Every June, 500+ kids descend on our church for a week of fun, friends and Jesus. Every June, our church has the opportunity to swing wide the doors--both physically and metaphorically--to welcome those 500+ kids into our family. And so much depends on that welcome.
Preston Bell remembers loving his week of Vacation Bible School each summer “because I knew I belonged there. The whole week was for kids and about kids.” And now that he is finally old enough to lead his own crew, he is super excited--so excited that he is willing to give up a week of Football Strength and Conditioning Camp to be there, convincing his coach and teammates that the time spent helping kids know just how loved by God they are was worth the time lost in the weight room.
Preston will be a junior next year, and he doesn’t remember a summer without VBS. As a kid, he remembers liking the music and games of VBS, but more than that, “I remember really liking my leaders and looking forward to the day that I could be one, too. They were super fun and made a difference in my life, and I knew when given the chance, I could be a leader who made a difference in someone else’s life.”
Vacation Bible School relies on adult and student leaders to make it happen--it literally cannot happen without folks who give their time, energy and heart to this effort. Several years ago, the VBS team decided that to have maximum benefit for each child, each crew should be kept small, ideally no more than 8 kids per two leaders. This means that a whole slew of folks are needed the week of June 17, and while it requires very little in the way of expertise, it does require a deep desire to love God’s children and help them know the love of God for themselves.
Preston would tell you that no matter what you have going on, you should drop it and be there. When I asked him why he would be sharing Jesus with kids at VBS, why he thought kids needed to know Jesus, he smiled and said, “cuz Jesus is awesome and He makes us all better.”
Preston is only 16, but gosh, he is wise.
For more information and to sign up to serve at Vacation Bible School this year, please visit UniversitySATX.Org/Summer.