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Vacation Bible School

One of the most exciting weeks of the church year is Vacation Bible School (VBS). It is a concentrated time of Bible learning, crafts, games, music, and, of course, snacks. VBS is also an avenue of outreach for the church as preschoolers and children from the community participate. You can make missions part of the excitement of VBS.

Include missions as one of the activity or rotation times.

A missions time of 15–20 minutes can be in your schedule on each day of VBS. Use a unit from Mission Friends Leader to focus on a missions area and missionary throughout the week. Each day, tell a story from the unit and choose one of the activities to do with preschoolers. If you need more activities, more can be found in First Steps in Missions, vol. 23. The LifeWay VBS curriculum includes a missions rotation that can be adapted to use with older preschoolers.

Set up a missions interest area in your VBS classroom.

Prepare an area of the room by posting pictures on the wall from Mission Friends Resource Kit and Pictures. Include a small table in the interest area for a resource kit item such as a picture puzzle or matching game. Include decorations from the country or state. Choose an activity for the missions interest area each day from Mission Friends Leader or First Steps in Missions. Interact with preschoolers in the interest area by telling about the missionary, their ministries, and their prayer requests. Lead preschoolers to say sentence prayers for the missionary.

Include a missions offering as part of VBS.

Work with your pastor and VBS director to decide how the missions offering will be distributed. Choose a ministry recipient, and focus your efforts towards giving the VBS offering to that ministry. You might choose to give the missions offering to a community ministry in which your church is involved, towards a water filter for a missionary family through Pure Water, Pure Love, or to the North American Mission Board or International Mission Board. Other ideas include giving to a state missions effort, Global Hunger Relief, Baptist Global Response, or Southern Baptist Disaster Relief. Make banks with preschoolers or give each preschooler a Missions Bank in which they may collect their offering at home. Consider keeping a Missions Bank or offering basket in your classroom and encourage preschoolers to bring an offering each day. However, take coins out of the bank as soon as they are collected, and keep them out of the reach of babies through 2-year-olds. Supervise 3s through kindergartners so they do not put coins in mouths, noses, or ears.

Make missions a significant part of your VBS so that missions learning goes hand-in-hand with Bible learning. As preschoolers learn in VBS about God’s love for us, you can help them to see that God loves all people and wants all people to know about His love. As you share about missions work in the world and give opportunities for preschoolers to pray and give to missions, they learn about God’s missions heart. VBS is a great place for weaving in missions experiences in fun ways.

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