Two-and-half years ago our Children’s Minister and I began to think about making a change from the traditional Vacation Bible School that most churches do to Backyard Kids Clubs. He developed the idea, and did a super job in making it happen. We always had a great VBS. We had big numbers, events, and unbelievable worship. However, most of the children who attended our VBS had already been to other VBS’s and often times knew the music better than we did. However, we saw very few real results and no one ever really joined our church. We wanted a way to reach into the community and meet people we had never met.
This year was incredible! We held the clubs at night. This was intentional so we could meet more parents since they were off work. We had 21 clubs through out the community and we were at three different parks. We had more workers than we have ever had. Many of our seasoned workers continued to help us and we also were able to get workers who normally had to work during the day. One of the best things is that we also had men teaching at every club. In this day and age when men are sometimes missing in families the children were able to see men leading. Our numbers were good as well. We had 20 decisions and the numbers are still growing. This is more than we have ever had. There was a fresh excitement in all of the clubs. We had hosts introducing neighbors to each other and communities began to start forming.
This may not be a ministry for every church, but this is a great change for us. The days are gone when we can sit in our buildings and wait for the people to come to us – we need to go to them.