Bible schools incorporate themes

CNJ staff photo: Keely McDowell Alexis Fielder, 10, makes a headband in arts and crafts during Vacation Bible School at the First Methodist Church on Sycamore Street.

By Keely McDowell: CNJ staff writer

Although Vacation Bible School has been a summer tradition for many of the area churches, it has become more popular as churches get creative with their teaching styles, church officials said.

Churches officials believe Vacation Bible Schools are an opportunity to show children church is not just a place to sit and listen, but a place to have fun, according to Dawn Myers Children’s Pastor at the First Church of the Nazarene. She also said finding a good Bible school theme can create an opportunity to attract visitors and new members. Organizers say they enjoy the process of choosing the best kid-attracting angle with the best message.

“The important thing is choosing something that is going to draw the children’s interest,” Myers said. “Something to get their attention and have them saying, ‘I want to be a part of that.’”

Churches commonly use lessons following a week-long theme, according to Chuck Tipton the director of Children’s Ministry at Central Baptist Church. The themes have become more diverse and volunteers have a much easier time preparing for VBS because they can now purchase prepackaged lesson plans.

“We can just pick up and go,” Tipton said.

The First Methodist Church on Sycamore Street hosted its Vacation Bible School this week, teaching the relation between science and religion using the “Power Lab” theme.

“We learn ‘bout Jesus,” Mackensie Littlejohn, 3, said. “I made oozy slime.”

David Johnson, 8. said he doesn’t mind going to school in the summer if it’s Vacation Bible School.

“I liked learning about Peter,” Johnson said. “I didn’t know that God would let someone walk on water.”

Melissa Struthers, 6, said she invited friends to come with her to Bible school.

“They probably want to learn about God, and we can have fun,” she said.