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by Courtney Westfall
Vacation Bible School…it brings back memories of moms and dads dressed up as Bible characters, walking us through Bible stories from ancient Israel and teaching songs and crafts. I still think the snacks were my favorite part!
In today’s world there are so many summer distractions for kids like camps, swimming, splash pads, etc. This doesn’t even account for technological distractions like video games, TV, and computers. Why commit to having them spend a week at church?
Parents who want to pass on their Christian faith should take a look at these benefits:
- According to Barna Group research, nearly half (43%) of all Americans who accept Jesus Christ as their savior do so before reaching the age of 13 (“The State of Vacation Bible School.” July 9, 2013).
- Fuller Youth Institute “Sticky Faith” research tells us that kids who retain their faith beyond high school do so because they had people of varying ages mentoring them and showing them what it means to live a Christian life as they grew up.
But these are just numbers and facts. Beyond this, kids get to practice valuable social skills that benefit them when they enter or re-enter school in the fall. They get to meet new friends from other walks of life and from outside their sphere of influence. And they get to spend a week just having fun outside of their everyday routine, stepping into a world where they can experience God’s presence in new and exciting ways.
There are hundreds of Vacation Bible Schools that are happening across Tulsa this summer. We recommend finding one that fits your family! We can pretty much guarantee that any week you have open has a Vacation Bible School available for your kids.
In just a few short weeks, First United Methodist in downtown Tulsa will begin a unique adventure at Everest Vacation Bible School! Each July hundreds of kids attend First’s VBS, worshipping God through songs, prayer, crafts, skits and games. At VBS, they discover life-changing Bible truths in fun and memorable ways. About half of our campers do not regularly attend our church. We get four days every summer to show them what it’s like to be part of a community of love and grace.
One of my favorite things to hear from volunteers is how even though they were not exactly looking forward to serving, God used the 14 hours they served at VBS to invigorate them with his love and energy. Thursday afternoons after it ends, I love hearing how God ministered to our volunteers who thought they were only there to serve others.
At First Methodist, there is no charge to attend. You can register as a participant or volunteer by clicking here.
Courtney grew up in Tulsa and is the Minister of Preschool and Lower Elementary at First United Methodist Church. She earned a BA in Organizational/Interpersonal Communications at Oral Roberts University and an MA in Intercultural Studies from Asbury Theological Seminary. Wife to Kyle and mom to Liam and Brody, with one more on the way, Courtney also loves to find ways to make eating healthy enjoyable for her kids.