Wednesday, June 8, 2016

My Green VBS

With the start of this week, my Facebook feed has been filled with reports and pictures from a plethora churches and their Vacation Bible Schools. 

Purple Kool-Aid, Macaroni art and the formal Bible and flag pledges are the memories of my childhood VBS. Now-a-days church platforms are turned into stages and even the lighting is altered to fit the year's theme. Stage managers and set designers are recruited to make the event "work" and "run."

While I can't remember the actual words to the pledges I learned, I do remember the basic truths I was taught. I also remeber that I was loved. My faith was built upon those basic Biblical stories because of the caring way I was taught them. If you look close, not far beyond the hype, those tenants of VBS are still there. 

Being a mom of three girls in three very different life phases, I get the need for all the bells and whistles that have been added to the VBS package and curriculum. Yes, I know LifeWay is out to make a buck and that Oriental Trading Company will take a share of our money too, but there is more to it than that. And that's not the kind of "green" VBS I am getting at. 

Research has proven that the attention span for all of us has shortened drastically and we do have to compete with so much more to get kids' attention in the first place. 

Let's just be careful to keep the main thing the main thing. 

VBS is not a competition between churches or even between volunteers within a church. 

It's not about who has the best decorations or the bigger display or the highest attendance. We are all on the same team, The Church, and our goal is the same, uplifting Christ so He can draw all men to Himself.  

I am guilty of letting Satan get a foothold. I have felt jealous and inadequate when I compare my involvement or room or response to the teacher in the room next to mine. 

While I'm being honest I need to confess some additional "green feelings" that have nothing to do with VBS. Often find myself caring too much about how many "likes" or comments I have on a posting to Facebook or Instagram. Unfortunately, my service to my Lord becomes green in quite similar way when I start comparing myself to what others are doing or have done. 

I have to be careful to remind myself that Christ won and the competition is over. Instead of worrying about what my sister is doing, I should be busy glorifying Christ in my today. When these feelings of jealousy come, I need to confess them and lift up the one I've envied in prayer.  

As we all strive to serve in this manner, our churches' Vacation Bible Schools will be stronger and provide another generation their own warm memories and lasting building blocks of their faith. Our individual ministries and even our home lives will be stronger for it and much more God-honoring. 

A "green" VBS is not an eco-friendly endeavor that only uses recycled and recyclable materials. In my mind, it isn't something to strive for at all, but a reminder to me to lay aside the competition and serve God faithfully in the place and manner He has called me.  

No comments: