Three Take-Aways from This Year’s Vacation Bible School

By Keith Lee, Associate Pastor

Intergenerational Ministry

One of the buzzwords in ministry is intergenerational ministry. According to Wikipedia, “Inter-generational or intergenerational ministry is a model of Christian ministry which emphasizes relationships between age groups and encourages mixed-age activities.” It contrasts with traditional ministry style where groups are divided according to age. Traditional ministry style is still needed but it should not be the only method found in the church.

This year’s VBS reflected intergenerational ministry style. One teacher recruited her granddaughters as volunteers so in one group, three generations of Trinity members were represented. In two of the stations the main leaders were older teenagers (a station is where a specific lesson is taught; groups rotate to different stations throughout the day). They did a wonderful job. At my station, the volunteers ranged from rising 5th graders to 7th graders. Even though I was much older, they took a lot of initiative in decorating the room, the way our teaching materials were presented and leadership in many activities. The cooperation and interaction between different age groups truly added energy, creativity and success of this year’s VBS.

Importance of Youth/Preteen Volunteers

This is a follow-up to the first takeaway. I want to emphasize this because they are part and parcel to VBS; they made up over 60% of our volunteers! Most of the time they serve as assistants to main teachers or group leaders. They help with interacting with and supervising students. Having groups that range from 12 to 16 kids, these young volunteers are vital for a productive and encouraging experience. Also, they help make connections with students because the lead teacher cannot make significant strides in relationship-building with all the students.

Another area of contribution they made this year was being leaders for VBS stations. For older high school students who want to take up the challenge of leading a VBS station, we provide appropriate leadership opportunities. Fortunately, two older youth, Sarah Beth and Adelaide took up the challenge and did wonderful jobs in their respective stations. Youth/Preteen volunteers are fantastic!

Serving the McLean Community

VBS is one of the many Trinity ministries that serve the greater McLean community. We had ninety seventy students registered and over sixty volunteers. Because of limitation in space and time, we had to turn away some students. Due to Trinity’s reputation as an open and welcoming church with excellent programs, many parents depend on us as essential part of their children’s summer experience. Most of the VBS students are not Trinity members and are grateful that we provide this opportunity to learn, grow and interact with other children from McLean. Our volunteers and teachers do awesome work! Moreover, Jen Calsyn and Marci Thomas are fantastic administrators who work wonders with logistics, recruiting of students and volunteers, and ensuring VBS operates with excellence. Through VBS, Trinity serves the needs of McLean. Let’s keep up the good work!


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Trinity United Methodist Church is located in McLean, VA. Our weekly worship services are on Sundays at 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. and on Wednesdays at noon. Sunday School is at 9:30 a.m. for children and adults. Children up to 6th grade are also invited to Children's Education during the 10:30 service. Adult Bible Study also occurs on Mondays at 10 a.m. and Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. Please visit our website for more information.

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