VBS - Power Up! Raise Your Game!

As a child, I loved video games like Pac-Man, Tetris, and Donkey Kong. The 21st century generation doesn’t understand a time when you had to insert a plastic cartridge or disc into your gaming system to get it to play. If you were lucky, the game would begin; otherwise, you would have to take the game cartridge out, blow on it to remove the dust, then place it back in the system just hoping it would work. I can remember playing my “Atari 800" video gaming system so frequently that it made my fingers sore, my palms hurt, and my vision start to blur. These were days when your opponent had to be a few feet away from you and a few feet away from the television. The only way you could play your neighbor on a video game would be if he were sitting right beside you. Now, you can play a fellow gamer in Russia, China, or the North Pole. Good grief.  

If you enjoyed playing video games as a child, or maybe enjoy playing them now, you are in for a treat. This year’s Vacation Bible School theme is “Power Up! Raise Your Game.” Our VBS will be June 23-28 from 6:00-8:30 pm. Our focal verse:  “God’s power has given us everything we need to lead a godly life.” The central point is to “Power up! Raise Your Game" in order to know God in the best way possible. By the end of the week, students will not only have a clearer picture of who God is but also know God loves them very much.  

Each day will highlight a different example of how God’s power changed biblical figures. By the end of the week, we will see how God is changing you! Beginning with Abraham, we will learn about God’s desire for us to know Him. With Josiah, we will learn how we can know about God through studying His Word. We then  transition to studying the baptism of Jesus - accentuating the fact that God sent Jesus to save us. Finally, on Wednesday and Thursday, we will see how God did not leave us alone after we made the decision to follow Christ. He sent the Holy Spirit to guide and direct, as well as produce the fruit of the Spirit within us. This “fruit” - this new-found power - will allow the world to see the change in us.  

At this year’s VBS, a new class will also begin - the Youth Class. Grades 7 through 12 will have an opportunity to learn exciting truths from God’s Word. After leading, serving, and helping corral the children, the Youth will “escape" into their own classroom (the church Library). As the teacher of the Youth class, I want to extend a personal invitation to all Youth to attend. Three weeks ago, I took a week just to plan and prepare exciting lessons for the class. Yes, we will still have games and eat snacks, but we will also learn and grow in our faith!

 If you think that sounds “just like regular church, it’s not! The gospel? Yep, it’s the same. The people? Yep, they’re the same. The church? Yep, it’s the same. So, what’s different? EXCITEMENT! FUN! GAMES! MUSIC! FELLOWSHIP! There is a spirit of joy which will pervade every aspect - a joy only produced through a relationship with Jesus Christ. 

 On a personal note, my daughter loves VBS. At our previous church when she was 3, somehow she got her little hands on the music CD. We listened to it in the morning, in the afternoon, and in the evening. Every time we began driving down the road, she would yell, “VBS! VBS!”  Think VBS is just a one-week deal? Think again. For months, we drove around jammin’ to VBS music….#dadlife!

 Make your plans to come to VBS at Oakley this year. If you do, you will not regret it. Let’s all “Raise our Game” by Powering Up!” It’s a week you will never forget!

Dr. Jeff Johnson