In 2006 I was able to go on a mission trip to Asia. Our goal was to share the Gospel using recorded materials in the heart language of the people group we were looking for. This group has a large nomadic population, and in this case, were just the ones we were attempting to reach.
We were told that it was standard practice to walk through the country side until you came upon a gathering of tents where these people would be staying for a season. The idea was to stay long enough to share the Gospel as best we could, give them a radio they could use to tune into follow up messages, and then move on to the next settlement. This was the protocol we imagined as we left the cities for the open country.
We ended up at a grouping of tents and permanent structures, and eventually were introduced to the settlement’s leader. Through this man, God brought many of the people from the surrounding area to his house to hear the Gospel. We didn’t need to move at all! And, we got to share the truth of Jesus with more people and in a more meaningful way than we would have with our plan. Our paradigm was completely blown and it was glorious!
Now, hold on here as I shift your focus from Asia to Western NC, from nomads to kids. What are the paradigms we have about Vacation Bible School?
I hope this summer can be a paradigm breaker for us all. I hope we see this VBS as something the whole body does regardless if you have kids attending or not. I hope we can see it as a MISSION trip we didn’t have to travel to get to. I hope we see the need for the Gospel is as urgent here as it is in Asia. And I hope that we see VBS as a beginning for the establishment of new relationships with our neighbors. I hope God does even more than we can imagine!