Her name was Gertrude, she was in her 80’s when I got to know her. Her grandson would come to Nashville every summer and stay a couple of weeks with her. It was always during Vacation Bible School. Little Ryan invited his friend Jim to come with him. Jim, well, both Jim and Ryan loved VBS! It was the highlight of their summer. Jim grew up, he excelled in baseball and started going to church all the time. He obeyed the gospel. After baseball, he got a little startup job. An assistant trainer with one of the AAA farm clubs for the Braves, the Richmond Braves.
He visited the church of Christ in Green Hills (at that time Granny White) one Sunday between college and starting his new job. On his attendance card, he wrote that he would be traveling on a bus with the team and some Sundays would not be able to attend worship with the church. He asked if we would send him the tapes of the services, GW in those days didn’t just send the sermon but the whole service, singing, prayers, everything. Who could resist his request?
Press Fast Forward. He did well. The kind of trainer that worked hard, knew his stuff, and the players just liked him. In a few years he became head-trainer for Richmond. A few more and he got “called up to the big show.” Atlanta.
A few more years and by this time we were sending out nearly 100 tapes a week. The elders decided to go to CDs. In making the changeover they had me write to everyone just to make sure they still wanted to be on the list. Jim wrote me back. He thanked me for including him, he sent a donation, and he said that many Sundays it was like a lifeline. Then he said that every week after he listened to the tapes, he passed them on to one of his friends, John, who then passed it on to one of his, Tom. And that’s how John Smoltz and Tom Glavine listened to my preaching every week. And, that my friends is the impact of an invite to Vacation Bible School.
What’d you say about how VBS is just entertaining a few kids and it’s not really worth the time and energy of doing it?
A recent Lifeway study indicated that the most likely church teaching activity that parents who do not go to church would be happy their children would go to is VBS.
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