Deliver VBS to Senior Adults and Shut-ins

man on road with Bible and bag

Reflecting on the summers of my childhood, I always looked forward to Vacation Bible School (VBS). Complete with fruit punch and cookies, VBS was much less about “school” and much more about growing in my relationship with Christ. The weeklong event typically took place within the walls of our local church with familiar faces and dedicated volunteers.

In today’s world, VBS has happily taken on a revised schedule, with many churches choosing to offer an abbreviated VBS at night or on a weekend. But what about stepping beyond the church walls to personally deliver the gospel to an often-overlooked sector of our society? What if we rolled up our sleeves, packed up our resources, and took VBS on the road to a local nursing home or senior center? We just might discover an untapped dimension to fulfilling the Great Commission while experiencing a whole lot of joy in the process!

Make Plans

  1. First and foremost, be available.
  2. Be obedient. Allow God to invite you out of your comfort zone to share His love.
  3. Visit a senior living center in your community. Ask if you or your group can host a VBS.
  4. Let God design your game plan around the needs and abilities of the individuals He calls and equips you to serve. Remember that no exact methods must be followed in presenting your activities or curriculum, nor do the activities have to include every component in order to be effective. Be creative. Be flexible. Be genuine.
  5. Present the Bible story through a single method like music. Introduce the key story or memory verse. Ask your audience to share favorite hymns. Lead in a sing-along. Next introduce your favorite hymn while connecting it to the story or verse. (Check out Tell the Story for a Bible storying plan designed for use in this type of setting with adaptations.)
  6. Engage your audience through recreation. Write details or verses on slips of paper. Hide them in balloons. Play a game of “hot potato” or volleyball using the balloons. Instruct volunteers to deflate each balloon as you discuss the story or verse and share the plan of salvation.

Bear in mind that your audience may vary from a group of active, independent seniors to a loving group of memory-impaired adults. Through the gifts of music, crafts, Bible stories, and recreation, God can speak and move through you as an inspired individual or a motivated team member. Never underestimate the power of God’s love or His Spirit! Only through the power of His Holy Spirit can we truly be His messengers (Acts 1:8).

Your missions field begins at home. I’m prayerfully considering putting my team together right now! Will you join me?

Joanie Ballard is grateful for the relationships that God has allowed her to build at a senior care facility within her community through the gift of music.

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