family in white laying on floor
It may seem obvious. Local churches provide the support and resources Christian families need to successfully guide their children into a rewarding spiritual relationship. Yet in the chaos of daily life, it is all too easy to forget that nothing can take the place of the interaction, instruction, and connection with others that happens on a personal level at church.
The most valuable resources available for keeping our children spiritually healthy is the local church, said Karen Karterouliotis, Children’s Pastor at Golden Gate Assembly of God in Naples.
“Taking spiritual development out of the equation is like taking away time for proper nutrition, hygiene, exercise, and education,” Pastor Karterouliotis said.
“Everyone makes time for the things we evaluate as important, and seem to neglect the ones that are least important to us. We need to understand where our family is going and convey that message to our children by intertwining that into our family’s fiber.”
Summer is a great time to visit area churches and find one that can provide support for your family. Many churches host Vacation Bible School (VBS) during the summer, and kids look forward to the excitement of new friends and activities. Special events like VBS can pique a child’s interest in church.
Pastor Steve McGraw, Children’s Pastor at New Hope Ministries in Naples, coordinates the VBS at his church. With six children of his own, Pastor McGraw understands the pressures and problems parents face. Church outreaches, such as VBS, are instrumental for getting families connected with a local church, which can provide the support and services they need, according to Pastor McGraw.
Choosing a VBS:
Because most VBS programs are free (although some do charge a small fee) and are not restricted to church members, they tend to fill up quickly. Register early to ensure a spot. Age requirements vary by church, so be sure to check registration restrictions.
Another thing to consider is the time of the VBS. While many are held during the day, others run in the evening, which may not be ideal for young children.
“Vacation” receives more emphasis than “Bible” at some Vacation Bible Schools, while the opposite is true of others. The emphasis on the religious component also varies by age group. It is worthwhile to ask how the week is structured to ensure you choose the VBS that is the right fit for your family.