Thinking Out Loud

June 16, 2012

VBS = Free Child Care

Filed under: children, Church, parenting — Tags: , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 9:41 am

When Jon Acuff first published Stuff Christians Like (the book), part of the appeal was that a huge percentage of the material wasn’t available on the blog.  But lately he’s been posting some of the best nuggets from the book online, like this one about Using Vacation Bible School as free babysitting. Here’s the intro:

Denomination, schomenation, when our kids are out of school for the summer and we’ve suddenly got to fill eight weeks of time with activities, we Christians like to put aside our denominational differences and bounce our kids like Ping-Pong balls around the country to different Vacation Bible School programs…

Since some people read SCL just for the comments, and because this post was so timely, here’s a look at what some people said, in the order they appear among the 70-or-so responses currently posted:

  • My daughter made this statement about one church (she was 9 at the time): “I liked the snow cones, but a mean fat lady yelled at me for turning around in my seat. A boy pushed me and wanted to beat me up. They lost my color page and I didn’t get to bring it home. All the kids were SCREAMING (emphasis hers). I like regular church better than Jesus’s summer school. Overall I don’t think the snow cones were worth it.”
  • VBS is so culturalized down here that the local agnostics community group advertised ours in their … publication under “reliable, free childcare; 9 AM – 1 PM, June 4-8 at Meadow Baptist Church”
  • If you are using one of the pre-packaged VBS curriculum available for sale and your VBS is towards the end of the summer, a lot of children have been through it two or three times already. … Churches scramble to schedule their VBS right after school ends so their curriculum doesn’t seem stale.
  • VBS, how we parents love Thee. From the years of Psalty, to the Olympic themes every four years, from Flannelgraph to PowerPoint, you have embraced our children in your sticky-sweet, glittery bosom without fail.  The only flaw is when our turn is up to ‘volunteer’, then your vengeance is great to behold!
  • I’ll admit that we fall into the lame category of dropping off our kids at another church’s VBS. I might should mention that we’re the “pastor’s family” of the church who doesn’t do VBS – gasp, shock and could even be accused of going to hell for that considering there are approximately 218 “SKY” banners outside every church in our area. So we have two things against us: we are “the church who doesn’t do VBS” and we are “the drop off parents”. We totally drop the kids off and run in hopes that nobody will be able to identify us. And then we go have a date night. But please don’t tell.
  • It’s very common around here, and I think the mega-churches stagger their VBS weeks intentionally so that hoppers can be at their church. NO ONE wants to be the church that schedules the same week as MegaBaptist.Com-they not only have a bounce house, but a water slide, a ferris wheel, and probably a circus on the back lawn.
  • Free VBS? Our church charges $40 PER CHILD! With a $100 cap per family. VBS ain’t what it used to be…
  • I love the fact that people who never attend church use our VBS as free babysitting. May be the only interaction we have with them all year. Maybe in the Bible Belt everyone is associated with a church, but that’s not the case here. And yes, when my kids were little, I used another church’s VBS for babysitting while we moved into a new home.
  • When we moved to a new town, my mom put us in every VBS she could find so that we’d meet new people and she could get settled in the house without us underfoot.  I think I got saved 3 times that summer…
  • My church runs adult VBS congruently with the kids. At first I thought I would just sneak out, but after being caught I actually ENJOYED the adult VBS. Plus there is excellent food involved for the adults. So we learn while the kids learn. Who would have thought it?

Since I went the distance and stole borrowed comments as well as the story theme today, it seemed only fair to CLOSE comments here and encourage you to add yours to the discussion at Stuff Christians Like.

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