The single greatest thing that you and your church congregation can do to impact your church’s VBS program is to begin praying long before summer arrives. Pray for the children that will come, pray for the workers God will use, pray that the Holy Spirit will open hearts to His call.
Below are a few simple ways you and your church can begin your VBS prayer ministry. Find all 10 Tips on Page 20 of the Ocean Commotion VBS Director Guide, a product of the 2016 Answers in Genesis VBS “Ocean Commotion.”
Find Prayer Warriors
Find a group of people who will commit to praying for your church’s VBS consistently. As the prayer group leader, continually encourage the group and regularly send them specific prayer requests. Many churches already have an email list for prayer requests to be distributed to the entire church. Ask your church’s leaders if this list is available for you to use to send regular VBS prayer requests. Some directors will prefer to create a separate list for VBS requests.
Gather Your VBS Team to Pray
Encourage your VBS leadership team to pray that God would use each summer’s VBS program for His purpose. Leaders can pray for their fellow leaders, children in the church that will come, and those outside the church that come and hear about Christ.
Pray Through Names on the Class List
If your VBS registration system produces class rosters, teachers may know the names of the children in their group in advance. If this is the case in your church, encourage the VBS team leaders to pray continually for these children by name in the weeks leading up to VBS. The children will bring friends during the week, which gives an opportunity for the group leader to pray that all of the children would grow in their understanding of Jesus Christ and the gospel. After the program has ended, pray that the children apply the lessons to their lives and walk in the knowledge of Christ.
Establish a Team to Pray During VBS Hours
Ask for volunteers specifically to meet and pray together for your VBS during the sessions each day. Also, whether you choose morning, evening, or any of the other formats (listed on Page 27 of the Answers VBS “Ocean Commotion” Director Guide), there are going to be people who want to help with VBS but can’t be there because of work or other commitments. Consider asking these people to pray for the program from work, home, or on the road during VBS time.
Keep Praying When VBS Is Over
During your church’s VBS, many kids will hear for the first time that they were created to have a relationship with God. This may be the first time that they have heard the name of Jesus. It is likely that this is the first time that they have had the gospel presented to them. These children, and the children that are at church every week, are in desperate need of prayer not only during but after they have left VBS. Studies, such as the one reported in Ken Ham’s book Already Gone, show that two-thirds of young people that are currently in the church will walk away from the church by the time they reach college age. Pray that the Lord would continue to apply His Word to their hearts, and that He would continue to conform them to the image of His Son.
Philippians 4:6 tells us that in “everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” Encourage your VBS team to be in constant prayer at every stage of preparation—during VBS week and after the program ends—for God to bless the work that you do for Him and for the children that come to hear about Him.
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