As we settle into the school time of the year, we can still take a look at what God did during the Vacation Bible School season (summer). The message from Pastor Jeff Alkire of Church on the Hill in Joshua Tree (formerly known as First Southern Baptist Church of Joshua Tree). shows how God's people can work together for His Glory.
Church on the Hill believes that churches working together to reach the lost are much more effective than churches working separately. We have held weekly prayer meetings with other churches, combined Good Friday and Easter sunrise services with another, and, most recently, helped another church put on their V.B.S.
When our church began to grow, It was suggested that we have a Vacation Bible School during the summer. Even though we had grown, we would have had difficulty obtaining enough volunteers to do one well. But, another thought occurred to me – what if we came along side one of the other small churches from our town (and all the churches in Joshua Tree are small) that holds a VBS each year and partnered with them. This idea turned out to be a gift from God. When our 12 volunteers showed up at the first planning meeting at Sky View Chapel, I could see relief wash over the VBS director’s face. She was concerned they would not have adequate supervision for the children. Now there was not only enough staff, there were extras as well. The live skit that they could only dream of doing when they acquired the curriculum was now possible. It turned out to be one of the most successful portions of the week.
We worked together; we did daily devotions together; we got to know each other; we grew in Christ together! My favorite quote from the week came from one of our teens. She said, “this Vacation Bible School is sure good at getting me out of my comfort zones.” Calls for our churches to work together again were starting long before the week was over.
We were able to bless Sky View Chapel by providing our experiences in working with children and the energy of our many teen volunteers, but we received the biggest blessings. We left our comfort zones and helped to build the kingdom of God without any expectation of reward. I’ve heard it said, “When you bless others, God blesses you”. By the end of the week, everyone from Church on the Hill who participated felt like they were greatly blessed by God.