Idea #6: Value of Vacation Bible Schools
Summertime is both the season for family vacations and for churches to host a time-honored tradition known as Vacation Bible School (VBS) that dates back to 1922. This Christian History article, “From Beer to Bibles to VBS: How America got its favorite summer tradition,” explains:
“Vacation Bible Schools are typically offered by churches once every summer, starting usually on a Monday and finishing up that Friday. They center around a single theme, involve kids in games and crafts, and—most importantly—seek to teach biblical truths. Christian youth are encouraged to invite their neighborhood friends who otherwise would never bother with church. In many communities, the week of summer fun is anticipated with rising excitement.”
Read the full history of Vacation Bible School in “From Beer to Bibles to VBS: How America got its favorite summer tradition” (by Steven Gertz, in Christian History, June 2003).
One of the major publishers of VBS curriculum, Lifeway, explained the importance of VBS to the largest denomination in the United States, the Southern Baptist Convention:
“Professions of faith made during Vacation Bible School consistently equal about 25 percent of the number of baptisms in the Southern Baptist Convention… Nearly 3 million children, youth and adults register for VBS at more than 25,000 Southern Baptist churches each year and report nearly 90,000 professions of faith in Christ.”
Another major VBS publisher is Standard Publishing (in Cincinnati, Ohio) and they are credited for popularizing VBS by creating the first full-scale curriculum in 1923. And consistent with its historic achievement, Standard Publishing runs its VBS website using the domain name vacationbibleschool.com
One of the largest online store for VBS curriculum can be found at christianbook.com, where they’ve also compiled a comparison chart, 2014 VBS Decision Guide, to help church leaders choose what to use for VBS.
Even in 2014, as the Internet continues to expand and impact more parts of our lives, the summertime tradition of vacation Bible schools continue in churches large and small. As websites on the Internet increasingly serve as the distribution channel for content, it’s more efficient for VBS curriculum to be previewed online. This also opens the opportunity for churches to have easier access to a wider variety of curriculum, with no need to wait for a printed catalog to arrive in the mail. While researching for this article, I even found several publisher’s websites promoting their 2015 curriculum already. Perhaps there are more innovations to come for summer Bible education.
This article is part of the blog series, 66 Ideas for .BIBLE Domain Names, with practical ideas for using .BIBLE domain names. Individuals and organizations can now register .BIBLE domain names that are more shareable, memorable, and meaningful at any accredited registrar.