Traditionally, churches have partnered with their denominational
mission agencies for their VBS mission outreach. Today, however,
that trend is changing. More and more VBS publishers are partnering
with nondenominational agencies to provide life-changing
experiences for children who attend VBS.
This year, several missions organizations are partnering with VBS
publishers For example, David C. Cook and Compassion International
have joined hands to help children sponsor needy children in other
countries. Smyth and Helwys and Habitat for Humanity are involving
children in building homes for needy families. Group Publishing and
the International Bible Society are working together to enable
children to send Spanish Gospel of John booklets to children in
If you've chosen a VBS curriculum this year that either doesn't
have a mission tie-in or has one that you wish were stronger,
consider partnering with a mission organization on your own. If
you'd like to partner with a mission organization, follow these six
1. Select a mission organization to partner with.
Check around your community to find a worthy cause right where you
live. Or go international. For a list of mission organizations, log
onto the SIM Web site to search "The Christian Missions Home Page"
call SIM at 800-521-6449.
2. Contact the organization. Explain what you
hope to accomplish and discuss a partnership opportunity with
someone on staff. Ask for a prospectus detailing exactly how all
the organization's contributions are allocated.
3. Request visuals. Photos, posters, artifacts,
maps, letters, and more will increase children's understanding and
help maintain their interest in the mission project.
4. Set a tangible and reachable goal. It's better
to identify a need for specific people so children can clearly
understand where their money is going.
5. Design a compelling project that'll capture kids'
interest. Make your project very hands-on by having kids
bring objects such as school supplies, food items, baby layette
items, or small gifts. Collect these each day at your offering time
by having kids walk up and physically lay the items on a table or
Or make your project stand out with creative flair. For example,
if children are raising money to buy a cow for a village, bring in
a real cow to greet children as they arrive for the first day of
VBS. Use a giant drawing of a cow to keep track of donations-with
every $10 given, kids get to color a new spot on "Bessie"! Promise
that if the children reach the goal, you'll even kiss Bessie-then
keep your promise!
6. Ask for a report. Once VBS is over and the
money or gifts have been delivered, show children a videotape or
photographs of the difference they've made with their prayers and