When you think of the kids in your church or community, what words come to mind? Goofy? Sweet? Tenderhearted? Mischievous? Active?…What about stressed?
Before we choose a fun, crazy, kid-friendly setting for VBS, we first consider the kids you serve. What do they need? What’s missing? What’s their world like? What are they like?
Today’s kids are like no other generation in history!
Some researchers call them Generation Z; others refer to them as Linksters because they’re the first generation that’s been “linked in” to technology from day one. They’ve never known a world without touchscreens and access to instant information. All that knowledge may be powerful…but it’s also a factor in increasingly-stressed-out kids.
Think back: when most of us were kids, we caught a glimpse of the evening news as we breezed through the living room on the way to play in the backyard. But kids today are face-to-face with world issues, frightening images, and adult content throughout the day. A constant media feed also means they compare themselves to others—or at least to the image others are projecting on social media.
But it’s not just technology that’s causing kids to worry. There’s been an increasing push toward academic excellence and mastery at younger ages. In 1998, 30% of teachers surveyed expected children to know how to read by the end of kindergarten. In 2010 that number had risen to 80%! Add in the push to excel in sports, music, and science, and you can see why your kids are feeling overwhelmed and powerless.
That’s why the emphasis on “Jesus rescues” at Shipwrecked VBS resonates with kids. “Jesus rescues” means there’s hope. There’s someone bigger than my worries and struggles. There’s someone stronger than my weakness. There’s someone who will love me unconditionally. Plus, Shipwrecked VBS offers a safe place where kids are allowed (and even encouraged) to tell their stories! You’ll be surprised at some of the challenges that sit “below the surface,” in the lives kids you reach every week—things you may never have guessed. We’re excited to partner with you in connecting kids with the transforming love and power of their rescuer, Jesus!
Over the next few weeks, we’ll explore each day’s Bible Point, and how Shipwrecked VBS will help your kids find hope and rest in friendship with Jesus. We’ll dive below the surface and discover how one carefully-crafted, intentionally-designed week can make a lifelong difference in a child’s life.