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Breaking News Home | All | Religion | Society | Tech | Choice | SA Newsroom
FRONT PAGE  |  8/21/2019
FRIDAY, JUN 30, 2017  |  41 comments  |  1 commentary
How Vacation Bible School Drove Millennials Away From Church

It’s that time of year again, when congregations across the country implement a summertime cultural ritual. The happy T-shirts and foam-board crafts; the upbeat, canned music; the knock-off theme of last summer’s movie mega-hit—all of it comes together in that annual event known as Vacation Bible School, or VBS.

Seen as a critical tool for outreach, the eternal hope is that congregations will recruit little salespeople as kids go home celebrating all the fun things they did at that church up the street. Unchurched parents, meanwhile, with faint memories of grandma’s faithful church attendance, love the free child care. Rarely does a biblical image so singularly justify a church practice as the seed imagery does for VBS, because as an outreach strategy, VBS is usually a flop, but still the chorus echoes across the country, “At least we planted the seed.” ...

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· Page 1 ·  Found: 41 user comment(s)
News Item7/1/17 2:09 PM
B. McCausland  Find all comments by B. McCausland
Connor7 wrote:
".. I agree 200% ..
Connor, it is encouraging to observe your discernment about the issue, as a young person

Most of the Christian youth work churches undertake figures as a 'remedial' route parents take to, to mend up the spiritual deficiencies of their walk in the home, hence the approach undertaken.

Reading Hosea 4 we read that there is no 'remedial' measures for any abandoning/rejecting knowledge (instruction) out of personal convenience in their personal walk. The consequence of this is that God will 'forget their children'

"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge:
because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, ...
seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God,
*I will also forget thy children* "

There is no short cut to ungodly living regarding the next generation.

Often also,the sins of the parents are repeated by their children, to what God admits knowledge in v.14

"I will not punish your daughters when they commit whoredom, nor your spouses when they commit adultery: for themselves are separated with whores, and they sacrifice with harlots: therefore the people that does not understand shall fall"

Like it or not, such predicaments bear today in our self-willed churchianity


News Item7/1/17 12:11 PM
Connor7  Find all comments by Connor7
" often relying in psychological manubres, fun & ignoring sin status."

This is 200% correct, I have seen it not only in VBS' but teen camps, and youth rallies. Is there sin mentioned in the latter two? Yes, but the psychological tactics were already taking place, there's nothing about the holiness of God, there's no expounding on the attributes of God.

I've never seen a teen camp or youth rally on, "The attributes of God" or "The doctrine of the Trinity" Why? Because the kids won't come to that...why? It's not exciting to them! Let's take all the games away, say, "We're going to have a youth rally about the Holiness of the way, there'll be no games.

If you invited 5 youth groups, I bet all five wouldn't come. B. McCausland, thank you for that comment, spot on, I agree 200%


News Item7/1/17 6:24 AM
Ignominious Emirakan | FluffyLand  Find all comments by Ignominious Emirakan
10 Warning Signs of ALZHEIMER'S

Memory loss that disrupts daily life-symptom of Alzheimer's or another dementia. Alzheimer's is a brain disease that causes a slow decline in memory, thinking &reasoning skills.
10 warning signs & symptoms.

Short term memory loss.

Problems solving simple problems

Difficulty completing daily tasks.

Confusion with time &location

Difficulty with sight and spatial which effects motor skills.

Loss of communication skills, especially conversational.

Miss placing items around the house.

Loss of judgment &safety issues.

Withdrawal from normal social activities.

Changes in mood & personality

“That sounds like what has happened to America.
This nation is a shell of what it used to be.
Especially the church.
It is as if we have forgotten who we are.
Could it be that America is suffering from Cultural Alzheimer’s?”

Cultural Alzheimer’s has crept into the American Church and we have forgotten who we are. It is just a shell of what it once was. America is suffering because the salt has lost the savor.

Why should we be surprised? Most Christians have forgotten that we were called to be salt. "GMO, aluminum cooked"


News Item7/1/17 6:01 AM
B. McCausland  Find all comments by B. McCausland
This article verges through the VBS tangent, the actual problems present evangelism suffers by the hand of easy believism, minimised sincretism, pragmatism, marketing, fleshly methods and a poor understanding of the work of grace.

Though dealing with the more extreme wing of the problem, the conclusions stated are surprisingly true, even in conservative settings too often.

Present child evangelism falsely assumes that children are 'easier' reached than the twisted/preconditioned adult, often relying in psychological manubres, fun & ignoring sin status.

Guilt diminished at the expence of 'love' or fluff, will produce false profesions, and election ignored at the expence of universal reception denies doctrinal accuracy.

Besides, child evangelism presently overrides on the presumed 'innocence' of children in an age were children are reared in the homes as autocrats, able to dictate to their parents what is best for them, having to be always entertained, amused, bribed to obey or comply, and even 'apeaced', to which tenants child evangelism bows down /complies to 'retain' their interest.
When the facts of the gospel are presented in such terms, such baggage dulls or 'inhibites' the work of the Spirit by the grieving of the godhead.

We ignore such facts to our peril


News Item7/1/17 12:06 AM
Wayfarer Pilgrim | Lubbock,tx  Find all comments by Wayfarer Pilgrim
Over the years our family has participated in VBS and in truth the week spent provides a simplified presentation of the gospel.
A small baptist church presents the gospel to unchurched children with a song, skit and graham cracker and koolaide break. Yes, baptist tradition historically presents the gospel and is inconsistent in developing disciples. But the good news is we can and are making changes in that area. Happy summer and have a memorable Fourth of July.

News Item6/30/17 9:02 PM
Dr. Eric C. Maynard | Owosso, Michigan  Protected NameFind all comments by Dr. Eric C. Maynard
Wow. This guy really doesn't like VBS. Too bad. I think it can be done well theologically and can really bring a church together to reach the commmity with the Gospel.

News Item6/30/17 6:39 PM
ladybug  Find all comments by ladybug
This teaching by James Smith should be mandatory for all young people -

Christians should hear this as well....


News Item6/30/17 5:22 PM
Connor7  Find all comments by Connor7
I'm confused by your statement there 1517, I'm not aware of any Christian who would shut down education through scare tactics, I'm sure ladybug, MS, John Uk, or Chris is not promoting that ideology.

If I criticize VBS, it does not mean I am against education, I have helped teach a multitude of things, (VBS, work ethic to kids, I helped a private school I times, I helped teach basketball, I help with homeschool, etc.)

However to teach kids lies especially concerning Jesus and the gospel, needs to be stopped, it's disgusting that someone would teach a degraded, distorted, and false gospel to children, and give them false assurance.

And just what are the scare tactics are you talking about, because it sounds to me like you're accusing people of using scare tactics, so please clarify that.


News Item6/30/17 5:10 PM
Dave | Oz  Contact via emailFind all comments by Dave
STEVE R jokes when discussing child rape by the Catholic cult in Australia, he is a sick deviate, please don't allow children on this site whilst he is lurking.

News Item6/30/17 4:35 PM
1517  Find all comments by 1517
I regret you and the kids had to endure this sin. I am concerned with overreaction by some who would rather see any education through Christian means to be shut down through scare tactics. Thanks for the clarification.

News Item6/30/17 3:49 PM
MS  Find all comments by MS
No unsubstantiated hyberbole, 1517.
We were witness to these facts as I stated in my comment, and pointed out to you by ladybug.

Hope that clears up your confusion.


News Item6/30/17 3:38 PM
ladybug  Find all comments by ladybug

Perhaps you overlooked MS' comment where she stated this, "We have been in several congregations in the past that had VBS workers that were charged with sexual crimes against minors." So, she has witnessed first hand abuse within the churches she attended. Thus, her 'magnets for pedophiles' comment. If I am wrong, she will correct the error.

As with anything, there is good and bad. Discernment and precaution should always be used.

This may help as well -

and this -

It would be foolish to think that sexual sin is not rampant in some/many of the visible protestant churches.


News Item6/30/17 3:26 PM
1517  Find all comments by 1517
How do you know that? "Magnets for pedophiles?" A bit of unsubstantiated hyperbole.

News Item6/30/17 2:35 PM
Jim Lincoln | Nebraska  Find all comments by Jim Lincoln
John Yurich USA wrote:
I have a Great Niece who just finished being a teacher at the Vacation Bible School at Tulare First Baptist Church in Tulare, California.
Something like this, John Y.?
[URL=]]] (Grace Church Vacation Bible School)[/URL]---"Vacation Bible School is a fun and energetic week where children learn about God’s story of redemption. For kids going into kindergarten through sixth grade, each exciting day will be packed with music, teaching, skits, games, crafts, snacks, and more."

It looks like how it's done at many IFB churches. The important message of the Gospel does get passed along.

Your great niece and the rest of her congregation might want to check out such sites for pointers -- if they think they need them.


News Item6/30/17 2:34 PM
ladybug  Find all comments by ladybug
Sister, that's another factor as well. No one here is stating EVERY VBS program is 'evil'. The point is this, is the program presented in your church biblically based? Are the teachers/instructors truly born again by God?
This is Paul Washer's whole point in condemning 99.9 % of the Baptist programs, because many use Lifeway's material, which is anything but biblical. They simply present a fake 'jesus' who loves you so very much and has a wonderful plan for your life! There isn't a text in all of scripture to support that.
Children are the most vulnerable, God forbid they be harmed in a church setting. The truth is they are, sometimes both spiritually and physically. Satan uses religion to destroy sinners at every age.

No one here is suggesting we keep the children from coming. It's odd how comments get twisted and things are stated that no one has even said or implied. Perhaps the article states this, I haven't read it through as of yet and don't really plan on reading it through.


News Item6/30/17 2:23 PM
MS  Find all comments by MS
Aside from religious deception being pandered at these programs; there is also the physical safety of the children to consider.
These VBS are magnets for pedophiles.
There are more tares than wheat in most of these assemblies.
We have been in several congregations in the past that had VBS workers that were charged with sexual crimes against minors.

News Item6/30/17 2:03 PM
ladybug  Find all comments by ladybug
"Wow some harsh words for VBS... something that I notice with every negative comment... " Perhaps reading more carefully each comment will bring clarity. I gave examples from the SBC church and the programs they used, from Lifeway. Nowhere in any of these programs was sin mentioned. What was stated is this - 'Jesus loves you and wants to save you. Now, admit, confess and believe!' That was the teaching in a nutshell. That is NOT the gospel. As seen from other comments here, there are biblically based VBS programs out there, and those are the ones I would fully recommend. As for the SBC/Lifeway garbage - avoid it like the plague. Of course the Jesuit troll would chime in, his ecumenism shines through.

Here is a sample of this years' Lifeway theme "Turn your kids into Galactic Starveyors! As kids focus their telescopes on the marvels painted in the sky by the Creator, they will discover the wonder among all wonders - that the God who created everything there is - the knowable and the unknowable, the visible and the invisible - wants a personal relationship with them! Invite your kids into the clubhouse and show them the God who is over the moon in love with them." source -


News Item6/30/17 1:42 PM
Connor7  Find all comments by Connor7
There is rightful criticism needed in VBS, there are many who focus on games and sneak in a sermon...that is a poor sermon and give a false gospel.

Chris G, I agree with you, good post.

Haman, truth is always open to examination and criticism.


News Item6/30/17 1:29 PM
MS  Find all comments by MS
Good to hear about your VBS programs US and Connor.

But, you are the exceptions and not the rule in this 'seeker friendly' "God loves you and wants you to be happy" religious environment.


News Item6/30/17 1:10 PM
John UK | Wales  Find all comments by John UK
Connor7 wrote:
Today is our last day for VBS, the material is through AIG, I am the Science Coordinator, I'm the guy doing science experiments. Ladybug I have heard of that quote by Paul Washer and I agree.
Before my church did the VBS we went over the gospel, what to do/ not to do if a child says he/she wants to be saved...I have been trying to teach the kids about the Creation, the age of the earth, the flood, lies in the textbooks, etc. And today I'm going through the gospel.
The holiness of God, the sinfulness of them, Hell is being talked about, so will the work of Jesus, how He bore the wrath of God, faith alone, etc. Please pray for me today, as I do this, that God might be glorified.
Absolutely delighted to read this post, Connor. And I am sure the Lord is pleased with such communications especially to children who have no contact with spiritual things normally. The poor children today who are surrounded by ungodliness, and no-one to tell them about Jesus. And that goes for adults too, sadly.

I hope you had a great day, serving the Lord, and planting the word of God in the hearts of sinners.

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