cases, the differences between a VBS and a Kidsí Crusade are
much like the differences between Sunday School and Childrenís
Church. Typically, your VBS program involves many teachers
teaching individual age groups, lots of crafts and snacks, and an
educational foundation of Scripture. Your typical Kidsí
Crusade utilizes less hands-on workers, few Ė if any Ė crafts
or snacks, and focuses on an experiential time with God.
Both can be extremely evangelistic in nature and both will provide
wonderful opportunities for the community to visit your church.
A VBS will usually be run during the morning hours while a Kidsí
Crusade will be held in the evening.
If at all
possible, a church should attempt to offer both. I know
itís a lot of work, but winning souls isnít an easy task.
Many churches will run their own VBS, but have a Childrenís
Evangelist conduct the services for a crusade. However, if
you want to run your own crusade, there are some unique things to
keep in mind.
I prefer to
begin with a theme. Here Iím talking about an over all
theme. It could center around almost anything. Racing,
circus, sailing, western, space, medieval, and tropical are just a
few ideas. What would you enjoy doing? What kinds of
resources for decorating are available? Letís consider a
tropical theme. Most party stores or places like Oriental
Trading Co. will have paper palm trees, hula skirts, coconuts,
fishing nets, stuffed parrots, and other tropical themed supplies
for you to choose from. That seems fairly easy. How about
putting some meat on these bones? Letís say youíre
considering four evenings of service, Sunday through Wednesday.
A good place to start on Sunday night is with salvation.
Monday you may want to talk about resisting temptation or peer
pressure or prayer. Tuesday night offers itself well to
witnessing, character, or personal devotions. When Wednesday
rolls around, you can expect the largest night in attendance as
you have built up through the week. Be sure that a salvation
message is included for all the parents, etc. who are here for the
last night. You can also focus on faithfulness to what
youíve discussed throughout the week. Now, I realize that
these are some basic topics, but Iím trying to keep in mind that
this article is for those who are putting the crusade together for
the first time.
you have an overall theme, a service format, and topics for each
night, youíll want to develop the services. I will usually
write many of the segments such as the ventriloquist routine
myself. But I always surround myself with resources for
ideas. Grab a couple of object lesson books, trick
cartooning books, ballooning books, puppet script books and CDs
and begin putting together the segments for the service. Remember
that if youíre only putting together segments, then that is
exactly how it will be presented unless you spend time in prayer
over this. Actually, you need to be praying all the way
through the process so far. Before you know it, youíll
have everything laid out and be ready to go.
Here are a
few other details to consider. Kids like prizes. So
have plenty of opportunities for them to receive them. Have
a visitor contest. Have prizes for those who help you during
the service. Have secret seat prizes. Have prizes for
no reason at all Ė the Surprise Prize!
youíre running contests, you can often go to one of those Mart
stores and purchase several items. Let the contest winners
choose from a large selection of prizes and then return the ones
you didnít need or use. This is also good in case you have
a tie in the contest. (Keep your receipt.)
like to spice up each night with something extra like having the
kids wear the most unusual hat, or dressing western, or wearing
their dadís ugliest tie.
[For more complete
details of running your own Kidís Crusade, see Rev. Dave
Winchellís book, ďMaking
Your Kidsí Krusade Fizz or FizzleĒ in the Outlet Mall.]
© by Gary
Childrenís Ministry Today