Why Summer Adventure Club?

Around this time of year, I get a steady stream of direct-mail advertisements from Christian publishers touting their latest and greatest Vacation Bible School programs. In a few weeks, you won’t be able to drive through your neighborhood without seeing banners promoting the VBS at the church around the corner. Nearly all conservative churches hold summer programs like this for various reasons.

Given the fact that VBS (or, as we call it, Summer Adventure Club) is business as usual for American churches, I’m a little fearful that we might fall into a we’ve-always-done-it-this-way mindset when it comes to this endeavor. Of course, we haven’t “always done it this way,” so there’s still time to really think through why SAC is meeting some crucial needs:

  1. Children need to hear the gospel in all its grandeur (and so do the rest of us). When it comes to preaching the gospel to children, we often default to God’s “simple plan of salvation.” And simple it is. Even pre-schoolers turn from their sin and place their trust in Christ as Lord and Savior. But “simple” doesn’t sum it up. The Gospel is the epic story of the ages. All creation groans under the weight of sin’s curse, a curse which can only be undone through the blood of the unique Son of God. On an individual level, the Gospel transfers individuals–the objects of God’s wrath and the subjects of Satan–into the kingdom of Christ. Conversion through hearing and believing the Gospel is the single most impacting event that could ever take place in a person’s life. While five 20-minute messages barely scratches the surface, our prayer is that children–both saved and lost–will get a sense for the all-encompassing significance of the Gospel in their lives.
  2. Children need to learn that God can’t be ignored. This could probably fall underneath point one, but it bears special emphasis because many Christians don’t agree with me here. At least not in practice. So much of children’s ministry in America amounts to a clamoring for the child’s attention–as if he or she had a choice. Because our nation’s children grow up in an environment of entitlement, saturated by entertainment, churches often present a god who competes with Sponge Bob and Dora for his fan base. While we design SAC to be an exciting week for kids of all ages, we want to make it clear that one day, each of us will stand before the Creator of the universe, the One without beginning or ending, the King at whose name every knee will bow. Every tongue–even that of the most blasphemous rebel–will confess that Jesus is Lord. Kids need to see that God will not be ignored.
  3. The church is on a mission. We are a busy congregation. We have Bible studies, baby showers, business meetings, workdays, and retreats. But Jesus gave the church one mission: make disciples. That means that a church that isn’t reaching the lost with the call to follow Christ is a miserable failure. You are a part of the church, and so are your children. Do you have the sense of mission that Christ requires? Do you have a dream about spreading His fame throughout your neighborhood and amongst your acquaintances? SAC gives you a chance to emblazon the church’s one mission on the hearts and minds of your kids. Please take advantage of it.

These are just three reasons why we’ve chosen to invest in Summer Adventure Club. Of course, you may think of others, and I hope you’ll share them. My burden is simply that you would decide to invest yourself in this purposeful venture, for the sake of God’s glory, the Gospel, and the next generation.

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