Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, “Let the little children come to Me and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” (Mark 10:13–15)
We host VBS so that kids will have the opportunity to receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Yes, we also want kids to have fun. We want them to meet new friends, make crafts, and sing songs. But those reasons should not be the focus of your VBS week.
VBS is a time when children should hear the truth about who God is; why we are separated from Him; and what God did in sending Jesus to die on the Cross, rise from the dead, and conquer sin. We want kids to learn that, through the work of the Holy Spirit, they can turn away from their sin and experience His gift of salvation and sanctification.
All volunteers, regardless of their role, need to be ready to present a clear explanation of the gospel to the kids at any time. Any volunteer should be ready and willing to drop anything at a moment’s notice to speak with and pray with a child who wants to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior.
This is vital to know not only for VBS, but also in Sunday school, at home, and at all times. Answers VBS suggests that, before VBS week, each church presents a gospel workshop for all leaders and helpers to train everyone to respond to children and help them as they consider how to respond to all they learn about Jesus Christ. The VBS director could run this, or this would be a great way to get your pastor involved in equipping VBS leaders for this essential outreach. Plus, included in each Resource DVD-ROM is a PDF of information and tips for leaders and volunteers about this important privilege of telling children about the gospel of Christ, encouraging them to trust in Him for salvation.
After you present the gospel, these questions are helpful to ask kids:
- Why did Jesus come to earth? Why did Jesus need to die? Why did Jesus rise again?
- Why do you want Jesus to be your Savior?
- Why should God let you into His family? (Make sure the child understands that salvation is not based on what he does but that it is a gracious gift of God through faith in the death and Resurrection of Jesus.)
When a child seems to have a basic understanding of salvation (belief in Jesus’ death and Resurrection, admission of and repentance from sin, and a desire to follow the Lord), encourage him to talk to his parents about what it means to become a child of God (if they are followers of Christ). Encourage a child who comes from a non-Christian home to verbalize his understanding to the Lord through prayer. Because there is no single prayer that should be prayed, just encourage him to tell God he is a sinner and ask the Lord to forgive him as he trusts in Jesus.
Get the complete, free PDF resource from Answers VBS about leading a child to Christ. Just visit the Answers in Genesis webstore, create an account or log in, add the digital download to your cart, and check out through the store online.
There is a lot going on at VBS, but it is important to stay focused on Christ. On the Answers VBS Facebook page, let us know how you have seen Christ work at VBS in the past.
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