Diving Below the Shipwrecked Surface: Loneliness

Diving Below the Shipwrecked Surface: Loneliness
October 4, 2017 Jody Brolsma
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The kids attending your VBS know what it’s like to feel lonely, lost, or left out.

They’ve been left out of birthday parties, chosen last for a team at recess, and watched from the outside as other kids played together. Some kids may be anxious if they’re starting a new school, or are in a class with different kids. Psychologists compare friendships to food and loneliness to starvation. Children who feel lonely for long periods of time are actually at risk physically, as well as emotionally. Even kids with plenty of friends feel lonely. In fact, it’s easy to think, “Oh, at VBS all the kids are playing together and having fun! Of course no one feels lonely or left out” But we’ve all felt alone in a crowd…even kids at a VBS that’s full of laughter and activity.

At Shipwrecked, we’ve made it nearly impossible for anyone to feel lonely.

Part of the “secret sauce” of every Group VBS is that kids form small, mixed-age Crews for the entire week. Crews break up cliques, introduce kids to new friends, and are intentionally designed to nurture relationships. Crews level the playing field, so everyone is building new friendships! In a Crew, everyone gets to share during discussions, each person has an important role, leaders use kids’ names, and everyone has a chance to tell his or her story.

Kids don’t just hear that Jesus rescues us by being our forever friend who loves and pursues us–they’ll experience warmth, friendship, and acceptance from their Crew members and Crew Leader.

It’s a tangible way to model the friendship kids can have with Jesus. You’ll help kids discover that they’re never alone because Jesus knows our hearts, understands our hurts, and is always holding us close.

 

Jody Brolsma
Jody Brolsma is the VBS Executive Editor/Champion at Group Publishing in Loveland, Colorado. She’ll be the first to tell you that it is truly the funnest job in the world! (That’s why she’s been doing it for more than 20 years.)

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