Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Brentwood Benson does VBS RIGHT!

It is normal for people in church life and ministry to think about VBS in February or March.  I have done this for most of my life - even as a child attending every summer VBS of childhood.  But what about actually doing VBS in October?  Now that is totally out of the box.  And that is totally just what we did!  This is a short story of our journey into Fall VBS and the results thereof.

To begin with, Lifeway ending it's relationship with Jeff Slaughter played a huge role in what I will share.  There is none better than Slaughter at developing VBS material and music that shares the Gospel of Jesus Christ clearly and effectively with children.  None better anywhere!  And since Slaughter was picked up by Brentwood Benson to put together their first ever VBS material offering, our staff got a little curious.  Our curiosity led us down a new path for VBS.  We decided to go with a Fall VBS and see what would happen.  We contacted Brentwood Benson and asked if we could premier this new offering.  They agreed.  We contacted Slaughter and secured him to be live on stage for two nights of VBS worship and celebration.  He agreed!  Fall VBS would indeed occur.

The following is what we gleaned from this adventure:

1.  Slaughter - still NONE BETTER.  Lifeway really blew it with this one.  His heart for children and the gift and blessing on his writing and arranging cannot be denied.  He is in person as he is on stage - the real deal.  He wants to see people reached with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  And he gives his all to see that this takes place.  The music was beyond good with this material.  Our adults even loved it and get this - it led to a VBS Flash Mob in both morning services this past Sunday.  it was incredible!

2.  The material - what Brentwood Benson has put together is the BEST ever!  My wife who has the same track record as I do in VBS said it this way:  "this material in structure, ideas, how to's, and message was the best ever!"  She loved it.  And so did our other workers.  It was done by people who know VBS and know what is needed.  Often those who write VBS material make the structure difficult and the message seems to get lost in the implementation.  Often the ideas for sharing do not relate to the children of today.  Often, VBS does NOT really get a clear message across.  Not with this one.  The message was clear and powerful!  The children got it!  I have never heard children so get the theme and message of VBS like I did this year! 

Since the theme was a world tour, missions was all over this material.  Our leaders decided to up it even more by Skyping in Missionaries from each of the countries that the tour visited each evening during the group times.  And this was awesome!  The children heard first hand from people doing mission work and prayed for that person and country!  You would not have believed the prayers that went up from these children.

The snacks were even designed to fit the countries each night on the tour and allowed for total theme involvement!  And man were they good!

3.  Evangelistic - everything about this material was evangelistic from start to finish.

4.  Theology - this material is sound and void of the modern hangups found in much material these days.  There are NO worries with theology here!  Straight Jesus and His gift to all who will receive!

5.  Cost - we actually did VBS with less money spent this year than in years past.

If you want a VBS material that your workers will love, that will clearly and easily share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that will have your children engulfed in VBS and actually "getting it", then you need to call up Brentwood Benson and get your order in!  You will love it!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Religion and Politics - At Critical Mass

It has now become clear that the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has taken themselves down a dangerous path for political reasons.  The web site for BGEA has made a major change.  It is a sad change and one that we who believe the Bible and understand the true Gospel of Jesus Christ need to note and speak against.

The BGEA has now removed the Mormon church being listed as a cult!

It is a sad day in the waning years of the evangelists life to see such political posturing rise above the life message of the Gospel that has been faithfully preached for many years.  I had so thought that Dr. Billy Graham would finish strong and show the world a strong modern example of such.  I think that day has come to an end.

Mormonism is NOT Evangelical and it never will be.  The way a Mormon believes they will enter heaven is totally different that what the Bible says - and the Bible is the authority on such!  I realize that politics in America is at a critical point.  I realize that America is being thrown down the tube by the current administration.  I know that this election is the first of many tough ones for Christians in America.  We failed to reach our nation and payment time has arrived.  But politics should never shape Theology!

I have placed my allegiance to and in the person of Jesus Christ - the one and only Savior.  It is only through repentance of sin and acceptance of Jesus as Lord and Savior that a person can find eternal life with God in heaven.  And Americas need for a political change does not, nor can it change that fact. Mormonism is a cult.  It does not teach the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I am called to preach Jesus, and Jesus alone.  My political views do not change my theology.

Christians need to be extremely careful!  When we alter our convictions for our desired political gains, we lose more than a political victory!

I rank Mitt Romney way above President Obama in a political perspective.  I want President Obama defeated in this election.

But I will NOT change nor stray from the Gospel of Jesus Christ nor will I lesson my declaration of the application of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the mere token of political gain!

This I cannot and will NOT do!

Jesus is the Lord and I will NOT sell Him out over anything!