The most rewarding aspect of my 11 years as LifeWay’s VBS Ministry Specialist has been the stories – your stories. It is a rare week when no one shares a VBS story. Most are tales of something unique happening during the week of VBS. Many are testimonies of a life changed through the impact of the ministry. And few have even been testimonies of an entire congregation or community changed as a result of VBS.
Each story has at least one thing in common – transformation. Obviously changed lives and congregations speak of transformation. But so too do the stories of unique happenings. In each situation there has been a transformation of heart, thought, or action.
I believe the transformational rewards of Vacation Bible School equals the transformational rewards of the great revivals and evangelistic crusades of the early and mid 1900s. God has used VBS to not only call individuals to Him, but entire congregations as well. Churches have been born out of a week of VBS, and they have certainly been revived as a result of VBS.
Each year there are 80,000 to 100,000 professions of faith that we know of that are made during the weeks of VBS. We will never know the number of professions of faith made in the weeks following VBS there were initiated by the gospel being proclaimed during the week of VBS.
In addition to professions of faiths there are annually 2,000-3,000 people who make a decision during VBS to pursue full-time or vocational ministry. These individuals end up proclaiming the gospel throughout the world, and each time there is a profession of faith it can be traced back in time to a week of VBS when some child, teenager, or adult responded to God’s call to ministry.
While I made my profession of faith in Jesus during a 1967 revival meeting, I have spent almost 59 years participating in VBS and have personally witnessed transformed lives and transformed churches. Recently I spoke to a group of about 800 people and asked those to stand who had either made their profession of faith, or personally knew of someone who had done so, during VBS. At least 700 of the 800 present stood.
What a wonderful witness to the time, energy, and resources poured into VBS each year. The work is great, but the rewards are greater still.
VBS is transformational.