138 Dirksen Drive, DeBary, FL US 32713
Here at The Bible Chapel, we in Children's Ministry are deep into preparations for Vacation Bible School (and by the way, this year's Cave Quest theme is really unique, and the Bible Buddies are some of the cutest I've seen). One recent evening after a day spent organizing the army of volunteers, the mountain of props, the carloads of snacks, the reams of training material, the chorus of music - the list goes on - my oldest son asked me what we were doing for our vacation this summer.
While I've worked in Children's Ministries for several years, this is my first year in the position of Director. So I admit that my family vacation planning has been shoved to the back burner. I didn't really want to tell my son that, but I did want to tell him that he ought to consider his vacation a spelunking adventure in The Bible Chapel's main lobby.
I managed not to tell him that, either, but it did get me thinking: VBS is always adventure-themed. The curriculum always takes a fantastic, far-out destination or activity and uses it as the basis for learning about Jesus. So why couldn't I use a real destination for the same purpose? I mean, surely I wouldn't need as many props??
Our family vacations have always been about spending time together and having fun without any deadlines or rushing. I believe that when we take time out of our lives to be together, it strengthens our family bond, which in turn is honoring to God, who is the architect of the family. But I can't say I've ever been intentional about honoring God with our vacation. So I decided to see if I could change that.
My research (such as it was; I'm still in the middle of VBS season!) led me to a fabulous article on the Christian Broadcasting Network's website called "Put Faith into Your Family Vacation." The author, Connie Neal, lists just about every type of family vacation destination you could think of - from beaches to battlefields to castles (even the Disney kind) - and provides Bible stories, talking points, and Scripture-based activities and games that correspond to them.
The ideas are ones that can help everyone in your family - even older kids - take some time on your trip to marvel about God, the amazing things he's created and done, and the incredible people of faith through whom he's worked. They're a powerful example of how God can use anything - even your family vacation - to draw people closer to him. As the author of the article says, we remember experiences far more than we remember what we read or hear. And you thought your vacation was all about you!
Take a look at the article - it's a quick read - and let us know what you think in the comments section below. Are you planning on trying any of these? Have any of you ever done Bible-themed activities on your vacation? We want to hear about them! In the meantime, I'll be exploring some caves in the main lobby...look for me there!