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It was he who “gave gifts to people”; he appointed some to be apostles, others to be prophets, others to be evangelists, others to be pastors and teachers. 12 He did this to prepare all God's people for the work of Christian service, in order to build up the body of Christ. (Ephesians 4:10b-12)

 

The book title made popular by Hillary Clinton, It Takes A Village, has been used and adapted to many different kinds of situations. We are in the midst of our annual Vacation Bible School at Shallow Well, and as I observed, it takes a church to pull off an event like VBS. Let's look at some of these in Biblical prespective in no particular order.

First, there are the folks who provide the meals, we might call these people servants. They give of their time, money and talent to buy, prepare, and serve the food to a lot of hungry children and adults. They work hard, yet it is all gone in half the time it took them to prepare it as the VBS participants gobble up the food. Yet I noticed something about these "servers." They seemed to have big smiles on their faces as child after child came through and filled their plates. This seem to be their reward for their hard work. Isn't it true that those who serve in Christ's name seem to always be blessed by it. We couldn't do without these servers.

 

Second, there's our Youth Director Kimberly, full of life and energy leading the children in the intro to the night's lesson. I watch the children's faces as they respond to her enthusiasm. Their eyes are glued on her every move, they smile, then sing, and without even realizing it they are learning about the love of Christ. I think how blessed we are to have her at Shallow Well.

 

Third are the helpers, those charged with checking the children in, those who "keep the peace", those who ferry the children from one place to another, those who assist the teachers with the decorating, music leaders, craft leaders, recreation leaders, picture takers, those who clean up, and (I hope I didn't leave anyone out) so much more. They are a God-send, for without their commitment we could not have VBS. They too are often- times the unsung heros of the church; they are the Andrews who work quietly in the background.There would be no VBS without them.

 

Fourth are the teachers, those brave souls who prepare lessons for squirming children and wonder if any child learns anything in their classroom. They leave wondering if what they taught was "on target" or did they really get their points accross? They "cast bread upon the waters" and hope that "it will return after many days." The best a teacher can expect is that one of these children will return in the future to say, "teacher, you really made a difference in my life teaching us about Jesus." These teachers are filled with love and commitment to Christ and their pupils. They are the "Pauls" who are teaching people the Gospel.

 

Last, but by no means least, are the Director and Committee who planned it all, got the supplies together, set the schedule, organized the whole layout and make sure every night that things run smoothly. Thank God for those who are willing to step into leadership positions. It too can be a thankless job, for all to often a leader hears too few "well dones" and too many "you should have done this or thats." But leaders by design stick their necks out, they take the point and call out "follow me." I think about Moses, Joshua, Peter and Paul, all leaders who suffered at times because they stuck their necks out. But unless some leads, no one follows. Let's be reminded that the Bible challenges us "not to become weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap if we faint not." (Galatians 6:9)

 

Yes, it takes a church, or should I say all the people of God to "pull off" an event like VBS. I am thankful that Shallow Well Church has many of these people ready to answer God's call and respond, "here am I, send me!"

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