Vacation Bible School is a week from Monday and I’m incredibly excited about the opportunity to teach seventy children about the Gospel of Christ. There are many parts of VBS that I love
- Seeing the excitement on children’s faces as they answer a Bible question for their team correctly
- Listening to boys and girls recite their memory verses
- Watching the child go from disciplinary problems on day one, to model students on the last day
- Hearing them loudly and excitedly sing songs of praise to God
- And most of all their coming to a saving knowledge of Christ
There’s a lot that I love about VBS (one of my favorite times of the year) but there is at least one part that I dislike, and that’s the craft.
Actually “dislike”doesn’t accurately describe my feelings about VBS crafts….hate does it much better 🙂
Please understand I’m not saying crafts don’t have a place in VBS (they definitely do) or disrespecting someone who has artistic abilities (I definitely don’t have them). Instead these crafts are an absolutely necessary, but incredibly frustrating part of ministry.
This personal frustration comes from the fact that I’m not good at them, but there are other frustrating points as well
- In a place like SVG its necessary to come up with craft ideas and put them together on your own since it takes too long to have them shipped from the US
- Dealing with different age groups means having three different “levels” of crafts that have different degrees of difficulty
- There needs to be at least three different crafts for each level group (some can be used at all levels, currently we have five planned for VBS)
- And of course anytime you have seventy kids working with paint or glue the risk of a catastrophe taking place is very high
To be honest if it was up to me and my missionary co-workers (none of whom are artists) we would just eliminate VBS crafts altogether and make some excuse (there was a serious popsicle stick shortage on the island). But we are committed to doing the frustrating parts of ministry as well as the exciting ones.
there are many exciting and fun parts of ministry that fits with our strengths. For me that would be teaching, children’s work, counseling, and writing. However other parts of ministry are boring, emphasize our weaknesses, reveal anger and pride, result in failure, or show our need for help. Those are the parts we would be happy to just do without…but they are also opportunities to grow spiritually.
You see God uses those frustrating experiences to remind us just how much we need Him, and break our pride in personal achievement.
The header pic of this post is my first attempt at creating a horse prototype for our VBS craft this year. The idea was to have a nice color of purple on the bottle, then add legs, eyes, and horse mane the next day. We never really got to that point since my bottle looked so ridiculous (paint never dried correctly either). So a second prototype was created using construction paper instead, and after some work it (sort of) looked like a horse.
The thing is it would be easy to build a ministry only on the things I’m good at like preaching or children’s work and make sure nobody ever sees one of my purple horses. But I continue faithfully knowing that God gets great Glory from purple horses.