Above: Children at Blair, First helped lead the singing during VBS assembly

A new school year has begun, and as families settle into routines, many are reflecting on the special vacations and memories they have shared this year. Oklahoma Baptist churches are happy to have been a part of the summer fun with great Vacation Bible School (VBS) experiences.

Little ones at Piedmont, First enjoy story time at VBS.

Nicole Welch, who serves Oklahoma Baptists as childhood ministry assistant, talked about the Southern Baptist VBS theme being “SPARK” this year.

“This summer, kids were encouraged to ‘spark’ their imaginations with Lifeway’s VBS Spark Studios,” she said. “Based on Eph. 2:10, kids learned they are created, designed and empowered by God in their everyday lives. Each day (of VBS) included worship, crafts, Bible study, recreation, snacks and missions education that focused on how each of us are created in Christ and designed for God’s Purpose. Kids learned that God is our marvelous Creator and that He uniquely designed them for His purpose.

“VBS also focused on how Jesus is God’s promised One and how He fulfilled God’s plan to save us,” Welch continued. “The week ended with kids learning that the Holy Spirit gives them the power to follow God’s plan through using their different spiritual gifts. Each church had fun offering challenges to demonstrate how everyone can help support missions around the world.”

Children at Broken Arrow, First observe a lesson on Palm Sunday during VBS.

Several children’s pastors, leaders and volunteers were blessed by those who participated in VBS this year.

“What a blessing it was to be able to teach the truth of the Gospel through the theme of Spark Studios!” Abby Campbell from El Reno, First said. “Our kids learned the importance of Creation, that they were designed for a purpose and that when they surrender their lives to Jesus, they are empowered by the Holy Spirit to do good works for Him. A huge highlight for me was being able to watch our kids learn, grow and discover what it means to make Jesus the boss of their life. We had six make that life changing decision at VBS!”

“VBS 2022 was amazing!” Kim Anders of Norman, Bethel said. “We had a record attendance this year! Something new that our church did this year was we prayer walked the neighborhoods around our church and left VBS door hangers at each house on three different weeks leading up to VBS. We have had a couple of families who came to VBS and have not missed a Sunday since!

“We had nine salvations, four of those are in our church, and we have celebrated three baptisms since then,” Anders continued. “Our VBS missions offering is going to our five local neighborhood schools to help them purchase school supplies. Each grade level created a SPARK bag for each school that we will fill with teacher snacks when we drop off the monetary donation. We are excited how God continues to use VBS as we press on our mission of reaching southwest Norman!”

“Our time was amazing,” said David Skinner of Jenks, First. “God moved in the hearts and lives of kids. We had several asking questions about making Jesus the Boss of their lives. But what blew me away was the money they raised for our mission offering. Our goal was $6,000 and they raised $12,000.”

Vacation Bible School was a huge success this year, and next summer promises to be as well. The upcoming theme will be “Twists & Turns—Following Jesus Changes the Game” with the focal scripture being Psalm 25:4, “Make your ways known to me, Lord; Teach me Your paths.” Kids will learn that Jesus is holy, trustworthy, forgiving and worth following even when they face twists and turns in their own lives.

Visit vbs.lifeway.com to begin preparing now for a successful 2023 Vacation Bible School ministry.