11 Important Lessons Learned From Serving In Vacation Bible School

Gold Brush Stroke

Serving isn’t always easy or comfortable, but we always grow through it. 

“Good duties must not be pressed and beaten out of us, as the waters came out of a rock when Moses smote it with his rod; but must freely drop from us, as myrrh from the tree, or honey from the comb.”  ~ Thomas Watson

'Good duties must not be pressed and beaten out of us, as the waters came out of a rock when Moses smote it with his rod; but must freely drop from us, as myrrh from the tree, or honey from the comb.' ~Thomas Watson Share on X

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A Hesitant Servant

Performing “good duties” for my family was easy. But good duties in the form of sharing Jesus with others wasn’t so easy. Such service wasn’t really pressed or beaten from me, more like it was pulled and twisted out.

Needless to say, I was a hesitant servant. Scared of nearly everything about saying yes to reaching out in the name of Jesus, to serving. 

Yet at the dawn of another year of helping to staff our church’s VBS program, I am very grateful that first “yes” was pulled out of me.

The first year of helping with this wonderful outreach was fraught with angst. I felt largely inadequate. Although a believer as a young child, I knew little about the God I called Father and less about the Bible.

How could I teach anyone about Jesus? What if I said the wrong thing? What if I steered the children wrong? 

I was inadequate to minister to these children. But the Lord wasn’t. I will never be up to the task of teaching about the mysteries of an unfathomable, limitless God. But I don’t have to be. 

Our all-powerful, all-knowing, loving Lord makes the little I have to offer more than enough for any task done in His name. 

11 Important Lessons Learned From Serving In Vacation Bible School Share on X

Joy of Serving

Serving the children in our community has brought me great joy and growth. I learned so many important lessons in the many years since I began helping with VBS. 

  • I learned that bringing smiles to children’s faces is worth a little angst.
  • I learned that I won’t grow if I don’t challenge myself at least a little.
  • I learned about Jesus’ love for me through the eyes of “babes.”
  • I learned how exciting it is to get to know the Lord.
  • I learned how to transform a church into a jungle, a western town, or a zoo.
  • I learned how to bring biblical men and women to life through story.
  • I learned the joy of serving someone other than my family.
  • I learned that I don’t have to wait until I know “enough” about the Bible to teach biblical principles.
  • I learned that sharing about Jesus is never about comfort but always about love—His for us, our’s for Him and for others.
  • I learned how hungry children are for adult love and attention and the love and truth of the Lord, even children in a small Midwest town.
  • I learned that offering the little we have is more than enough for our Father. 

Since those pensive first years, I’ve never missed a year of VBS, even though some years have been incredibly difficult, and have transitioned into many roles, including being the director.

Although hesitant to admit I had to be pulled and twisted to serve in my church, I’m grateful I eventually said yes to VBS. This small beginning opened up my world  to the joy of serving Jesus. 

Small beginnings in the area of serving others can open up your world to the joy of serving Jesus. Share on X

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10).

Reflections: Have you discovered the blessing of serving? What opportunities to serve are available to you? What’s stopping you from saying yes?


Linking with Ann Voskamp at A Holy Experience in 2013 for my Joy Dare list  for Multitude Mondays (#1767–1787, read them all by clicking here):

  • Laughter in my living room; Attending event honoring our fallen military heroes; Son playing taps at Memorial Day event
  • Enjoying the very first steps of our wetland project; Last day of school for the kids; Zach & rest arrived safely in NYC
  • Playing tennis w/ 3 I love; Being able say thank you to 2 amazing retiring teachers; Electricity out & candles burning
  • Pelicans on the lake; A wet basement but no long-term effects from the flood; Roar of the water pouring over the dams
  • Spending much of the day w/ my oldest; Fragrance of highbush cranberry blossoms; Break from heavy rains
  • Zach safely home fm NYC trip; Incredible depths & brilliance of foliage this spring; Encouragement just when it’s needed
  • Setup & ready for another fun-filled, exhausting week of VBS; Walk in the cool, night air; Joey’s excitement at sleeping outside

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Also linking with the following wonderful sites:

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By His Grace,



  1. Leah on June 3, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    Everything you spoke about serving in VBS is so true.
    I’ve done VBS since a teen and recently The Lord has definitely put me outside my comfort level with doing more children’s ministries in different and yes uncomfortable ways. Evangelism has always been the MOST effective toward children because they are the most simple and trusting when it comes to faith (the only requirements of salvation)
    Thanks for sharing.

    • Julie Sunne on June 3, 2013 at 11:34 pm

      I love how you continue to pursue children with the Gospel, Leah, even when it isn’t easy. It is an exhausting but rewarding ministry.

  2. Ryan Bedenkop on June 6, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    Oh how I love teaching VBS!

    Delighted to meet you today. I hope you don’t mind if I splash around a bit to get to know you. This looks like a refreshing place to dip onto goodness.




    • Julie Sunne on June 6, 2013 at 3:28 pm

      I’d love for you to splash around, Sarah. I pray you are refreshed here as you get your feet wet in His truth.

  3. […] in VBS has blessed me in countless unexpected ways. Read more about that here, 11 Important Lessons Learned, and here, 11 Reasons I Can’t […]

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Julie Sunne

Hello, I'm Julie, an imperfect wife and mother of four. Life in this broken world is not always easy. Yet, joy can be found in each day through the grace and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I find it's easy for our day's blessings to get lost in its happenings. But God's "mercies never end" (Lamentations 3:22) and His "grace is sufficient" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

May the posts and pages on this site offer you a measure of peace and encouragement.

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