The Sacred Sandwich



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  • Comment by 3John13 — October 30, 2009 @ 2:22 pm

    Well, I like the joke. I “get” the joke.
    And I like this site. I “get” this site.

    I also read in the Bible of Elijah, John The Baptist, Paul and John, not to mention Jesus, who were many times sarcastic (1 Kings 18:27), name callers (Matthew 3:7, Matthew 23:12-14), and confrontational (Galatians 2:11).

    Gooey, swishy, warm Teddy Bear Christianity is not the faith of the Bible. I stand with Christ AGAINST the Emergent, new age, Oprah, Joel Osteen, “Church In Laodicea”.

    I’m not taking any sides in this particular food fight but I am saying that when Christians dispute with each other that’s not necessarily “ripping the body apart”.
    (Especially when it’s highly likely in many debates that the opposite side isn’t even really IN “the body”.)

    2 Timothy 4:2
    Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.

    Mocking the folly of the carnal worldly church is not out of bounds and I think it’s clever and Biblical, (2 Corinthians 11:1).

  • Comment by D G Pomerhn Jr — December 22, 2009 @ 2:04 am

    Ditches, ladies and gentlemen. Ditches. Unfortunately, we see too often the mess that is the “modern church” and evangelicalism, with its gimmicks, bait-n-switch tactics and programs that are focused on entertainment and “shock” rather than repentance, faith and true conviction.

    By following the comments posted here, I was impressed by a few things: even though some had some very strong views, and even let a little depravity fly out here and there (oh, doesn’t it happen to us all though? And we sure hate it, too…) folks were able to work through differences and give grace where it was needed. I praise God that He does such great work in our lives!

    One other point that was addressed by Carol: the lack of involvement by so many adults in youth programs – including VBS. Kids are difficult. I spent some time volunteering in a inner-city Sunday School program in a city in Virginia. It wasn’t good most of the time. You felt like you were making no progress. In fact, I had to take duct tape with me to 4th grade class because the room was in a basement, and the kids would turn the light switch off. I literally had to tape the switch to avoid serious difficulties – including lawsuits if a kid got hurt with all the horsing around in the dark!

    Still, God is the One that saves. All He asks us to do is repent and trust in the saving work of Christ. We serve because we have a burden for the Gospel and gratitude for it. If only more adults got it – then they would put together simple programs that aren’t feeding the coffers of “big business” and are Biblically-based.

    I say bring back the catechism! If they don’t like it, use the duct tape to hold ’em in their chairs. When the Holy Spirit moves and they “get” what you are doing and why, you will have gained a young brother or sister in the faith – and they certainly will be grateful.

  • Comment by Jeff H — January 8, 2010 @ 12:48 pm

    Q: Do you know why the Israelites didn’t starve in the desert?

    A: Because of all the SAND WHICH is there.

    (this is actually a better joke spoken than typed, but oh well… it doesn’t really manna)

  • Comment by Cory D. Jones — April 8, 2010 @ 7:01 am

    I know I’m extremely late for this post, but I got a general sense from some posters that as long as the glitz, glam, giveaways, gimmicks, and other related “g” words of “modernized” VBS programs saved one soul, they were all worth it. Unfortunately, I disagree. Because if we saved one, baruch HaShem for that one, but at the same time misled three into merely thinking they’re on the path of salvation, what have we done? That is not a success, but a failure.

    You know, there was a church who recently had a raffle drawing for money and cars for people who showed up on Easter (admittedly, just to get people in the door). Sounds an awful lot like the theme of this post… People have expressed their displeasure with commercialized VBS programs, but this mentality has now made it’s way into “adult church” too, and that’s even scarier.

  • Comment by Barb N — June 19, 2010 @ 3:38 pm

    I am concerned, our adults do not want to be a seeker friendly church, yet as the VBS director this year I choose to try to have an old fashion VBS, very basic around the Word and the Ten Commandments, O.T. But this year I’m not getting help as in the past and have been told that we have to have some kind of modern theme or why would the kids come? My response was they will come because the parents will send them just like every year we are a sitter. This is my third year I never attended VBS as a child, so can anyone suggest

  • Comment by Bereanwarrior — June 19, 2010 @ 9:03 pm


    Our church scrapped VBS. We never found any good programs. Many people slammed us for it, but let me tell you what we did with our youth… we made disciples out of them. We taught them about Sovereign grace, the Ordo Salutis, and they understand the Gospel just fine. Even our 5 year olds can comprehend their sin and God’s Sovereign grace. We did all this through expository preaching and using Connie Devers’ curriculum for childrens church. (She is Mark Devers’ wife.) If you must do VBS, I highly recommend getting some of her stuff and using it just to give those kids the true Gosple message, and making them disciples as well so that they can go home and evangelize their parents. I tied the link to Connie’s website to my handle so just click on it to go there. Soli Deo Gloria!

  • Comment by Angus — June 23, 2010 @ 1:33 pm

    Barb N: Here’s another resource that could be used well in a VBS environment: Gospel Colors.

  • Comment by Nishoni — July 27, 2010 @ 8:33 pm

    We just finished our VBS. It was awesome! The kids came for the blowup rides our church rented at a fraction of the price. We had 160 kids there who ALL got a clear Gospel presentation 2 or 3 times every night. 30 kidsraised their hand during invitation over the course of the VBS. They were taken and dealt with in small groups where the Gospel was presented AGAIN, and got saved!!! There were many others who raised their hands, but when they were dealt with about their soul, they did not believe they were a sinner.. Unless you KNOW you do wrong, you have not yet reached that age of aaccountability and therefore cannot yet be saved. I praise GOD for the ability to draw more children in to hear the GOSPEL. Even if they do not get saved at that time, a seed has been planted that others can water and one day harvest!!! Praise GOD!!! :o)

  • Comment by Eric — September 27, 2010 @ 6:24 pm

    We did an original VBS this past summer……we used DMX lighting, pyrotechnics and skits each night. Does this mean we were “all show” and ineffective?
    We had over 120 boys, girls, MEN & WOMEN make first-time decisions that week. I guess some people fail to realize that the MESSAGE does not change…..but, the METHODS have to.

  • Comment by faith — November 2, 2010 @ 11:29 pm

    I believe in an active and powerful God. Even if the VBS program is sub par, God will always pick up the slack. An inadequate program does not necessarily result in an inadequate spiritual experience. We are all at different stages in our journey and I believe that God works in us and through us despite our best human attempts at vacation bible school!

  • Comment by Bereanwarrior — November 3, 2010 @ 4:45 pm

    faith – Just out of curiousity, what is your church affiliation? If you don’t have one, let me ask you some other questions.
    Do you identify more with Rob Bell or John MacArthur?
    Joel Osteen or R.C. Sproul?
    Doug Pagitt or Mark Driscoll?

    I ask because you use alot of “red flag” phrases like “journey”, “spiritual experience”, and “active and powerful God”.

    I would just like to consider your backround before I comment on your post further.



  • Pingback by Vacation Bible school: is it a Biblical ministry model? — June 20, 2011 @ 10:43 am

    […] day; however, I have never seen VBS accomplish this. This is what is familiar to my experience: Bad VBS Theme Idea – The Sacred Sandwich Austin Electrical engineering student Member, PCA San Marcos, TX ‎"Doctrine is not […]

  • Comment by Andi — July 30, 2011 @ 4:36 pm

    That’s just sad when you have to back words to go forward into the talk of Jesus. or the opposite thereof, lol
    But still funny all the same

  • Comment by Cindy — May 16, 2013 @ 9:00 pm

    An extremely late post to this conversation – but I just can’t not share! What an interesting series of comments! As a longtime VBS teacher, director, and writer of many published curriculum programs, I was very interested in and appreciated each of the comments posted here. I am surprised, however, that so many who submitted criticisms of the current VBS “themes” seemed to miss a few things that are so amazingly obvious (to me, anyway).

    – First, although I appreciated hearing the criticisms of current VBS programs (as they were excellent reminders of how curriculums must present and promote these programs), I couldn’t help but wonder if those criticizing had actually spent any time reviewing these programs in detail? Ever cracked into a VBS kit? And even if you have looked at “one” – that one is surely not representative of the bulk of quality programs that indeed exist and are available. I am always appalled by those who have the actual gall to criticize things that they haven’t even read!

    – Second, while I once again want to enforce that I honestly appreciate ALL opinions on this subject, because everyone (children and adults) learns in different ways and from different methods. But to that end, while these programs may appear to be “of this world” – the fact is that kids LIVE IN “this world.” If the children cannot relate to the sessions being presented and understand how to apply the Gospel messaged to their everyday lives, one or both of two things will happen: they won’t ever come back again, or if they do, they will be so bored or offended, that they won’t even try to get it. So what’s the point in that?

    – Next, these supposed horrendous “themes” are utilized to make the program FUN! Yep, it’s true – kids like to have fun! Don’t get me wrong, there is always a danger in pushing that so far that all the kids are doing is having fun as opposed to learning anything! That’s not what I am advocating. But when kids have fun, they are more willing to give the REAL message a try! They are more apt to listen, learn, and experience – and it’s all about experience! We learn best when we can “do” and experience the Gospel message. When children understand how to personalize God’s Word so that they can truly own it and put it into daily practice, it is only then that they can also experience a relationship with our Savior and embrace that awesome gift available to all – salvation!

    – Today’s sometimes wild and crazy VBS themes even make me raise an eyebrow or two sometimes! Yes, I admit it! BUT, instead of putting them down, I read them and often discover that woven into every fabric of that odd VBS theme is God’s Word and an awesome opportunity to experience faith in today’s often crazy world! I wouldn’t choose all of the themes I’ve seen come and go – but remember, we all learn and grow in different ways. Isn’t wonderful that there are different options to reach our children with God’s messages today?

    – I couldn’t agree more that kids are very difficult to teach! That’s why it is imperative to provide volunteers with appropriate training and ongoing support (as opposed to strapping them into a chair with duct tape). More and more of today’s programs are stepping up and making this happen! These VBS themes that appeal to most of today’s kids help volunteers by first making God’s Word and inviting and positive experience!

    – I do not advocate rote memorization just for the sake of prizes or even just for the sake of recitation – if that recitation is simply forgotten the following week. Kids need to WANT to hear, learn, and grasp the Gospel message and make it their own through the gift of the Holy Spirit. If children turn a deaf ear to what is being taught (for whatever reason), we will continue to lose more and more of them. So while today’s often whacky VBS themes may seem a bit over the top, unusual, or even unholy – give them a chance! Most of them are solid representations of the Gospel, filled with God’s Word, and written in such a way that children will feel appreciated, invited, and challenged to not only accept Christ as their Savior, but also share the Good News with others in the days ahead!

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