Redeeming VBS – Free Daycare

Recently I wrote a post outlining some of the complaints that are commonly heard this time of year in regards to VBS. You can read that post HERE. I want to do some follow up to that post, addressing each of these complaint specifically. Today I want to look at the complaint that VBS is often just free daycare.

It’s just free daycare. With this one the complaint is that parents take their kid from VBS to VBS as a form of free daycare rather than paying for a summer camp, daycare, etc. I really think that the answer to this problem is not a change of policy or procedure, but a change of heart. I don’t think its a problem with the parents, but a problem with US.

So What?! There are some parents that will bring their kids to VBS simply as a free form of childcare. In the minds of many people this represents a major problem. This is not what YOU have envisioned for VBS. This is not what YOU worked so hard for. This is not what YOU planned for. This makes it a problem for YOU. My question is WHY? Why does this bother YOU so? Why is this a problem?

It’s not about YOU. First let me set something straight, VBS is not about YOU. It’s not about ME. It’s not about your pastor, or your children’s ministry leader either. VBS is about serving those children and their families. VBS is about serving God. Whatever your church decides is the purpose of your VBS, it is not about you.

Be thankful. I understand how we can become frustrated when parents don’t take VBS seriously. However, I think that we look at it wrong. In children’s ministry we often talk about how excited we get to share the gospel with kids. We talk about how we will take ANY opportunity to do this. Then we complain because our VBS has turned into free daycare. Be thankful that these parents are bringing their kids to you and, therefore, giving you an open opportunity to share the gospel with them.

Serve these families. For some of these families bringing their kids to your VBS allows them to work. For others it simply allows them a little peace. Either way these are families that are coming to. You don’t have to go to them. You aren’t having to beg them to come. They are coming to you of their own free will. Take this time to serve them. I can’t say how this would look at your church. Maybe it means having extended hours for working parents. Maybe it means feeding the kids an actual lunch before sending them off because it may be the first meal they get that day. Maybe it means serving breakfast before cause it may be the only time all summer they get breakfast. Whatever it is for your church and your community God has sent these people to you, serve them.

In conclusion. If you have voiced this complaint, take some time to look at the heart of this issue. I’m not trying to be mean or to hurt anyone’s feelings. But, we all have to take some time, on occasion, to examine our hearts and make sure their in the right place.

Stay tuned as I address some of the other common complaints about VBS.


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