Though most Vacation Bible School events have been cancelled this summer, a few local churches have decided to go virtual with their program.
Yellow Creek Baptist Church and Bellevue Baptist Church each uploaded their first lesson on Monday, and they’ll present one more each day through Wednesday.
Erica Houston, the children’s ministry director at Bellevue, said they looked at several options before landing on the virtual presentation.
“We just didn’t see how (anything in person) would still be a possibility at any point with the numbers of crowds that would be allowed to gather,” she said. “The one sure thing we could do was this at-home Vacation Bible School.”
Bellevue’s lessons are roughly 45 minutes long. Houston said while it might be hard to keep children’s attention for that duration, a benefit of going online is they can pause the video at any time. Families could also take their time if there’s something the children don’t understand.
“For some of our younger crew, 45 minutes might be a long time to be a part of it — it’s a Bible story, it’s a craft time, it’s a game activity,” Houston said. “But, they can do it at their own pace.”
Chris Holmes, who serves on the ministry staff at Yellow Creek, agreed that there are benefits to the online method.
“Even though everybody didn’t register for it and get the materials for what’s involved, everybody can watch it and enjoy it,” he said. “It’s accessible to everybody. That’s a plus. That will extend beyond even the number we could have had on our facility here during our regular Vacation Bible School.”
Holmes said their staff would prefer the traditional VBS so they could be on hand to more easily answer questions during a lesson, but safety was a top concern.
“It’s unfortunate that we don’t have any real one-to-one interaction with them, but it just would have been too difficult to try to make it happen in our facility in a way that was able to be socially distant and safe,” he said. “We wish we could personally interact with the children and answer any questions they’ve got or help them understand any concepts that are presented that might be unclear to them.
Both churches are posting their lessons to Facebook daily.