For some reason this year, as my Facebook feed filled with posts from kidmin friends about VBS, I began noticing a common trend. It seemed that everyone was focused on the numbers. Post after post touted record breaking numbers. Kids coming in droves. Don’t get me wrong, lots of kids at your VBS is amazing, but is it most important? Are “enrollment” and “daily attendance” more important than the fact that kids came to church and heard the word of God taught?
As I traveled this summer, I met a kids ministry leader and I talked briefly with her about VBS. She said her church quit doing VBS because it was so expensive and not enough kids came. She said “we want to spend our money on helping the kids have fun.” Her words stung in my head, as I reflected on my observation of my friends’ facebook posts about VBS.
Sometimes I wonder if we, as church leaders, have become too consumed with number reporting and not concerned enough with life transformation. I’m certainly writing this post directly to me as I am definitely guilty of the “how many can we get” mentality. I teach in the preteen VBX area and this year, I was thinking, “I wonder how we can get more kids tomorrow.” I tended to focus on that more than I did the, “Wow, this lesson is awesome. This will change kids’ lives’ aspect.”
Toward the end of the summer, I helped a neighbor with a backyard Bible club. Despite signs, fliers, and facebook messages, we had a smaller number of kids. It would have been easy to get disappointed, but I didn’t. I loved the smaller crowd. I loved getting to know the kids. I loved knowing this was some of the kids’ first time to hear a Bible lesson. I loved that it provided connections with parents who have contacted me since then to ask for prayer. I chose to focus on the quality and not the quantity. How do you see the quality in what you do? I hope I can always remember to choose quality, not just quantity.
Jeff Land loves life! That’s pretty great, because his job here at Lifeway is the Team Leader for Bible Studies for Life: Kids. Jeff loves his life which is so blessed by his amazing wife, Abbey, and their four sons, Reed, Nash, Will, and Tuck. A natural encourager and fun-lover, look for Jeff’s posts about teacher appreciation and game ideas. When not serving at work, Jeff serves 2nd graders at his church, First Baptist Church, Joelton, TN.