Home Podcast Thom Schultz: Kids Need VBS This Year More Than Ever

Thom Schultz: Kids Need VBS This Year More Than Ever

thom schultz

Thom Schultz is the president and founder of Group Publishing and Lifetree Cafe. He is the author of many books, including Why Nobody Wants to Go to Church Any More, and is the director of the documentary film When God Left the Building. Thom is also the founder of Group Serves, which organizes volunteer mission experiences to help disadvantaged families throughout the world. He shares regularly on his blog and podcast, HolySoup.com, where he challenges the status quo in ministry and life.

Key Questions for Thom Schultz

-What is the role of vacation Bible school (VBS) in a church’s overall outreach strategy?

-What have you been hearing from children’s ministry leaders about how VBS might look different this year?

-What are some of the biggest changes in VBS you’ve seen over the years?

-Are there any lasting changes you see coming out of the pandemic?

Key Quotes from Thom Schultz

“There are about 60,000 to 70,000 churches throughout the U.S. that are doing VBS.”

“[VBS] is sort of like the engine for the whole rest of the year in terms of attracting families and helping the kids in those families really grow closer to God, and that winds up affecting the whole family unit.”

“It’s a very powerful ministry.”

“We’ve seen so many different examples of what people are planning…Take all the available time you can to wait and see what unfolds, and in the meantime plan for several different contingencies.”

“Many people are choosing a later date in the summer to allow more time for things to clear up.” 

“Kids right now, after being locked down during this pandemic, are already experiencing a lot of screen fatigue.” 

“If we’re looking at an online option, we need to look for ways to make that interactive and hands on, more than simply a passive experience.”

“One of the things that we’re recommending is that we give some grace to the parents and realize that we can’t ask them to be super VBS directors.”

“We’ve really pushed a rotational model where kids can really move from point to point during the day and a different leader can be in each station really focusing on what they’re good at.”

“Another change we’ve seen that has really worked, and people at the beginning didn’t think it would, is mixed age groups.” 

“I think some of the changes that might happen [in VBS due to the pandemic] are also changes that we may see happen with the church at large. 

“As much as we have fears and doubts and uncertainties about what’s happening today, I have a real peace about God being in control and up to something with this.”

“I think this is the most important year ever for vacation Bible school in our lifetimes.”

“If there was ever a time for VBS to come into kids’ lives and bring them a sense of God’s love, his protection, his hope, this is it.”

“We are just encouraging churches, rather than even thinking about the idea of, ‘Well, maybe we won’t do anything this year,’ this is the most important year to do VBS.”

Mentioned in the Show by Thom Schultz

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Jason serves as the Chief Strategy Officer at PastorServe, a ministry committed to strengthening the Church by serving pastors through personal coaching and church consulting. He also hosts FrontStage BackStage, a podcast and YouTube show, that helps pastors embrace healthy, well-balanced leadership as they develop a sustainable rhythm for life and ministry. Prior to joining the PastorServe team, Jason served as Vice President of Ministry Mobilization at Outreach, Inc., and as the Executive Director of the National Back to Church Sunday movement. Additionally, Jason served for nearly two decades in pastoral leadership, primarily as a lead pastor, in several contexts, including church plant re-launch, multisite church, multiethnic urban church, and an established suburban church. His experience as a lead pastor has provided numerous opportunities to coach and mentor pastors across the country. Jason and his beautiful wife, Monica, are the proud parents of six children and live on Anastasia Island, Florida. @jasondaye