Vacation Bible School is an exciting ministry for those of us with a heart for child evangelism. We love to see children’s hearts touched by the Holy Spirit. We are eager for Heaven when we will see the full reward of our efforts. But through it all, we must keep our priorities straight.
Priority 1: God.
Priority 2: Family.
Today, let’s focus on our children. (If you are interested, Doug Fields has some great ideas on building relationships between husband and wife.)
By caring for our own children, we give a model that we can share with other families who are new to the church; but also we make sure that all this love that we are working so hard to spread around reaches home, too!
Here are five specific ideas to help you make your children a priority as you seek to reach out to other children, as well. In Keeping family first in Vacation Bible School ministry, part 2, we will go into more detail on the final topic: “Work together.”
- Set specific times for work and ministry.
- Set a specific time to stop.
- Worship together.
- Play together.
- Work together.
This is beneficial both to you and your family. It helps you to focus on the task at hand. It helps them to know what to expect.
Even if all you are going to do is relax together, everyone should know when quitting time is. And once quitting time comes, make it a time for togetherness…
Having family worship is one of the greatest ways to draw closer as a family. The love of God binds your hearts together in strength and purpose.
Family worship is also a great time to try out mini-versions of some of your Vacation Bible School plans with your children. Tell a story you have been studying about. Introduce your children to a song you have just learned. Talk briefly about a topic you have been considering and get their input on it.
Just like in Vacation Bible School, one of the best ways to bind children to our hearts is to invest time simply playing with them. Ask your children what games they would like to play; then play those games. Maybe you have some childhood favorites of your own…teach them to your children.
Here again, our children can feel quite privileged if they get a sneak-peek into Vacation Bible School. Give some of the new VBS games a test run with your family. It can be a lot of fun! Your children may even have some ideas for tweaking the rules a bit to make the games even more enjoyable and profitable.
Meanwhile, you are creating a perfect opportunity for modeling a cooperative, encouraging spirit towards one another. Most importantly, though, you are simply showing your children that you care about them.
One of the most rewarding things we can do is to work together as a family. When you have that scheduled work time, try to employ the children, as well.
Start including your children in regular household chores when they are very young. It is probably fairly obvious to us at that point that we should be working together with them.
As they get older, though, make it a point from time to time to work with them, too. I believe this is an important part of our efforts to encourage our children. It is also a good way to remind ourselves that even simple, mundane rounds of service are an important part of ministry. “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much.” (Luke 16:10)
~YOUR TURN: What do you do to make sure that you keep your priorities straight, even when it comes to your Vacation Bible School ministry? Leave us a comment!~