Hey everyone! Kelley Taylor here, your VBS director. This year marks my 10th in that role. WOW! Over the past 10 years, VBS attendance at Gateway has grown by 428%. This is a really exciting figure, and I must confess it’s something I’ve been super proud of. As a matter of fact, I need to ask your forgiveness because I was so proud of this accomplishment that I got frustrated over the past few years when we stopped growing at that same exponential rate. While still very high, our attendance plateaued.
Then last year, in February I started hearing about churches that were taking their VBS to the streets of their communities. I immediately got excited about it…but also really scared. Because change is SO hard. The idea of taking this super awesome event and multiplying it out to the streets was hard to get my mind around.
I have friends in Nashville and Olive Branch who are fellow ‘VBS Junkies’ that have done this. They have taken the same great Gospel message and fun learning environment as traditional VBS and gone off their church campus. Because of their experience, they have been able to answer my endless questions and give me mounds of encouragement.
Thanks to these other pioneers, I have a pretty good idea how it will work. We’ll take small teams, about 7 people, and conduct Kids Clubs in host homes and parks throughout our community. I’m blessed to have already begun building 5teams that will conduct Kids Clubs during different weeks in June and July at places that will reach people who wouldn’t otherwise come here to Gateway.
One of the things both of my friends pointed me towards were statistics. I think you’ll agree, it is startling to find that 66% of Tipton County is unchurched. That translates to +40,000 people that need to know about the saving, healing grace of Jesus!
But, there’s another statistic that convinces me this is the next step for the VBS ministry: something that has remained consistent over the past 10 years of VBS at Gateway: less than 5% of the children that attend VBS at Gateway are unchurched. Let me put it another way: VBS is the largest single outreach event we do as a church every year, and less than 5% those that attend don’t have a church home. Something I don’t expect to change: almost every unchurched child that comes is brought by one of our church members.
Have you been a part of teaching VBS in years past? I hope you will continue to serve in at least one Kids Club. Haven’t been able to because of work, sports, or vacation? We have some evening and weekend clubs for which you can volunteer. Those of you that are new to Gateway, join us! It’s going to take all of us praying, promoting, and inviting!
Volunteer by completing a form from the table in the connection center or follow this: link to Kids Club. This mission isn’t easy, but it’s simple. We are all called to share the Gospel everywhere, starting in our own town.
Kids Clubs Director