The first lesson comes in the way we go all out to give God our best this week of VBS. Every aspect of the two and a half hours that children flood our campus is mapped out, from food and the ways it ties to the theme for the day, to activities and crafts, to stories and songs. Certainly all are part of the “package,” but bringing them to life comes through the creativity and drive of each person who invests in them. Like a great symphony each station and volunteer adds to the harmony of the event, which produces great music to our Lord’s ears!
In the year to come, we will be giving God our best in all aspects of church life. Julie Williams, our Director of Religious Education is working hard as we plan ahead for fun, creative, and fresh ways to engage our kids. Growth group leaders beginning to answer the call to facilitate a touchpoint for adults to gather in safe environments to learn, challenge, and encourage one another in the Faith. We are revamping the process that we use to help our guests enter into the church. One aspect of this includes the fun and full Saint Barnabas Discovery Day we held last Saturday for several new families. We are praying, planning, and preparing to give God our best in the upcoming school year ahead. Begin to pray about you involvement. As with VBS, the enthusiasm and momentum comes when you are involved!
Secondly, as we give God our best our excitement is contagious and naturally captures the attention of others. I love hearing the stories about how trips to the store for VBS supplies facilitated a conversation or invitation to the week. Neighbors see shirts or conversations emerge among school friends leading to invitations as they are ‘tied up’ during VBS week. We find joy in the investments we make and we naturally want to share it with others. It is not a duty or something we are compelled to do, but rather a joy that bubbles over from our own commitment and excitement.
The same is true throughout the year. A 10-week commitment to a Growth Group and the discoveries made in conversation with others could lead to an invitation. The time blocked off for youth group could lead classmates to join. Opportunities abound in the year ahead to bring those who are disconnected from God and His Church into His gracious presence in and through Saint Barnabas. Yet, they cannot happen if we are not involved.
I often get asked how can we explain what we do on Sunday mornings, or what it means to be Anglican. If you’ve asked me such a question you may recall that I often say, don’t. Show them! Bring them to another ‘on ramp’ into our community, build relationships, and in time we can unpack with them the Anglican way of being Christian. After all, that is what VBS seems to highlight. Through conversations and interactions those who flood our church see how amazing our community and its people are and it brings them back. So too throughout the year!
As we get into the summer rhythm, plan ahead to get involved. The world out there needs you! It is your joy, commitment, and invitation that continues to be the most compelling motivator! I hope to see you along the way this week, or on the heels on this great week on Sunday morning.