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VBS continues as top SBC evangelism tool
Vacation Bible School attendees in Kiana, Alaska, perform a musical from the 2006 VBS "Arctic Edge" curriculum.  BP File photo.
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Posted on May 9, 2007 | by Polly House

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--Keeping with its 10-year pattern, Vacation Bible School continues to have the greatest evangelistic impact in the Southern Baptist Convention, with 26 percent of baptisms in SBC churches a direct result of VBS.

LifeWay Christian Resources recently released VBS statistics for 2006 when two VBS lines, "Arctic Edge: Where Adventure Meets Courage" and "Club VBS: Space Quest," were utilized.

Jerry Wooley, LifeWay's VBS ministry specialist, explained that totals are based on information provided to LifeWay by churches submitting a VBS report and/or information submitted to the Annual Church Profile (ACP).

-- Number of SBC congregations reporting VBS - 26,502

-- Total VBS enrollment - 2,962,457

-- Decisions to receive Christ as Savior - 94,980

-- Decisions for church-related activities - 3,022

-- Total Sunday School prospects discovered - 280,693

-- Prospects enrolled in Sunday School - 39,218

-- Prospects added to Sunday School prospect files - 212,108

-- Baptisms resulting from VBS (of SBC total) - 26 percent

"These are great numbers," Wooley said. "Vacation Bible School stands alone in its evangelism and outreach."

One thing LifeWay learned from this report, he said, is that the number of churches hosting nighttime VBS continues to grow, with 66 percent in the evening.

"This is due to several factors, including staffing," Wooley said. "It is harder to get adult workers during the day. Plus, some of the churches have told us that just as a common sense and comfort measure, they plan their VBS in the evening when the temperature is cooler."

This year's VBS themes will be "Game Day Central: Where Heroes are Made" and "Club VBS: Jungle Jaunt." At the VBS Preview events held in January and February of this year, nearly 2,000 people from churches around the country learned about the new VBS offerings.

"With all the excitement about this year's VBS, we expect next year's numbers to continue to show VBS is reaching people like nothing else," Wooley said.
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