I found myself looking over the heads of the little friends standing in front of me, two to four years old, clumsily and adorably following along to the choreography for the VBS theme song. My eyes were drawn outside to the rec field where I could make out the bigger kids running back and forth on the field. I wondered what Mr. Mike had them doing out there. Earlier, I had been on stage listening to Pastor Phillip tell a story when I saw a group of the first graders lined up in the hallway, probably headed in from rec, ready to venture into their classroom for crafts or snack or their Bible story. They were craning their heads around to see what we were up to in the Worship Center.
For the last few years, my role at VBS has allowed ample time for me to wander around taking it all in, help parents in the lobby, go outside to snap a few pictures, and head back to set up for closing rally after leading Preschool Worship time. VBS at First Norfolk is really a beautiful thing. Having a front row seat to our members jumping in, having fun, and engaging with our community makes it one of my favorite weeks of the year. It is incredible to walk into our lobby and actually see the Body of Christ at work. People exercising their spiritual gifts or pouring out their time and talent, serving and sacrificing for a common purpose – to show children and their families the love of Christ.
This year, though, I got a different front row seat. I saw our preschoolers, the littlest of the little flawlessly reciting the words to our memory verse, “I know that God started a good work in me and He will complete it, Philippians 1:6.” I heard it over and over again. These preschoolers were the children of the volunteers that were, at that moment, scattered around our church contributing to God’s good work in the seven cities of Hampton Roads through the children we were investing in.
If you are new to our church and you missed VBS week, the good news is that for the first time ever we are doing a second week of VBS this summer! If you want to know what our church is about, we are at our best when we are in the thick of singing about the ABCs of salvation, with glue dried onto our hands and our arms waving to the choreography. If you’ve been a part of our church for a long time, my only question is: what are you waiting for? Come and join us. Contact Julie Hunt at email@example.com to see where you can plug in July 12-16.
We have been talking about our church’s identity as a family recently. Our family serves on the team in our mission to be a part of God’s good work in Hampton Roads, and VBS is just one of the ways we do that. We invite the children we meet during VBS week to come back and join us on Sunday morning, to be welcomed into our family, to learn who Jesus is if they don’t know Him, and to connect to our community. A few weeks ago we saw families dedicate their little ones and we covenanted to help them raise their babies in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. We continue to share the love of Jesus with little ones every week across the year through our LIFEgroups. Beginning August 1, we will be bringing back LIFEgroups for preschoolers, children, and students at the 10:30 am hour. Maybe taking a week off from work or summer activities for VBS isn’t in the cards for you, but God is calling you to serve our church body by being a part of pouring into the youngest among our church family in LIFEgroups. What good work is God completing in and through you? If you need help answering that question, text SERVE to 757-742-5558 or email Phillip Herring at firstname.lastname@example.org get connected with a place to serve.