It has been used by God to reach and disciple millions of kids over the years. While it has been in decline in recent years (you can read the stats here), 68% of churches hosted VBS last year.
While our church does not have VBS, I know many churches that still host it with great success.
Should you have VBS? That's a question that only you and your team can answer. But what we can say is this - like any other program, event or ministry, we should regularly be evaluating whether it's the best use of our time and resources.
Here's 10 reasons to continue doing VBS and 10 reasons to cease it. I would encourage you to work through these with your team and see where it takes you.
It may cause you to amp up your VBS and pour even more into it or it may cause you to make some changes. Remember...the end goal is to make sure what you are doing is effective.
10 Reasons Why You SHOULD Have VBS
- It's reaching unchurched kids.
- It's reaching unchurched parents. 6 months after it's over, you can point to families in your church who were reached through it.
- You see kids grow spiritually because of it.
- It is well attended.
- Volunteers enthusiastically support it and give their time to it.
- It makes your weekly kids programming stronger.
- The entire church supports it and gets behind it.
- The resources are available to do it with excellence.
- Kids get excited about it.
- You are seeing teenagers who went through it when they were kids coming back to serve in it.
- The guests are predominately kids from other churches.
- You aren't seeing kids come to Christ.
- It's not helping you reach unchurched families. You can't point to families in your church who've been reached through it.
- Declining participation.
- It's very difficult to get people to volunteer for it. The people who are volunteering have been doing so for years and are burned out.
- The church as a whole doesn't see it as a priority and provides very little support or resources.
- It is such a drain on your ministry that it causes you to limp into the Fall ministry season.
- Kids are being made to come instead of being excited about coming.
- There is another ministry you could put the time, energy and resources into that would produce more fruit.
- You are having it because it's what you've always done and not because it's effective.