10 Things You Can Absolutely Count On Happening This Year At Your Church’s VBS


1. There will be a kid there who no one else knows. He will not be wearing a shirt and he will have a rat tail. His name will be Dakota and his mom will drop him off about 3 hours too early on the first day. You won’t see Dakota’s mom again until the end of the week. Maybe.

2. During music time, a bunch of kids will get into a fight over the one set of bongos in the box of instruments. Nobody wants to play the sandpaper. Nobody! And since when is sandpaper a musical instrument? I can sort of understand the triangle but sandpaper? Anyway, all of the kids with sandpaper and triangles will gang up to take the bongos away from that girl in the dress with ribbons in her hair who clearly does not deserve the bongos that were given to her. After all of the dust settles down, Dakota will have the bongos. And, somehow, everyone will be okay with that.

3. Each night’s snack will be some combination of juice, goldfish and those little cookies that you can wear like rings. It’s written in your church bylaws somewhere. Go check.

See. What’d I tell you?

Ours reads like this.

Article 2.2.3a: Dietary Matters

Whereas upon the receiving of refreshments during Vacation Bible School, all children shall be given goldfish, ring cookies and juice.

4. On the Sunday morning following Vacation Bible School, when all of the kids and workers wear their VBS T-Shirts with jeans, your pastor will be in on the action too. Sort of. He’ll skip the jeans and just wear his bright orange shirt that says Adventure Time With Jesus! with his suit. Nothing is more pastoral, and I mean nothing, than a VBS shirt worn over a dress shirt and tie combo with slacks and dress shoes.

5. Somewhere around 2:30 on Wednesday afternoon, you’ll begin to wonder if you have some previously undiscovered disease that makes you want to take a six hour nap right there on the bathroom floor. Don’t worry. You’re fine. What you have is simply a result of being around too many screaming kids. It’s not a disease. Yet. A new drug by the name of Stopscreamingyall is pending approval from the FDA. Look for the commercials during this year’s Super Bowl.

6. At the end of each night you’ll find yourself in that awkward position where only one kid (Dakota) is waiting for his ride to come. Should you wait with him? You waited last night. Shouldn’t someone else have to deal with this get the opportunity to minister to young Dakota? Sure enough, you’ll be the one waiting and having to find the right words to say to Dakota’s tardy mother.

Here’s what not to say: “Look lady, we end at 8. At night!! Not in the morning. I’m missing Bobby Flay for this.”

Here’s a better option: “Hey, I just wanted to let you know that from now on we’re having our VBS at the Huddle House so you can just start dropping Dakota off there.”

I know how cruel and unmissional that sounds but it’s really best for all parties. The Huddle House could use the extra business and or help in the back and the rest of the kids at VBS would really like to play the bongos.

7. A lady will tell you how thankful she is for offering this for her grandchildren. She’ll say that she’s never heard of your church before. She’ll ask what time your Sunday morning services start. She’ll say that she’s looking forward to coming this Sunday. You won’t see her again until next year’s VBS.

8. Kids will run through the halls of your church. They will run like there’s no tomorrow. And they’ll do so while wearing hats. Or, in Dakota’s case, shirtless. One of the longtime members will see this and he will not be happy. At what he thinks to be just the right time he’ll stand up and say, “Hey! You boys quit running in here. This is God’s house.” He’ll then take another puff off his cigarette and sit back down in his pew.

9. On the first night, while all of the kids are getting their name tags, there will be a problem. There will be one kid who just sort of shows up without any adult supervision. You’ll ask him his name so that you can properly keep track of him.

“What’s your name little fellow?”

“Pooh Pooh.”

“I’m sorry?”

“For what?”

“No. What’s your name?”

“Pooh Pooh.”


You spend the rest of the week calling the child names like Buddy, Dude and Guy. Everyone else just sticks with his proper name.

Pooh Pooh.

10. By the end of the week you decide to make some changes. Like moving to a church with no one under the age of 75. Or taking up a new drug. Either way, you won’t be doing VBS again.

But you’ll be back.

And so will Pooh Pooh.

And Dakota.

But I’m not sure about Dakota’s mom.

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