The MIRACULOUS way that God used VBS5
We just finished up a Vacation Bible School that was a success in every way. We planned for months, prayed for months, prepared for months, and asked God to blow our minds. Well, He did. But it wasn't just a one-time thing. It was a continuation of something set in motion a year ago.
Last year when I was pastoring at a relatively young church plant, a friend and pastor from another local, likeminded church, in an act of Christ-Like-Kingdom-Mindedness, was so kind as to extend an offer to our kids to come out to their VBS since we did not have the facility or resources to have one of our own.
A few of our kids came. A couple of our children's workers were able to help out. I can speak for my own family and for Pastor Dan's family- our kids had a blast. We were thankful and made some new friends, but for the most part all went our separate ways when it was over.
However, as is often the case, God had bigger plans. And He planned on using children to set that plan in motion.
Now, a year later, these two formally separate bodies have become ONE CHURCH. Though we have been growing as one family since our first service as Redeemer Fellowship on Easter Sunday 2016, I have heard several people communicate that working together, deep down in the trenches of VBS has been the thing that bonded us together as ONE FAMILY.
There are few ministries as fun as Vacation Bible School, but there are also very few ministries that are as much work as Vacation Bible School.
People who had only casually gotten to know each other over the last 4 months became friends. They became co-laborers for the Gospel. They went deeper than just knowing each other's names. They were forced to work together while being hot, sweaty, making changes on the fly, getting to know different ministry styles, different personality types, bring different past experiences, and doing it all in a fast-paced, super-charged environment. It was baptism by fire!! :)
And guess what- IT WORKED!!!
I did not hear one case of "we did things this way, but you do things that way". There was not one instance of ministry snobbery. There was not a single instance of elevating preferences over unity in the Spirit. It was a week filled with people who were JOYFUL. To put Jesus first. To focus on loving these precious children in the name of Jesus. To effortlessly defer to one another in the name of Jesus, even if it meant doing something a little different than they would have done it. Because we were blessed with a group of volunteers who all realized- it's not about us, IT'S ABOUT JESUS!
It's amazing what happens when the church keeps that at the forefront of their thoughts.
We had 74 different children hear the good news of Jesus throughout the week's festivities. Over 30 volunteers each day. A ton of youth group volunteers who ministered beyond their years and were indespensible. And ALL OF IT was for Jesus.
But, as much as I would love to just go on and on about all of the fruit we saw during this week, and all that God did (and trust me, there is a lot that can and probably should be said in the days to come) that is not the reason I am writing this.
I am writing this for a very simple, but profound reason:
Who would have thought that last year when we had two different churches get together for a one-week event, that it would have resulted in what we saw God do this week--what He is now building at Redeemer Fellowship!
Children. God used the children to set in motion something that is becoming more special and precious by the day. It was an honor to serve these children this week, but let us not miss the beautiful reality that as they came together a year ago, God was already using them to sew the unseen seeds that are sprouting into something beautiful. Something that has already exceeded any of our expectations.
To HIM be ALL the Glory!