Hot Dogs, Soda Pop, and The Gospel.
The theme was Mega Sports Camp with four different sports for the youth (ages 5 to 12) to choose: Basketball, Cheerleading, Football, and Soccer.
It was my privilege to assist with the Football and to teach a few of the Bible Studies that interspersed our schedule.
Gaelynn chose to focus on Basketball, while Israel decided on Football. Candace rotated around a bit behind the scenes, also lending a hand with the Cheerleading group.
I thoroughly enjoyed working beside C.R. Evans, my old Junior High Coach/Algebra Teacher, and observing his interactions with my son. Watching “Coach” adjust my son’s hand-off technique and footwork, in addition to hearing his numerous aphorisms extolling old-school fundamentals, was a sublime pleasure that will stay with me for a long time.
Having not grown up within the general culture of mainstream Evangelicalism, I never attended “VBS” so much of it is relatively unfamiliar ground with me.
That said… it seems to be yet another ancillary manifestation of Finney-esque revivalism, whereupon the Gospel is presented as a singular experiential occurrence; merely a procession of consequentialism and “good manners” works-righteousness. An obsolete remnant of a dying era, much like an “altar call” of endless pipe-organ choruses or the weepy repentances of wild-eyed tent revivals.
I can understand the mind behind such an approach, and I would never be opposed to local assemblies reaching outward into the surrounding community, but I cannot help but feel as though churches are too focused at clinging desperately to bygone means of presenting the timeless message of the Gospel to a culture of shifting sands.