For the last several weeks, I have been on the road with LifeWay Kids training VBS leaders from around the country and North America. We have traveled to North Carolina, Texas, Tennessee and will be in Florida this weekend.
There have been VBS leaders from every state in the union including Alaska and Hawaii and from our neighbors in Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Canada.
Once everything is finished, we will have trained nearly 6000 VBS leaders who will in turn train another 70,000+ leaders who will host and lead 3 million boys, girls, teens and adults in VBS this year. I am overwhelmed by the power of multiplication and the enormous influence VBS has on Kids Ministry around the world.
Over the last few weeks of ministry, I have learned several important truths about those who lead and serve in Kids Ministry around the nation.
I have learned that…
1. THEY ARE PASSIONATE. These servant-leaders are absolutely passionate about their own personal faith in Christ and the work assigned to them by God in serving kids and families. They are willing to do whatever it takes to help the next generation know Jesus and grow in Him. Their passion and vitality is infectious.
2. THEY ARE HARDWORKING. These leaders go the extra mile and often do it without any appreciation or recognition. Without exception, Kids Ministry is the largest people and volunteer network in the church. It is usually the most demanding with all sorts of different needs among different age groups. It is usually the most under-funded, yet all the while it is the single most effective evangelistic tool the church has at its disposal. These leaders get it done week after week, year after year and I applaud them.
3. Lastly, THEY ARE HUNGRY FOR HELP. When a KidMin leader attends a training session, they sit on the edge of their seats hungry for any tip, any suggestion, any instruction we can give. They take page after page of notes. They listen with their eyes and ears and hearts wide open. They are starving for anything that will help them lead better.
I have taught similar sessions for pastors, ministers and deacons and I promise you the sessions are not the same. I am not slamming pastors (goodness, I am one), but the intensity level is not nearly the same as these KidMin leaders. Pastors tend to generally appreciate the training but all the while are checking their phones, day-dreaming, catching up on some sleep, and running back and forth to the lobby to take a call. Not so with the KidMin leader. This is their chance to be equipped and they are in it full on.
My heart and soul goes out to these 6000 VBS leaders. In the months ahead, they will labor to get volunteers, make preparations, decide about budgets, argue with the church maintenance staff, stay up late, get up early, all to share the love of Christ with kids and families. We know their labor will not be in vain.
I am simply humbled and honored to be able to meet them, encourage them, and give them a glimmer of hope because I am a VBS salvation. It still works and will continue to work for generations to come.