Well I don’t know if April showers will bring May flowers but I do know April will begin ushering in a number of opportunities over the next few months. Like April 30th will usher in our Association VBS training clinic. Connie Wofford has pulled a great team together that I know they will be an inspiration and a blessing.
Which reminds me of a story one of my fellow AM’s, Dan, shared recently and I asked if I could share with you. Dan’s not just a co-missionary here in Georgia, he and I went to the same high school back in North Carolina. He was in the class just below mine.
At any rate, like I, also graduated from Southwestern Seminary. He finished a couple years ahead of me and in February, after he graduated in December, he went to work at First Baptist, Cleveland TN as their Minister to Adults.
In April the pastor called him in and informed him that part of his new job would be to direct VBS. With just two months at that point to get it all together, Dan almost panicked. But with God’s help and a bunch of wonderful volunteers he and they managed to pull it off ministering to more than 400 kids each day with several salvations by week’s end.
But the thing Dan remembered most from that VBS was a young boy named Jimmy. Jimmy rode one of the four buses Dan had mapped out to pick up children from low income neighborhoods near the church. Dan recalled how excited the young lad appeared as he stepped off the bus with a big smile on his face.
It was quite obvious that this was Jimmy’s first time attending VBS. One of the clues was the dress shoes he wore. Dan figured that Jimmy’s Mom must have thought that since he was coming to church, he needed to dress up a bit. But on the second day as Dan watched Jimmy play on the church’s asphalt parking lot with those same dress shoes, he casually pulled Jimmy aside on the way back in to class and told him it was okay to wear tennis shoes to VBS. Jimmy quite honestly, openly, and unashamedly told Dan that he had outgrown all of his other shoes. These were the only ones that fit. He had to wait until school began to get new ones.
Dan, touched by the child’s situation, shared it with his teachers. They immediately pooled enough funds to buy Jimmy some new tennis shoes. They discretely found out his size and on Thursday sent him home with some new shoes and socks. On Friday, Jimmy came in beaming with is new shoes on and an even brighter smile.
That week, Jimmy made a decision to give his life to Christ, because he saw Christ’s love being demonstrated by his VBS teachers.
That’s why Dan and I love VBS. It’s our chance to reach out with others across America to 2 1/2 million boys and girls of all ages for more than just an hour a week to share with them the love of Christ. Last year there were over 70,000 decisions made for Christ.
Vacation Bible School! Your church needs it!There are Jimmies (and Jills!) out there that need it! I hope you are planning on having one and getting your workers trained and prepared for it. I hope to see you at our VBS Clinic at New Town Baptist Church, Tuesday, April 30th at 6:30 pm. Who knows what Jimmy you and your church might reach!
Which brings me to another opportunity coming up April 29th through May 1st 2019. As a lead-in-to the National day of Prayer on Thursday, May 2nd I am asking our churches to commit to pray:
Monday: Prayer for our Schools
Tuesday: Pray for our Fire, Police & Rescue workers
Wednesday: Pray for our Churches & our Government
Thursday: Meet at BB&T Park Noon- 12:15 pm to pray for “Revival”
As you pray for schools you might want to make arrangements and prayer walk your adopted school and or deliver a “goodies” package to the teachers and other staff.
As you pray for fire, police, and rescue workers make a deliberate effort to personally thank at least one such worker.
As you pray for churches and our government you might want to join with another neighboring church to encourage and strengthen one another.
As you pray for revival come in a real spirit of humbleness and confession. God’s people must seek his face before we’ll ever see revival!
And of course SPLASH is just around the corner- a real opportunity to have a local hand-on ministry & worship experience.