Is VBS a Biblical institution of the Church?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Dale-c, Jun 14, 2007.

  1. Dale-c

    Dale-c
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    It is Vacation Bible School time in our town and I was thinking about the Biblical legitimacy of it.

    No where in the Bible can you find a place that authorizes this time of activity.

    However, I don't necessarily believe that they are wrong.

    I think it is important to note that any activity during the week that is not a Biblically mandated function of the church is really an exercise of self government.
    Therefore I believe that the involvement in VBS is strictly a personal decision to make.

    Furthermore objections to entertainment etc that would be valid for Sunday morning worship are not always valid for "personal" evangelism.

    With that in mind the only things I can see wrong with VBS are:

    1. Pretending that it is actually a service of the Church which it is not.
    2. Doing anything that is in and of itself wrong such as changing the gospel to cater to the lost.

    Fun and games are therefore fine in that there is nothing wrong with them and they are not taking place on the Lord's Day.
     
  2. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    Is VBS a Biblical institution of the church?

    No

    Is VBS a service that the local church can provide for the community and plant gospel seeds at the same time?

    Yes
     
  3. D28guy

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    Is teaching biblical principles to children an institution of the church? I'm not sure what you mean by "institution".

    There is no doubt that teaching the truth of the scriptures, and presenting the gospel, to children is certainly a good thing.

    Mike
     
  4. SBCPreacher

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    Oops! We're in trouble. We start our VBS on Sunday night! Maybe we need to make sure that there is neither fun nor games during our opening night.

    Seriously though, we have the opportunity to reach many children who will normally never find their way into our church. And I am confident that God will save some of them this year, just like previous years.

    (P.S. - We have "fun" at church every Sunday!)
     
  5. donnA

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    There's always people who think if you can't find it in the bible it isn't biblical and you shouldn't so. But they're on the computer on a christian message board, which also isn't in the bible. Oh, owning your own personal copy of the bible isn't biblical either.
     
  6. mcdirector

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    An immense amount of work goes into VBS - not for entertainment, but for fellowship, training and evangelism. Just because the recipients are kids and teens doesn't make the endeavor questionable.

    Your two points:
    Service? VBS isn't like day care.

    And how is the gospel changed? Every VBS that I've ever worked in the gospel has been clearly articulated throughout the week. If one life is changed, VBS was worth the effort.
     
  7. dan e.

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    Your first point makes no sense...who pretends that VBS is anything? Your second point equally makes no sense. You sound like someone who just doesn't like VBS...by the way, I think it is kind of cheesy, but it works. Your post is silly.
     
  8. DHK

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    If you patterened your services after the "Bible only," you would find yourself making many changes in your church.
    There is no evidence that the early church ever used musical instruments.
    Early churchs never had buildings specifically built for churches. They met in homes, cemetaries, fields, syangogues at first (until they were kicked out), and anywhere they could. But never were there any buildings specifically built for local churches. They were a "church" on the move--missionary minded.

    There was no such thing as a Sunday School. That is as unbiblical as VBS. Sunday School was started in the last century (19th) by Robert Raikes, who wanted to teach the poor how to read, and did so teaching them from the Bible. It was more of a literacy class geared to the underprivelge.

    There was no such thing as "Junior Church" or nurseries, or other children's ministries. Count out such programs as Awana as well.

    Here is what the early church consisted of:

    Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
     
  9. Scarlett O.

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    Thank you. And my personal descision is that Vacation Bible School at my church has been reaching children with the gospel of Jesus Christ and has been an effective tool for reaching lost children and unchurched families for literal decades.

    Is there a verse in the bible that says, "Thou shalt have a VBS every summer"? No. Neither is there a verse that says, "Drive your car to church every Sunday, instead of walking."

    But there is that pesky Great Commission thing! :saint:


    You're right, Dale. It's not a service to the church. It's a service to the Lord! We don't hold Vacation Bible School to increase our enrollment.

    We hold Vacation Bible School to present the gospel of Jesus Christ to children. And there is no pretense in that.


    Changing the gospel? What is it about VBS that you think is changing the gospel?



     
  10. SaggyWoman

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    My first response to you is..... with an attitude like this, why do anything?

    Bible School is a joyous time for children to celebrate--studying the Bible, worshipping God, and having fun.

    If this isn't happening for you, don't do it. Why be laborious about it?
     
  11. SaggyWoman

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    I have led Bible School for a number of years. And truly, it has been a joy! Bible school is a joy!!
     
  12. rbell

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    We've had two kids commit their lives to the Lord this week at our VBS (maybe more to follow...haven't talked with all our staff. We "tag team" on talking to the kids who express interest in becoming a Christian).

    I guess some folks might question VBS...not sure why. God's using it mightily here.

    As to an "institution," two definitions are:
    I wouldn't call our VBS an "institution" in that we're willing to do something different if God directs. But for us, right now, it is one of the most effective ways we have to present Biblical truths and the Gospel message to large groups of kids. God will bless when His word is presented.

    Besides that...when we have our "VBS family night" on Friday, we'll have hundreds of parents & family there. Of all the events we do, it probably gives us more exposure to unsaved folks than almost any ohter event.

    (in Rbell's best Kojak voice) Priesthood of the believer, baby...if your church doesn't feel led of God to do VBS, then by all means don't. But we do because He does, and it rocks.
     
  13. mcdirector

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    I've been thinking as I've been reading this thread off and on that maybe you feel this way Dale because you haven't had the joyous (and exhausting) pleasure of working with VBS -- either children or youth -- to see what goes on and the results.

    If you get the chance, jump in. Some VBSs happen at night. Might be an eye-opener for you.
     
  14. SaggyWoman

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    In fact, I have enjoyed more bible schools as an adult than I ever did as a child.
     
  15. Dale-c

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    Feel what way?

    Everyone has the idea that I am opposed to VBS!

    I HAVE helped out with them before and I actually thought about helping the local Christian church out this week even though they are not Baptist. They are using SBC material though.

    My only point is that as we keep adding program etc to the church we need to keep in mind which ones come under the authority of the Church as ordained by God and which ones are merely man made and come under personal evangelism.

    As far as changing the Gospel, I never said all VBS programs change the gospel nor did I even say ANY did, I merely said that would be wrong if they did. PLease read a little closer to what I posted :)
     
  16. mcdirector

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    If everyone construed your post as at the very least anti-VBS, perhaps it was not the way we read it, but the way it was written. I submit this because I read it many times before I posted trying to discern it's meaning. IMHO, it did come across negatively towards VBS. Obviously that was not your intent, but I at least perceived that way (and not at a casual glance).

    You left a lot unsaid and unclarified until your second post.
     
    #16 mcdirector, Jun 15, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 15, 2007
  17. Dale-c

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    I went back and read my post and I see one word that I left out that probably threw a lot of people off and I apologize for that.
    THis is what I said:

    THis is what I MEANT to say:

    I was implying that if a particular church did certain things then it what they did was wrong but woudln't make everyone wrong who ever had a VBS.
     
  18. mcdirector

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    Thanks Dale! That makes a huge difference!
     
  19. menageriekeeper

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    Rbell, you're having to much fun at church, again!!! :mad: ;) :laugh:

    As a mother who has seen all three of her children saved as a direct result of VBS, I have to agree with Rbell: VBS rocks!

    Now I want to make sure everyone understands what I mean by "saved as a result". Our VBS's are always centered on the facts of salvation. Whatever theme we are using the plot is always to bring the children to a saving knowledge of Christ and this is emphasized over and over during VBS.

    So the eldest raised her hand during and "invitation" at VBS. Workers took her aside and spoke to her and by the time the event made it to me (I was with a different group) it had been decided that a certain group of children had influenced each other into responding and that group included my daughter. Hmmm, that put the ball back into my court. If we'd have been an unsaved family we'd have been put on the visitation list instead.

    I had a conversation with my daughter, took into account what the workers had observed and basically waited. Over the next few weeks, I talked to her about being saved, her SS teachers talked to her (VBS info is distributed to the SS teachers so everyone is on the same page), our minister that is over the children's activities talked to her and in the end she accepted Christ as her Savior and was baptized.

    This is how VBS is supposed to work. VBS is just a beginning; the planting of the seed. It is what is done in the weeks and month following VBS, cultivating the crop, that will result in a harvest.

    As to the OP, what do you think folks did with their kids during services during Bible times? Are we told? Children aren't much mentioned in the Bible when it comes to daily comings and goings, especially children of the ages that VBS targets (4-12 year olds).
     
  20. Dale-c

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    Good question. Of course parents are given the primary care in teaching children but I don't see any examples of exact methods you HAVE to use.

    I plan to use a catechism with my daughter when she gets older because I believe it is a good method in the home to teach basic doctrine to young kids.

    BTW, using Spurgeons catechism would be a great tool in a VBS setting.

    careful though because the kids may learn more doctrine than their parents :)
     

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