I was born with SBC blood flowing through my veins. My parents were Southern Baptists as were my parent’s parents. So, attending vacation bible school was inevitable. It would never be a question asked in our home, not that I didn’t try.
Like every other kid, during the school year I dreamed of summer vacation. I longed for those days when we played outside with friends, the many adventures down to the creek or out in the woods, and staying up late because we could. Who could possibly get excited about summer vacation with bible school? Just the sound of it screamed of summer school, and no one wanted that. It was as if adults added the word vacation in order to trick us or something. Ugh! Yes, I went because that is what we did in our home.
From the very first time I can recall, it was fun! There was nothing about it like school. We marched in, sang songs, participated in crafts and outdoor activities, plus we always got a snack and fresh lemonade. Then there were biblical stories, too, where we learned life lessons and memorized scripture. Sometimes the person from the Bible would show up to tell the story themselves. Okay, so maybe it was the pastor dressed up and wearing a fake beard, but it was still fun. The week flew by and before I knew it, I was wishing it would last longer. Through the years I remember being introduced to real live missionaries and saw slide shows of far away places. They told us about people on the other side of the world who lived very different from us and needed Jesus. It was awesome!
As I got older, it seemed a natural transition to move from participant to worker. This experience was also fun, in its own way. Now I was involved in the preparations, handing out cookies at snack time, and helping play games with the kids. As a VBS worker I learned many new skills and spent more time in my Bible. All those verses I had memorized through the years were coming back to me in a most helpful way. Now I was learning the stories behind them, and able to help others learn these life changing verses. VBS had become a vital part of my summer, I had gone from not looking forward to it and thinking it was something that it wasn’t, to loving it and enjoying the experience, and thrilled when the time came to serve.
I still think the name is misleading and most kids aren’t interested in going to school during summer break. But, when you get there, feel the excitement, and learn of the love of Jesus your life changes. VBS has always been a blessing in my life and now in the lives of my own family. I am proud to be a Southern Baptist and blessed to serve each summer with our churches Vacation Bible School.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tom Scott is a media specialist who coordinates efforts for the Baptist Beacon each month. In addition to his editing and graphic design work, Tom lends his decades of experience in the classroom where he is preparing the next generation of media types. He and his wife, Cindy, have been married for 36 years and reside in Richmond, VA.