Thursday, August 21, 2008

It's the hand motions, baby

People keep asking me why I don't like VBS. I figured it out last night: it's all the hand motions. The songs and the memorization all require hand motions:

"It is He who made us..." (clasp hands in front, sway like you're holding a baby)

"Shout..." (put hands in front of mouth like a megaphone)

"Enter His courts..." (jog in place)

And the ever-popular

"We are His..." (hold hands over heart)

Yes, I know that this aids in memorization. I know that doing things in various ways cements learning. No one has to lecture me on that, OK? I know the kids (some of them, anyway), find it fun. Some just think it's babyish.

Actually, after helping out this week I think I'd say that VBS should be for about ages 4 - 7. I think that's about pre-K to 3rd grade. The older kids don't seem to be getting a lot out of it.

Most of the kids at our VBS go to church - if not ours, then somewhere. It would be different if church was a new experience for them. But these guys are not hearing the gospel for the first time. They really don't need to keep hearing the basic stories over and over again, but are ready for more depth. And, they don't need to glue jewels onto a fun-foam crown each day. Now, painting the symbols on t-shirts has been cool and fun for the bigger kids. But still. They groan just a bit when I ask why we are painting a snake, a cross, and a crown. Duh. Oh, and don't forget the rainbow!


Sandy said...

Yes, there must be a rainbow. I'm not sure you're even allowed to call it VBS if there isn't a rainbow. Please tell me they had Kool Aid and fish crackers too, to make it complete.

Hee, hee.

Marbel said...

No Kool Aid but oh yes, the fish crackers and of course not the plain ones but the rainbow colored ones!

Sheryl said...

Yes. Because VBS just wouldn't be complete without sending the kids home with artificially rainbow-colored tongues. And shirts.

Sooooo healthy.

Sheryl said...

Y'know, this post has prompted me to ponder on something...

Does VBS really serve a legitimate evangelistic purpose, or has it become just one of those Things That We Do?

I agree with you...just about all of the kids that attend our VBS already go to church. I've heard of families that find out when all of the local churches are having VBS, and then they sign the kids up, just so they'll have something to do during the summer.

I somehow think that misses the point.

Our church has been taking a hard look at all of the programs that we've been running, and a lot of them have been permanently laid down. VBS got back-burnered this year, until we sort out exactly what it is that the Lord wants us to pick up.

It will be interesting to see how it plays out.