Vacation Bible School can be one of the biggest highlights of many churches' summer calendars. But for those who begin planning for this event months in advance, it can also add huge amounts of stress and be a large drain on the church budget. Churches in LA and Orange County, California have found a way to reduce the stress and cost of VBS by sharing resources.
It started with friendships developed at DCE Etc. meetings sponsored by the Pacific Southwest District. By regularly coming together and sharing the successes and the struggles that DCEs have in common these churches found camaraderie, support, and trust. Joy Kaufmann, DCE at St. Paul’s, Orange spearheaded this idea. She said that they discovered that “God’s Kingdom is bigger than our individual churches. We can do more together than individually.”
For the past five years, VBS Coordinators have come together in January to decide what supplies and decorations can be shared. Each participating church puts in what its budget can afford. These pooled resources allow each congregation to share in the resources that may not be attainable on their own.
Churches that have participated include St. Paul’s, Orange; Hephatha, Anaheim; Searchlight, Fullerton; Christ, Brea; Salem, Orange; Christ, Costa Mesa; Abiding Savior, Lake Forest; and Mount Calvary, Diamond Bar. And this year the collaboration has even included the addition of Covenant Presbyterian, Orange.
This is the first year that Salem, Orange has participated in this collaboration. DCE Brooke Krochman says, “It has been such a privilege to learn from other church leaders and to share each other's vision and resources. Working with other churches allows ideas and resources to be shared which really helps in the overall cost of providing an outstanding VBS program to our families. VBS can be such a daunting undertaking each year, but when coming together as a church family, we can help one another and most importantly, pray for one another.”
Vicar Timothy Potthoff, DCE at Hephatha, Anaheim shared “It is great to see the body of Christ, that of the church, come together and not only share in the resources but also to encourage one another in each church's efforts of reaching out to the children through VBS by collaborating on ideas and ways to utilize each churches gifts in sharing the gospel message.”
For some of these congregations, this collaboration has spilled over into other church ministries such as Women’s Ministry events, projects and conferences. God is clearly at work bringing local congregations together to uplift, support and do ministry together.
Join us in prayer!
Gracious heavenly Father, we give thanks to you for the many children who hear Your word through outreach programs like VBS. Please open their hearts so that those who do not know You would receive Your Spirit. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen!
Share Your Story
We love sharing the work God is doing in our district and would love to share what He is doing in your ministry!