What we know as “Vacation Bible School,” originally began as “Everyday Bible School” at a New York beer hall in 1898.
According to a Lifeway article:
“Initially, it was a plan of a compassionate doctor’s wife who sensed a need to get children off the streets of New York during the summertime. Mrs. Walker Aylett Hawes went to New York City from Charlottesville, Virginia, with her husband who was specializing in a medical ministry to children. She noted that many of the children attended to at her husband’s clinic received injuries as they played in the streets of New York City. She surmised that they needed something safe and fruitful to occupy their time” (from VBS: An Historical Perspective).
Fast forward to today and more than half of the churches in the US now offer VBS for their communities. Additionally, based on research from 2012, Barna estimates that 9 out of 10 Southern Baptist Churches host VBS programs (read the Barna article here).
With the high number of churches hosting these summer activities for children, I am looking back through our archives and resources to showcase free evangelism resources for your church.
The CrossTalk App — This interactive gospel presentation features touch activated animation with clear and simple illustrations. It’s a fun and creative way to share the gospel through your smart phone or tablet! (also in Spanish; adapts to Spanish if mobile device language is set up as Spanish ).
Online Seedlings Training — This online child evangelism program is specifically designed to equip you to share the gospel clearly and simply using language and illustrations that are easily understood by children. View a summary of all our free online training here: evantell.org/onlinetraining
Essential Tips for Presenting the Gospel to Kids in Group Settings —David Souther provides important guidelines for group gospel presentations made to children.
Sharing the Gospel with Children without Manipulation — Statistics show that most people profess faith in Christ as a child. However, children are very impressionable and can respond to evangelistic invitations for a variety of reasons. How can we as believers avoid manipulation in children’s evangelism and ensure that the children we minister to are responding to the conviction of the Holy Spirit alone? David Souther offers some helpful guidelines.
Q & A: Helping a Child who Struggles with Salvation — Ever wonder how to help a child who struggles with assurance of his or her salvation? Larry Moyer offers some advice.
What are your favorite evangelism resources for children (free or not)? We’d love to know!