As a young child, my mom used to read every night to my little brother and me. I really would be hard-pressed to come up with an actual example of something she read me from that book, in spite of the fact that the very same story continued night after night. Yet I treasure the memory of lying in my bed, sleepily listening to the sweet voice of my loving mother instilling visions of a funny bear named Winnie the Pooh and his friend Christopher Robin.
Somehow, as I grew and the book faded into the distance of memory lane, even just the mention of the title would evoke fond feelings in me. One day, I became a mom myself, and I started thinking of this special memory. I wanted my children to have similar fond experiences that would be a cornerstone from their childhood to encourage them in their life that lay ahead. That is when it occurred to me that it was not actually the book that was special to me. It was the closeness of this lovely woman, my mother; it was the soothing sound of her calm voice; it was the time that she cared enough to devote to her little ones.
With that in mind, I decided to set out to instill in the hearts of my children, not a love for Winnie the Pooh, but a love for God’s Word. I started reading Scripture to them and singing to them hymns and songs of Jesus’ love. As the children grow, we grow together. My plan, while not flawlessly pursued, has at least been greatly successful. Satan may try to cast us down; but we are not destroyed—God’s Word is our stronghold.
This is also one of the primary goals of Vacation Bible School—to instill in the children a love and hunger for God’s Holy Word. Through Bible memorization and song, we hope to encourage each child individually to leave VBS blessed, but longing for more.
What are some of the ways we can accomplish this? The Vacation Bible School materials that you will find at Hasten Home utilize an approach that strives to keep each aspect of your VBS program focused and unified, yet varied and fun. We encourage you to start VBS fifteen minutes earlier and spend that time singing the memory verses that the students are working on. At various times in the day, there is room for recitation of the verses, and the children have age-specific worksheets and class-time review games to help make the memorization fun.
Of course, memory verses are just a piece of the puzzle that leads a child to Jesus, but once the treasure-house of God’s Word is opened to a child’s curiosity, immense riches lie in store!