VBS ended tonight. It was a great week.
In fact, as I write, it’s 11 p.m. on Thursday night, and I only just now remembered that I needed to write a blog for Friday morning. That’s not happened all year. So, it was a busy day.
I served all four nights of Camp Kilimanjaro, which is more nights than all the previous times that I had served at a VBS in my entire lifetime. In fact, keep this a secret, but I think I’ve only served at a VBS once before (head hung in shame). But I did again this week. I wonder if it had something to do with the fact that my sweet wife is in charge of children’s ministry now at Edgewood?
For my labors, I have been presented a carabineer, for future expeditions up the real African mountain, I’m sure. But I have a bit of vertigo, so I’m guessing the only time I actually will get to Mount K will be when it is the renewed Mount Kilimanjaro in the New Heavens and the New Earth. And who knows, maybe that will be sooner than we think.
I was reading Ephesians 4 and thinking about Diane’s role as the VBS leader. Paul writes about her, and others like her in verses 11 – 13…
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, Ephesians 4:11-13 (ESV)
You didn’t see VBS leader or Children’s Ministry Director next to the esteemed list of biblical offices like apostles and prophets and shepherds. But it is there, at least in principle.
And the principle is this: Diane’s role is not to do the ministry; it is to train and equip others to do the ministry. Same thing for a pastor like me.
It wasn’t always this way. During the Middle Ages, the idea was that the priest did everything. Everything. You know, marry and bury, of course, but also evangelism and administration and anything else that needed to be done to make the Kingdom go forward. I guess all the people just cheered him on. Or not.
But God never meant it to be this way, and the pastor(shepherd)’s job is not actually to do the ministry, but to help others do the ministry. Get this backward and you have the grave situation of the Middle Ages. But make it biblical, turn it around, and you get(with the Holy Spirit!)…the most remarkable revival in the history of Christendom, a.k.a., the Reformation.
So VBS – Diane might have done the bulk of organizing this terrific week, but it was not her actual work to do. Her job was to recruit and train others. And the others? They do the work of building up the body of Christ…until we all look like Jesus.
A volunteer named Keith who had been at every night said to me after the curtain came down tonight: “I’ve had more fun this week than I’ve had in years.” Glory to God.
I’m just glad that Diane didn’t keep all the fun to herself.
For Monday, June 29th: Ephesians 5