Saturday, August 4, 2007

WHERE I'VE BEEN THIS WEEK

VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL. I've not blogged much this week because I had a volunteer commitment that involved three hours each evening, Monday thru Friday. I served as a storyteller during the Vacation Bible School that WEMO hosted in our inner-city neighborhood. As creatively as I could, I told a different Bible story each night. Each evening, I had four half-hour sessions back-to-back with anywhere from 8 to 15 children ranging from age 9 to 13. I was but one of over 40 volunteers who set aside their evening leisure time for five straight days for the sake of contributing to VBS and investing in the lives of over 100 children.

CAN I CONNECT WITH KIDS? I consider it a test of my wits and credibility to be able to connect with kids. If I'm not sharp, they know it. If I go over their heads, it's immediately obvious. If I talk below their developmental stage, it's clear. Finding the right range and then working the full range of awareness and capacity within just one diverse group of students is an interesting challenge. By midweek, I felt like I was hitting my stride. I mixed up the storytelling with interaction and some application and review games. They were remembering the main point of the previous evening's story. Now, I pray they will take it to heart and put it into practice.

WHEN WE PULL TOGETHER. VBS is the largest annual team effort within our congregation. It's a week when more people set aside their preferences and personal schedules and pull together than any other. No doubt our folks are exhausted today. They will be exhausted, but also energized and encouraged because of the week. We won't be asking for such an intense commitment of volunteer time for awhile. But we're convinced this is one important expression of our care and our faith in our community. As a pastor, it's a week I appreciate and applaud.

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