be because they are no longer being taught what the real meaning of worship, tithing and missions are? Could it be that they see through the veiled facade of ministry, and they see just another charity?

Church isn't just another charity. When we remove the reverence and the call, we are killing it.

Comments

Anonymous said…
meh.
vbs is what it is.


many times it is offered at no charge & welcomes children from any denomination. it is a charitable act on the church's part, often using volunteers who give their time.
what on earth are you ranting about?

i have never sent my child to vbs hoping that he would learn the true meaning of stewardship, or giving, etc. blah, bah, blah...
mainly because vbs never promised that he would come away from this experience learning that very specific lesson.

i still have no idea what you are complaining about.
maybe you should create whatever it is you are seeking & host your own vbs.
Jeff Prillaman said…
In my 30 years of experience in all roles: always free for sure.. welcomes all, check... charitable act, yes.. staffed almost entirely with volunteers, yes ,huge amt of work for staff, yep, worth it.. definitely

I don't like the fact that we set up a giving model in VBS(in some examples) which doesn't reinforce the idea of tithe, reverence and obligation to the kids. Church isn't about the spectacle or the show even for youth. That type of thinking creates a theology of "consumerism" what is in it for me, rather than what can I give.

So often, They get caught up in the show and miss the message.. which is about sharing the Gospel, learning about missions and learning about what it means to go to church.

My "rant" is mainly that children aren't retaining a lot of things which I think are important, and are instead remembering and focusing on the wrong things. Kids and VBS aren't the only ones making this mistake these days.. A whole lot of "big church" attendees do the same thing.

If I thought I was being called, you better believe I would "host my own VBS". If you knew me at all, you would know that to be true.

As for now, VBS is indeed what it is. Some of it, no, much of it is very, very good. Not sure there is anything wrong with talking about how I wish it were different (in my view better)
stanti said…
nothing wrong with talking about how you'd like things to be different,
but you should expect or be open to feedback when leaving comments open on your blog.
Jeff Prillaman said…
Hello stanti. totally agree on being open to comments, etc.. also worth noting, when you post to a blog, that same expectation applies. anyone posting a comment, should expect a potential response and discussion on their comment.

I am very open to feedback(both positive and negative), and that is exactly why I leave the comments open. I almost always dialogue on those very same comments, as demonstrated.

For me, that is the power of the blog, to create an open and civil dialogue. I go one step further, and open my home for most Friday evenings in the Summer to discuss ideas, ideology and thoughts.. I call it the Friday nt forum, for friends, food and fun..

I hope that you and anonymous meh. will both consider coming out and talking openly about your ideas and thoughts. I would welcome it.

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