VBS remains the single most effective evangelistic tool we have. Every year boys and girls, students and adults are introduced to Jesus in churches, backyards, and playgrounds all over Ohio. This year’s Galactic Starveyors explores the relationship we have with the Father through Jesus Christ. Taking the theme from Colossians 1:15-16, the gospel is clearly presented in each day’s Bible study. Jesus is the hero of VBS this year (as He is every year!).
In family rooms, garages, church basements, and anywhere else we can find room, VBS’ers are building sets and collecting decorations in preparation. Lots of time, energy, and money is dedicated to creating just the right look for auditorium and classrooms, backyards and playgrounds to help communicate the gospel. We’ll participate in community parades, block parties, and festivals to invite everyone to an exciting week. Enlistment strategies are already well underway in those churches that take VBS seriously, getting everyone involved. All good; investment in the gospel reaps huge rewards.
How much time and energy will your church spend strategically praying for VBS? Sharing the gospel is a battle. We are reminded, “our struggle is not against flesh and blood” and “the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh.” (Ephesians 6:11; 2 Corinthians 10:4) The enemy is “prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour.” (1 Peter 5:8) Here’s the challenge: match the efforts spent in preparing and promoting VBS with praying for VBS. Here are some ideas for your VBS prayer strategy.
- Prayer walking – LifeWay has provided an excellent prayerwalking guide (Prayerwalk Brochure available on the Administrative Guide CD). Prayerwalk your community, praying on-site for insight. Prayerwalk your auditorium and classrooms before the battle begins.
- Enlist a prayer team – You have folks in your church that for a multitude of reasons cannot be directly involved in VBS, but they can pray. Perhaps a Sunday School class or small group would take the challenge to pray. Make sure they have a list of workers and other prayer concerns. And don’t forget to share the results with them!
- Around-the-clock praying – 24 hours before the launch of VBS recruit prayer warriors to lift to the Father every aspect of VBS.
- Prayer chains – Existing prayer chains need to be alerted to VBS prayer concerns and updated as new concerns surface.
- On-site real-time praying – Enlist prayer warriors to be in the prayer room of your church during VBS. Give them an outline of the gospel presentation for that night so they can pray specifically. A list of workers, and even students, if available, will allow them to pray by name for each person on campus or in backyards around your community.
- 40 days of prayer and fasting – Challenge the church to spend time in prayer and fasting during the 40 (or 30… 10… 7… 3 – whatever works) days before VBS. (Galactic Starveyors Prayer Calendar available on the Administrative Guide CD)
- Prayer/Commissioning Service – The Sunday before VBS have all those who will be working in VBS stand. Ask others to gather around them, lay hands on them, and pray. Have each worker prepared with 3-5 specific prayer requests on 3x5 cards they can share with those who would commit to pray for them.
- Use social media – Encourage prayer for VBS on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Make the request specific (only use names when you have permission) so people can pray specifically. Share answered prayer. (Again, with great caution on using names)
- Church communications – Bulletins, newsletters, email blasts, telephone trees, every means of communication needs a reminder to pray for VBS. LifeWay has a prayer reminder card (Prayer Cards available on the Administrative Guide CD) you can print and distribute.
- Lead a study on prayer for VBS – Attached is an outline titled The Early Church teaches us to pray for VBS based on a look at prayer from Acts. It could be used as a sermon starter, Wednesday evening study, small group discussion guide, or wherever you have an opportunity to encourage and equip the church to engage in prayer for VBS.
What ideas would you add to the list?