Free Baby-sitting. Soft Evangelism.
If your church's Vacation Bible School leaders need an encouraging pat on the back, or if you want your church to consider investing time and effort in a VBS, an article on today's Taste page of the Wall Street Journal is worth forwarding to them.
Boston-based writer Jennifer Graham offers a positive perspective on the 119-year-old institution. The efforts are clearly evangelistic, but they are low pressure (often just follow-up postcards with participating unchurched families). They are effective (the impetus for 26% of the year 2006 baptisms in the Southern Baptist Convention), but they are also expensive (one of the highest-funded programs at Chapel Hill United Methodist Church in Chapel Hill, Tennessee). And it's big business for curriculum publishers, with 3 million participants in Southern Baptist VBS programs alone and another 24,500 United Methodist Churches offering Vacation Bible School.
Thanks to the Journal for an encouraging article.