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A new twist on vacation Bible school

Last summer, St. Peter, Modesto, Calif., decided to try something new with its summer programs for kids.

The congregation had been conducting a morning soccer Bible camp each year aimed at children in preschool through grade 4. But the congregation realized they were missing children who weren’t into sports. So members added a traditional church summer camp to the mix—but they put a twist on it.

“We decided to hold a multigenerational vacation Bible school in the evenings and invite both parents and kids to attend,” says Dan Schroeder, pastor at St. Peter. “This way parents can model to their kids the importance of being in the Word. They also get to do something fun together.”

For three evenings, people of all ages gathered together for supper, singing, and Scripture. “One of the goals of our Bible study time was to have all ages interact with one another as they discovered and learned Bible truths and shared their faith,” says Schroeder. “The questions were purposely designed to prompt dialogue about the life and actions of a Bible character, God’s interaction in the character’s life, and ways we live out our own Christian lives.”

Kids—both young and young-at-heart—also enjoyed craft time (especially the modeling clay), which reinforced the Bible study lessons.

The VBS averaged 35 people a night and included several nonmember families from the preschool and earlier soccer camp.

Schroeder says one of the program’s benefits is offering an easy setting for adults to talk about spiritual truths with their children. “It gives parents an opportunity to practice so that it becomes more natural to share their faith in their daily lives.”

St. Peter is planning on offering the program again this summer. “It was a joy to be able to watch the interaction,” says Schroeder. “It was loud, but it was a good loud. You could feel learning was happening.”

See examples of other WELS summer Bible camps here.

Volume 107, Number 03
Issue: March 2020

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