Live Fully Alive.
That was the theme for our VBS a few weeks ago. It’s a simple enough phrase–live fully alive. Each day we learned about characters from the Bible who stepped outside their comfort zone and did what God called them to even when it was difficult to see how it would all turn out.
When we put all this effort into something as big (and fun!) as VBS, I always wonder, are the kids really getting it? Is this really making a difference? And particularly this year–how can we really teach a seven year old what it means to live fully alive? I’m not going to lie, I struggled with how that would translate, but I trusted that God would show up and fill in the gaps that I couldn’t see.
Then the week of VBS arrived and I saw what living fully alive meant. The kids didn’t need to HEAR more about what it meant, because they got to SEE it happening. We had around 450 kids show up to VBS this year, which is incredible, but what was even more incredible was the 220 volunteers that showed up to love and teach kids about what it means to follow Jesus. When kids and parents walked into the building, they saw a sea of volunteers in yellow shirts that were excited to be there and a part of what God was doing. Kids built relationships with the other kids in their groups, they got to know and have fun with their leaders, and volunteers built friendships with their teams. They even got to see people from our church serving around the world in Peru.
That’s when I realized that the kids didn’t need another story, craft, game, song, or whatever else we could come up with to understand what it meant to live fully alive. All those things are great, but the greatest impact they had (even though they probably didn’t realize it) was seeing life lived fully right before their eyes. They saw their leaders step up to serve during a week when they still had work, lives, families, and everything else so that kids could have an awesome experience getting to know Jesus better. They got to learn about what it means to be on mission both in their neighborhoods and around the world. They saw the people in front of them living fully alive.
Living fully alive means fully following Jesus in what He’s called us to. And that exactly what happened at VBS. Kids came back each day ready to take on the next adventure. Leaders showed up consistently to share the love of Jesus with their groups. And it showed me that sometimes the best thing you can do to learn what Jesus is trying to teach you is to look around and see His love being shown right before your eyes.