"I am not going to take a chance on my children attending VBS where salvation is so wrongly presented"

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G. N. Barkman's picture

Bravo! The potetial harm done to the souls of impressionable children may be far greater than the good we hope to achieve.

G. N. Barkman

phil's picture

Then what are your thoughts on Summer Christian Camp ministries, or church day camps programs? Whether you do or don't send your child(ren) to VBS, it does provide an avenue to reach the home of many unchurched children.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

It's never wise to lump "bad concept" in with "poor execution." Lots of people preach the gospel badly. The answer is to do it well.

VBS can be done right... so how about we just do it right rather than broadly condemn it?

G. N. Barkman's picture

Yes, yes, yes!  I agee with Aaron.  Don't throw the baby out with the bath water.  Conduct your own VBS with sound teaching and methods.  I recently saw a VBS announcement in Charlottesville, VA, where the children would learn about the Puritans.  Great idea!

However, the initial question was not how to conduct VBS, but whether we should  send our children to the typcal modern VBS with its almost inevitable calls for decisions of every kind, starting with salvation.  When that is the question, my answer is No.  The potential for spiritual harm outweighs the possibility for good.

G. N. Barkman

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

G. N. Barkman wrote:

Yes, yes, yes!  I agee with Aaron.  Don't throw the baby out with the bath water.  Conduct your own VBS with sound teaching and methods.  I recently saw a VBS announcement in Charlottesville, VA, where the children would learn about the Puritans.  Great idea!

However, the initial question was not how to conduct VBS, but whether we should  send our children to the typcal modern VBS with its almost inevitable calls for decisions of every kind, starting with salvation.  When that is the question, my answer is No.  The potential for spiritual harm outweighs the possibility for good.

Same thing for the other contact areas. Do your own. It is healthier for the church and safer for  the children. 

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Quote:
but whether we should  send our children to the typcal modern VBS with its almost inevitable calls for decisions of every kind, starting with salvation.

I'm not sure how "typical" that is. But I guess however much there is of it is too much, and I agree that it should be avoided. If anything, I think our own VBS is too far the other direction. We teach the gospel but I would like to find more ways to encourage a response without crossing over into manipulative or just confusing appeals.

It's commonly lamented that so few who were involved in church as kids stay involved as adults. But the flip side is that so many who are faithful disciples as adults made "decisions" as children.

G. N. Barkman's picture

My perspective may be a bit skewed.  I'm thinking of the several Vacation Bible Schools our church conducted in the 1970's in partnership with a national "franchised" program.  (Initials NBT) 

We were sent two men from a fundamental Christian college who had been trained to conduct a program using our people as teachers, to serve refreshments, lead in crafts and recreation, etc.  It was a high pressure, highly emotional approach with a strong emphasis upon getting the kids to make decisions.

After the first year, we agreed that many aspects of the program were excellent, such as Scripture memory, and the excitement of the leaders seemed to motivate the kids to learn and memorize to earn those ribbons.  However, we didn't like the high pressure altar calls.  So, the next year, with an agreement from the home office, we trained our own workers in appropriate methods of evangelism, and asked the NBT leaders to "tone it down."  They gladly complied, and we had a great VBS.  I'm sure it was also the smallest number of decisions they recorded all Summer!

The third year, we thought we had the same arrangement.  However, the two college leaders were different individuals, and they (especially the main leader) were not happy!  They complained that the kids they sent out "to be saved" were coming back after having been told to think further on what they were told, and go back to the main service, and listen carefully to what was taught.  They also complained to the home office that our church was not cooperating with them.  Needless to say, we severed our relationship with NBT.

 

G. N. Barkman

rogercarlson's picture

We do a day camp.  We just finished yesterday.  We have the preaching time in the middle of the day and the classroom time after.  We tell the kids if they have questions to ask.  During the class, the teachers recap and say the same.  Then kids work on verses, and work pages.  Some will ask about salvation.  We have no invitation during our Day Camp.  We had 89 (we had 59 in service sunday morning) registered with two professions that we will follow up with. 

Our purpose is to build for the long haul and whatever the Lord does is great.  I think that is the healthy approach.  I don't blame the author.  There are very vew VBS programs that I will send my kids to.

Roger Carlson, Pastor
Berean Baptist Church