What I learned at VBS
“Help me slow down, Jesus.
Hheellpp mmee ssllooww ddoowwnn JJEEUUSS.
Hhheeelllppp mmmeee ssslllooowww dddoowwwnnn, JJJEEEUUUSSS.
Hhhheeeellllpppp, mmmmeeee,sssslllloooowwww ddddoooowwwwnnnn, JJJJEEEEUUUUSSSS.”
“Bible Story Teller,” Rolling River Rampage: Experience the Ride of a Lifetime with God!, Cokesbury VBS 2018.
My friend, Mary Manning, and I were the story tellers at St. Mark’s Vacation Bible School (VBS) this summer. I have been the story teller at VBS at the other churches I served, but I always did it alone. This was so amazing to have a partner. Mary is a retired school teacher. I am a retired teacher of medical school students and residents and fellows, but Mary had a lot to teach me. I had decided how to tell the story for each group. At our first meeting, Mary told me she said we should do it another way. She was so right. I keep thinking what it would have been like if she had not been there with me. It could have been a disaster.
Now I know why Jesus sent the disciples out two by two. At my late stage I am learning that almost any ministry we do should be done at least two by two if possible. We learn so much from each other’s experience and expertise.
This prayer for today about slowing down was our favorite one that we used the day we told the story of Mary and Martha. I try to say it sometime during my day, every day.
I learned one more thing at VBS. Mary and I were only with each group of children for 20 minutes. We told stories about Jesus calling the disciples, Mary and Martha, Zacchaeus, the Last Supper, and Jesus sending his disciples out and letting them know he would be with them always. Each day before telling the new story, we would review the story from the previous day. I was amazed how much each group remembered yesterday’s story, even the four-year-olds. Of course, the story was reinforced at crafts and music and games.
VBS taught me that what we teach and what we say can be a seed that may stay with children especially to germinate then or at some later date. I am reminded of teachers I had at VBS who taught me about the love of God through stories. I want to be like them.