When you are a little kid, final performance night at VBS is like the Grammy’s, the Oscars and the World Cup all rolled into one. It is exciting and terrifying and fun and sweaty all at once. Understanding that, I thought it would be good to do a simple “things I hope happen for you” at this year’s final performance night:
1. I hope you don’t sing about “Ikeaus”
My wife and I sometimes shop at IKEA in Atlanta. If you’ve never been, IKEA is a massive contemporary Swedish furniture store. My daughters love it because they sell the child’s version of crack, AKA cinnamon rolls. They eat one and then just bounce their way through hip couches and lamps and tables. But when my four year old L.E. learned the song “Zaccheus was a wee little man,” she thought it was “Ikeaus” and proceeded to sing “Ikeaus was a wee little man” at the top of her lungs. Here’s hoping your kids don’t sing a tribute song to a guy that apparently started a furniture chain.
2. I hope nothing falls from the ceiling.
We can’t resist bringing some part of the VBS theme into the sanctuary. Whether that is hanging a canoe from the ceiling for “Rapids of Faith” or putting a giant beaker for the “Power Lab” series by the stage, we will let you know clearly what we have been learning all week. My hope is that you will use more rope than you need to secure your props to the ceiling. Because a canoe to the head is no way to get a parent to come back to your church.
3. I hope the sales pitch for your church is soft.
It’s tough, I know it is. You’ve sent home little Jesus craft projects all week that have hopefully raised some good questions but now is your chance to witness to parents that don’t go to your church. Go slow, you don’t need to cover the entire Bible, every ministry your church offers and every possible reason someone should attend all in one night.
4. I hope any animal performers will not bite anyone.
This seems like a good place for a worship eagle joke but I am trying to limit myself to one a week and I think I already used one. But every now and then, because you have to pull out all the stops for final performance night, someone that owns an iguana or trained doves (“wings of mercy”) will come do a little show. They’re going to use the bathroom on the stage, that’s kind of every animal’s dream, but hopefully no one will get bit.
5. I hope the performers will not mutiny.
I need to remix the Psalty post, but one thing I did mention in the original was that one year the director’s teenage son was forced to play the role of Psalty. He hated it and invested a tremendous amount of bile and anger in his interpretation of that big blue song book. It was kind of like watching Hannah Montana car jack someone. It just made no sense to see something so inherently happy be so ferociously disinterested. I hope you have better luck.
6. I hope you go easy with the numbers game.
A great way to confirm a parent’s belief that your church only cares about numbers is to over celebrate the number of kids that came to VBS and the number of kids that were saved. Please don’t read this as “Jon hates when kids give their lives to God.” Not at all. I just think that it needs to be about relationship, not only a number. A church near me had a sign that said “VBS – 1,200 kids, 432 saved!” Again, the heart of that is great, but the sign felt like it should say “That’s a 33% success rate in Fiscal Quarter 2. Be careful, parents might not dig thinking “yay, my kid was #234 at your Christian factory.”
I have other hopes, but I would rather hear yours. And I tried Krav Maga last night, which is an Israeli based martial arts/self defense system and I am fairly certain that my right arm is figuring out the best way to fall off right now.
So what your hopes for the final performance night at VBS?