PORTLAND, ME - When it comes to Vacation Bible School (VBS), the members of Free Grace Community Fellowship know how to attract teens. They discovered this year that the one overarching key is to make the experience authentic.
Youth Pastor Chad Simms told TBNN, "In years past at VBS we used to ask the teens to listen to bible stories, sing boring songs, act out bible-based skits, and serve the Portland community in various ways. Almost nobody above age 11 came to our VBS. Because of that, this year we decided to shake things up a lot. Based on a fellowship-wide survey of our youth, we created a VBS specifically aimed at kids 13-18. We had great success."
Amanda Young, a 14-year-old at Free Grace, said, "At first I gave almost no thought of attending VBS. I thought it was for babies. Then when Pastor Chad told us what we'd be doing, I told him to count me in. My experience at VBS was a great one. It was so much like real life at my middle school. I'm already looking forward to VBS next year."
The Free Grace VBS youth schedule of activities looked like this:
5:30 - 6:00 Listening to iPod
6:00 - 6:30 Gossiping
6:30 - 7:00 Complaining
7:00 - 7:30 Texting
7:30 - 8:00 Eating junk food
8:00 - 8:30 Sitting bored
8:30 - 9:00 Dissing
Pastor Chad informed us that in comparison to last year's VBS, this year's drew several hundred to the fellowship. "We are so excited that this many young people attended. They might not have heard much about Jesus or the bible, but they at least got used to being here in our fellowship. Who knows? Maybe they will eventually turn to God and this VBS will be one of the reasons."