This past week our church hosted Cave Quest VBS. It was an outstanding adventure… and a significant amount of work. Here are a few lessons I learned about Evangelization from Vacation Bible School.
Evangelization is Joy-filled
At the morning VBS meeting, the leaders reminded the volunteers that the energy they bring is the energy that the kids will model. Pope Francis recently released an apostolic exhortation titled ‘The Joy of the Gospel’. The Gospel is demanding, it is challenging and so many other things. Yet, Pope Francis wants the Church to lead with the sweetness of the faith, the joy of the good news of Jesus Christ.
When you evangelize, do not do so trying to save people from the fires of hell, but rather focus on introducing people to the love of God and the glory of heaven. Help them first encounter joy.
Effective Evangelization keeps the Message Simple
Each day at VBS a new message would be the focus of the day. This ‘Bible Point’ was stated countless times each day. “Jesus gives us courage.” “Follow Him!” “Jesus gives us love” “Follow Him!” This message was completely accessible to the kiddos and memorized by the end of the day.
When sharing Christ with the unchurched, do not make it complicated or confusing. Keep it simple. This makes the message more accessible. Then unpack that message over time. Here are some great messages that share an aspect of the Gospel in simple ways.
- A Christian seeks to Know God and Make God Known.
- God Created You with Purpose & on Purpose.
- Life is tough, but God is tougher.
- If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.
- For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. ~ John 3:16
Stories are Powerful
Each day at VBS the kids would pack into the main hall and watch the leaders act out the story of Clark and his misadventures of exploring the cave and encountering God’s love. The theme from this story would relate to the bible story of the day. This connecting the message of the Gospel to daily life is called a testimony. Sharing the Gospel should mean sharing yourself as the Gospel shapes us.
Humor is a great tool when appropriate. Inviting people into our journey with Christ, even in the challenging times, creates an authentic witness that lets others know the journey is open to all.
From a Community, Into a Community
From their VBS group, to their bigger community grouped by colors, each child at VBS knew they were a part of something bigger than themselves. This was exciting, welcoming and provided a sense of security and belonging.
Evangelization should draw others into not only a relationship with Christ but also into a relationship with a community of believers. You can build community without disciples, but you cannot build disciples without community.
Comment below with other ways you have seen Evangelization modeled through working with God’s children.