“Let the children come to me.” Those words recorded in the gospel of Luke relate to the view Jesus had about children coming into his presence. The disciples were well intentioned, perhaps, in keeping them away from him in order to maintain his busy schedule. Rather than shoo them away, he took time to bless them and used their visit to communicate an important truth: the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Jesus added, “anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it” (Luke 18:17).

One thing about children–they are excellent receivers. Children don’t usually say, “oh, you shouldn’t have” or “that’s okay, you don’t have to do that!” Almost without exception they will accept the gift that you have for them. You might say receiving is the one skill that children have at which they are unusually good (or they are good “at”).

Most churches put a lot of work into preparing for Vacation Bible School. Our church is no exception. And all this effort is put forth in order to provide a learning atmosphere for children for a five day period in which they will hear Bible stories and learn about God’s love for them. We will tell them about Jesus too.

There are a lot of things about church work that I could do without. One of the things you learn in the pastorate is that no matter what you do, you’re always disappointing someone. There’s always something or someone who will critical. That’s a hard truth to accept, and one that for many people is enough to move them out of the ministry. I can understand that. But, the one thing that keeps me going is the opportunity to influence people for Christ and especially show love and compassion for children.

As a father of three, I appreciate so much the work of volunteers who give of their time to influence children for eternity. I’ve challenged our church to pray for five baptisms to result from our week of preparation and sharing. Whether we see that or not, I do not know, but I do know that for anything meaningful to occur, the Holy Spirit must bring it about. We will at least “plant the seeds” and leave the results up to Him. VBS is still the best evangelistic tool the church has for impacting children and their parents for Christ.

So, I’m looking forward to a fun, tiring, meaningful week at our church. I want to especially thank those of our church family and friends who rescheduled vacations and decided not to find something else to do during this week. It’s that important.