SPRINGFIELD, Ky. (KT) – There’s more than one way to do Vacation Bible School.
Temple Baptist Church in Springfield is taking on VBS in a five-week chunk over the summer. Each week has a theme, and kits are given to participants that include crafts, a Bible study lesson, snacks and a recreation activity idea that are handed out on Mondays. A video is uploaded on Tuesdays for the Bible study.
They are also putting a plastic container of M&Ms in the bag and encouraging kids to fill them with change once they eat the candy and bring it back to church for a missions offering that will go toward filing boxes for Operation Christmas Child.
Pastor Kyle Franklin said the planning started early and the participation has been strong, including some children from the neighborhood who hadn’t previously attended church or VBS in the past.
“We are calling it a take-home/virtual VBS,” Franklin said. “We’ve been encouraged by the participation.”
Franklin, who has been the pastor for nine months, wasn’t around last summer when the church’s VBS attracted about 60, he said. More than 90 have registered for the virtual VBS and a large number of views indicate they are watching.
“For us it was more we didn’t know what everybody had going on,” he said. “The children have been cooped up at home for a while and we figured they’d probably like something to do. When we were planning it, we didn’t know what restrictions might be eased.”
Even though more and more churches are reopening, children’s ministries are some of the last that will restart for health issues.
The virtual VBS puts the children back to the front of the line.
“It’s a good way to minister to the children,” Franklin said. “One of the big challenges (with the COVID-19) is evangelism. How do you share the gospel with people when you’re supposed to stay away from them?”
VBS has always been a community outreach, Franklin said. “It’s a good way for us not only to minister to kids but also a good way to share the gospel. It’s been good. We’re encouraged.”
The pastor said the church passed out prayer cards with the name of every child who registered for the VBS. They were asked to pray for them daily as they go through the extended VBS.
“It’s been cool in this challenging time,” Franklin said. “Churches have lost some momentum (because of the coronavirus). This has given us a boost.”
Temple Baptist Church has been meeting in person for the past three weeks. They meet on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings currently. They plan to bring in other ministries soon, Franklin said.