Why We Do VBS
6 Ways VBS Accomplishes Our Purpose Statement
The purpose of Parkwood Baptist Church is to glorify God by laboring together for the growth of all believers while going with the gospel to people(s). It sounds simple because it ought to be. Christ commissioned his disciples with simplicity, so we eagerly and joyfully function in that same simplicity. Vacation Bible School (VBS) provides the entire church an opportunity to accomplish not only our Purpose Statement, but much great gospel good in children and in our community. That is why from July 17-20, our campus will have galactic decor and kids and leaders all over.
- We make disciples of our kids. In Matthew 19, Jesus is teaching on divorce and marriage, then verse 13 says, “children were brought to him.” His disciples began to rebuke those who brought the children to him, but Jesus then rebukes his disciples by saying “to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” Other texts of Scripture call the people of God to teach their children the things of God (Deuteronomy 6 and Matthew 28, to name the significant passages), so we must ensure we take particular care to “shepherd the flock of God that is among you.” Summer vacation provides an opportune time to set aside a week to teach and shepherd the kids in our congregation.
- We make disciples of all kids. What if we had the finest church-based training for families? What if we had the best VBS in our area? What if we had those but took no account for children from fractured families? What if we had those but had no concern over the families moving to Gaston County this summer? At a minimum, we would be inconsistently teaching the Great Commission. At Parkwood, we praise the Lord that over 100 kids are currently signed up for VBS who have never been. We must believe and act in knowing “the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself” (Acts 2:39).
- We labor together to partner with our parents and grandparents. “For he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen” (1 John 4:20). We submit “to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21). Out of this submission, “God has composed the body...that the members may have the same care for one another” (1 Corinthians 12:24-25). This same care for one another causes us to labor together with those who are most influential in the lives of the little ones at Parkwood. For those committed to making disciples of their kids and other kids, this is not a week off but a week together.
- We labor together to serve other parents and grandparents. In the book of Jeremiah, God’s people were sojourners and exiles in Babylon. God told his people to “seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you” (Jeremiah 29:7). Parkwood is comprised of sojourners and exiles God has sent to Gastonia. Opening our services and programs to our community is a must. “A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house” (Matthew 5:14-15). Through our members laboring together, alongside the verbal proclamation of the gospel, nonbelievers may come to know and love the Lord (1 Corinthians 14:20-25; Romans 10:14).
- Laboring together produces spiritual growth. Have you ever made a sacrifice but felt like you received more than you gave? Have you been on a mission trip and felt like you grew more than the people you served? Mark Dever says, “Through our commitments and responsibilities as church members, we learn more of what true Christian love is all about.” By serving the church and community, God grows the individual. Spiritual growth may be hard to see from day-to-day, but spiritual growth can be seen easier when we reflect year-to-year. That’s why our pastoral staff is so excited that almost 50 people will serve who have never served at VBS before: spiritual growth is evident.
- All of this glorifies God. God’s glory is the overarching theme of Scripture. God’s glory will resound for all of eternity. What is incredible to consider is that God is glorified when we are obedient to him. God can be glorified in the large and small matters of life (1 Corinthians 10:31). When the body of Christ is functioning properly, which VBS provides an opportunity to evaluate how well we are working together, God is greatly glorified (Ephesians 3:21).