Vacation Bible School: Teaching Christian children to defend their faith, pt 2

sample of "Sword Drill" activity sheets from VBS--Superstars for Jesus

Memory verse puzzles, such as these "Sword Drills" from VBS--Superstars for Jesus, are a very important part of Vacation Bible School!

In Part 1 of Vacation Bible School: Teaching Christian children to defend their faith, we saw that the first goal of Vacation Bible School is leading the children to Jesus so that they can choose for themselves to be known as “Christian children”.  However, we must not stop there.  Christian children need to understand the importance of communicating with God through His Word and prayer and living a life that glorifies Him.

Today, we are going to explore the subject of being “ready always to give an answer” for their hope in more detail.

Tune in

Christian children need to know how to defend their faith.  They need to know–and understand–not only what we, as Christians, believe; but why we believe it.  Vacation Bible School is a perfect opportunity to do some deep “digging” and discussing.

As a Vacation Bible School teacher, start out by listening to the children in your class.  Be in tune to their hearts.  Listen to their words.  Watch their actions and interactions.  Pay attention to their responses to various activities, such as worksheets, crafts, games, and songs.

With the Holy Spirit’s aid, you will be able to gauge fairly well where a child stands in his view and understanding of the Gospel as you spend time with him at Vacation Bible School.  Your goal, then, will be to be an instrument in guiding the child’s understanding and strengthening his faith in God as Vacation Bible School progresses.

Last week, we talked about how to help the children of various age groups use their Bibles to explore the memory verses and stories at Vacation Bible School.  We also talked about the importance of challenging Christian children to take things deeper as they get older.  They need to learn how to look stories and memory verses up for themselves and, finally, how to compare various Scriptures to get a complete picture of God’s will on a subject.

Strengthened by God’s Word

Through Bible study at Vacation Bible School, Christian children will be strengthened in their decision to follow Jesus.  They will be encouraged to press on Heavenward by memorizing verses such as II Timothy 4:8:

“Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”

Inspired by the life of godly men, such as Paul, they will want to trust God in all situations, too.

“For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” (II Timothy 1:12)

Take time in your Vacation Bible School classrooms to help the children compare Old Testament prophecy with its New Testament fulfillment, such as seen in the life of Jesus.

“And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.” (Luke 24:27)

They will be grounded to not only believe, but to know, that God’s other prophecies are sure to be fulfilled, as well.

“…I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14:3)

As the children learn how clearly God’s commandments are laid out in the Bible and see for themselves how the Holy Spirit empowers their Vacation Bible School teachers to cheerfully obey those laws, the children will be strengthened to do the same.

“Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments.” (Psalm 119:66)

A common thread: the B-I-B-L-E

Do you see the common thread that runs through all of this?  God’s Word, the Bible, is the backbone for the Christian child’s decisions.  It is the basis of their faith.

The Bible also should be the focus of their Vacation Bible School.  Be sure that you plan plenty of time into your Vacation Bible School schedule for activities such as:

  • singing memory verse songs
  • playing memory verse games
  • thoughtfully discussing the Bible stories
  • relating Scripture to the lives of Christian children
  • and opening the Bible to research relevant doctrines

“I stand alone on the Word of God”

As a child myself, I thought it was kind of weird that we would sing “I stand alone on the Word of God”.  Standing on the Bible seemed pretty disrespectful to me.  I was sure we would never really do that!

Teach the children that God’s Word gives us power to stand.  When they spend time reading their Bibles and take care to memorize its instruction and its promises, they are empowered.  Even if they must stand alone, Christian children are not alone.  God Himself will back them, and they will stand.

To take it from another angle, it is God’s Word alone that is powerful enough for Christian children to base their faith on.

Not only will they stand when nobody else even realizes they have been tempted; each Christian child will be “ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh [them] a reason of the hope that is in [them], with meekness and fear.”

So Christian children at Vacation Bible School–and every day–sing strong:

The B-I-B-L-E,
Yes, that’s the Book for me!
I stand alone on the Word of God!
The B-I-B-L-E.
*

Spiritual warfare

There is one last aspect of this topic that we need to discuss.  Christian children are choosing to enter a life-long, spiritual warfare.  They need guidance in how to deal with the battle.  So stay tuned for the conclusion of Vacation Bible School: Teaching Christian children to defend their faith, where we will discuss just that!

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What are some of your favorite Bible verses and Vacation Bible School activities to empower and encourage Christian children to stand strong in their faith? Feel free to leave a comment!

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* “The B-I-B-L-E” song is considered to be in the public domain.


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