This, like other posts on this particular blog, are unfinished thoughts, and this one is beyond unfinished. This time of year, churches all across the country are going to great lengths to setup for their versions of VBS. As the chaotic week arrived, I asked the stupid question, “What is the Biblical basis for VBS?” Apparently that is not a proper question to ask when VBS is only a few days away, though I think it is deserving of a theological response nonetheless.
In my inquiry, I asked 6 people around the country I know, which came to be the widest range of people in the greater universal church I could find, and only one could answer my question. I asked a College Pastor, a Music Leader/Pastor, a Children’s Director, a seminary student, a Senior Pastor at a small Baptist church, and a homeschooling mom. Now it was pointed out to me that there is never a bad time to teach children about God’s word, and about Jesus. This is true. But not a single one could give me a reason, based from Scripture, why we put on these elaborate shows and productions for VBS, other than we have always done it, or it’s fun, or “VBS is great!”
For the typical church staff, it can be one of the most stressful times of the year. For parents, some are looking for a place to just dump their kids for a few hours during the summer, for the kids, it’s a big party. None of that is inherently bad, but is it something the church body should put so much money and effort into each summer? I guess we are at the point in society where we have to make things multimedia enough for the kids to even pay attention. No kid is going to sit and listen to the word of the Lord without a band and a screen of some type glowing in the background.
What does this say about how do worship today? What does this say about our kids, about our skills as parents, or best of all, what does it say about our understanding of Scripture, and what the Bible instructs us to do? VBS may fit into some nice church mold where a Biblical basis can be made for our elaborate productions, but no one as of yet has been able to explain to me the exegetical, hermeneutical history, or any other actual Biblical basis for VBS, other than the general, kids should be taught the Bible [format notwithstanding i guess]. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not just bashing VBS across the board, there is a great need today to teach our children about Christ, but maybe that’s all there is to it and there doesn’t need to be some higher theological explanation for VBS. I’m still going to ask the question because it just needs to be asked.