When I was six years old my family lived in a camp ground called El Capitan in Goleta, California. There were several families who lived there at the time. Enough that the local school district made the entrance to the campground a bus stop. In 1982 a local church decided to do a VBS for the kids who lived there. I remember very little about the VBS. I don’t remember the games, or the crafts or the music. All I remember was that I went with my friend Ricky. My parents hired his mom to watch my infant sister while they went to work. Ricky’s mom used to dip her pacifier in jalepeno juice and put it in my sister’s mouth. (Explains a lot–that’s a shout out to my sister.)
The most important thing I remember about that VBS was it was the place I made the decision to follow Jesus. I’m really grateful to the small Baptist church in Goleta for taking VBS outside the walls of the church.
After 15 years of family ministry–I wonder what would have happened if they had invited my family into the process. Would my father have decided to follow Jesus 6 years earlier?
At our church we do a baptism class for kids and their parents. In the class we present the Gospel and what it means to take the first step in following Jesus. Then we send parents home with homework. Their homework is to review what was shared and then pray with their children. Nearly every time we do the class not only do we see children decide to follow Jesus, but sometimes their parents too. We just think parents should be a part of the most important decisions their kids will ever make. Especially since they are likely to be there for all of the others.
And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he was baptized at once, he and all his family. Then he brought them up into his house and set food before them. And he rejoiced along with his entire household that he had believed in God.
Nearly 23 million kids will go to Vacation Bible Schools across the country. Several million will attend camp. Several million more kids will decide to follow Jesus this summer. Many of their parents would decide to follow Jesus if we invited them into the process. What would happen if we invited parents into the most important decision their children will ever make?