Tuesday, July 19, 2011
GratiTuesday - An Old-Fashioned Bible School
A few years ago a friend invited us to go to Bible School at her church. Our children are good friends and she really praised the way her church structured the week, so we decided to go. Boy, was she right! It reminds me of the way VBS was when I was a kid. When you met with your friends under a tent on the church grounds, 100 kids and counting, all singing songs to Jesus and learning about how He lived.
We enjoyed it so much that this year we were back for our third year.
There are no foam sticker crafts or half-hearted efforts put into this Bible School. This church goes all out.
An real art teacher plans the crafts. This year, the young children made wooden door signs for their rooms ...
while the older children (with help) constructed benches for local nursing homes.
Snack time - with the included popsicles - was a personal favorite of My Little Man's!
The church goes all out for decorating, too. They do buy lots of signs and posters that go along with the theme, but they make lots of scenery, too. See the Statue of Liberty on the right? That art teacher drew, cut out, and painted that. How cool is that?
Everyone processes in each night for an opening full of songs, scripture, and pledges. It feels like camp!
But the most important part is why we're all there. Each year everyone has the chance to bring a friend to an open and fun time and share. The kids (and the adults!) sing and learn scripture and talk about how the Bible relates to our lives today. What does Jesus' message mean? How do we live it out today?
So today I'm grateful for Bible School. For a church who sets aside six full nights and many months of prep work before that to make sharing Jesus with the community a priority. For people who are not willing to 'settle' for easy foam crafts or shorten the lessons or try to cram them into fewer days to make the experience easier for the workers. Who are willing to redecorate their entire church and teach all evening after working all day to give their 'campers' a good experience, to really show them what the Bible says - not just tell them.
I'm grateful for an old-fashioned Bible school where people are the hands and feet of the Jesus they serve.