Last night First Baptist Church of Hendersonville (Tennessee) held one of the largest - if not the largest - outreach events of the year. Thousands of kids along with their parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, all showed up for a Knight of Adventure. There is no telling how many hundreds of pounds of candy were carried home and will be consumed in the next few days. The dentists of Sumner County are assured of an income for at least the next year.
There were kids of all sizes and ages - including quiet of few preteens and teens who are not yet ready to abandon a rite of childhood fun. And, with every child was at least one adult. In some cases there were four or more adults as grandparents, aunts and uncles, and friends joined to experience their little ones having fun playing games, maneuvering a gigantic castle maze, and gathering as much candy as their little hands could hold.
The adults had fun watching the kids have fun, and were perfectly happy that a great experience had been planned for their kids.
But there was a small unexpected treat reserved for the big kids as well. There were volunteers stationed at each exit who just happen to believe adults deserve at least one piece of candy - preferably chocolate - themselves. As families departed there was the usual comments of, "thanks for coming," and "hope you had a good time." However, to the amazement of the adults there was also one last piece of candy reserved especially for the big kids - the adults.
I was amazed at how quickly someone in the 30s, 40s, and even 70s, reverted to a brief moment of childhood when they discovered there was something special just for them. Their own piece of candy that did not have to be shared with the kids, their spouses, or anyone else. For 3 seconds of a long - and for some, hectic - day it was all about them. It was all about the Big Kids.
It was fun watching the adults respond, and so many responded with genuine gratitude for the evening as a whole, but especially for those few seconds of attention.
Was there something special about the candy? No, it was the same bite-size pieces of candy available at every game booth.
Was the presentation grand? No. In fact, with a little more thought we could have made it much more elaborate. But no one seemed to mind that at times the presentation was made to multiple adults at once.
What made the candy special was someone saying, "We think everyone deserves candy tonight and we have reserved a piece especially for you.
What will be the long-term accomplishment (result) of this action? I'm not really sure. I do know that with each piece of candy each adult received a simple card with the gospel presentation and a second card promoting several Sunday School classes designed especially for parents.
Once home, did the parents take time to read the information? I don't know. But I do know the seed has been sown. A connection has been made. Information is now in their hands. And, I believe in a God who has a way of making a card that has fallen under the car seat or has been placed in a pile of discarded mail on the kitchen counter, reappear at just the right moment.
During your VBS Celebration, or at your next kids' ministry event, DON'T FORGET THE BIG KIDS!