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Kindness observed

My church will be launching into its annual vacation Bible school today. There will be a four-day session each week for the next two weeks for kids—from teensy-tiny to eighth grade—and it will be jam-packed with amazing kid-things to do and outstanding Bible drama and worship every day.

I’ve volunteered in this event for several years. My job for the past couple of years has been to check kids out of their cars in the morning and help to make sure they made it to their various groups safely.

This is what I wrote about my experience at my church’s kids’ camp a couple of years ago:

I just finished working with my church’s vacation Bible school this week. Now, I’m not in the state of Texas, but my church may as well be!  Almost everything it does is BIG, especially this summer outreach to kids. My job was to help direct traffic as parents dropped off their children, aiding as kids hopped out of vehicles, and directing them to “walkers”—individuals from age fifteen to eighty—who walked them to the crosswalk and then to their stations.

As I participated in this massive movement of munchkins, I was very aware of the friendliness of the volunteers serving all around me. Kind words, gentle humor, and great encouragement filled the atmosphere as hundreds—no, literally thousands—of kids said goodbye to their parents and hello to the fun-filled environment awaiting them.

And I observed parents in their cars, vans, SUVs, pickup trucks, and jeeps respond to the thoughtful smiles, waves, and well-wishes just as much as their children. I watched, in more than one case, tension just drain away from a frazzled mom when a volunteer acknowledged her with a smile and a parting word of encouragement.

And I thought, “This is how we are to operate every day.”

  • Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person. Colossians 4:5-6
  • Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.  Philippians 4:5

Despite the chaos swirling in the world, we can walk in confidence that our God is on the throne. And we can also know for a fact that He longs to show forth His love and stability through us as we engage more and more consistently in everyday random acts of kindness.

If your church is holding a VBS this summer—or you know of others that are—pray for those events. The adults and teens volunteering their time could use your prayers for strength, grace, stamina, and wisdom from God as they reach out to boys and girls and younger teens who may have never clearly heard the gospel before in their lives. Pray that God will prepare the hearts of these kids for an encounter with Him.

May the hand of God be upon every church campus involved this summer in presenting the gospel to our youngest generation.