Reopening June 7 - Service times for June - 9:00am and 10:45am - Click the envelope for more details!

Training Grounds

During my four years of high school, I played clarinet in the marching band. Every summer we needed to attend a week of band camp to get a jump start on our season. It was especially important for the “rookies” because it was where they were able to learn the basics. They already knew how to play, but many of them had never marched more than a parade or two in middle school. As each day went by, we learned skills to help us become better marchers and musicians. Not only were we growing as individuals, but camp allowed us to merge together as a team. The week began with us all looking and sounding like a discombobulated mess, but by Friday we moved in sync and were a legitimate marching band. We weren’t perfect by any means, but the foundation was in place.

Any leader can tell you, a solid foundation is vital to the success of their team. It’s why sports teams host training camps; it’s the reason that companies host conferences; and it’s the reason bands rely on band camps to start their season on the right foot. This year’s VBS focus is on building a foundation in Christ, and what better place to do that than Vacation Bible School! In a lot of ways, I consider VBS to be the children’s ministry version of training camp. Many volunteers will tell you they got their start by serving at VBS. My very first time serving here at Englewood was teaching Kindergarten at VBS. At the time I was what you’d call a “rookie” member and was still getting to know the people here. Yet by serving at VBS, I was able to connect with more people in that one week than I had in the year leading up to it. By the end of the week, I was exhausted, but I also found a place to belong.

VBS is also the place where kids across the world hear and learn the gospel for the very first time. It’s also a place where “veteran” church kids get the opportunity to see Jesus in a new way as they step out of their routine and into a revival. They come to us from all different directions. From Facebook posts to personal invitations, they come to us, and we are blessed by the chance to minister to them. My weeks experiencing VBS, as both a leader and a participant, will always be some of the most memorable in my Christian walk. It helped to pave my foundation, and I encourage you to join me in prayer for our 2021 VBS. Pray the Lord uses this week to build up His team, and pray we all come out stronger than when we started.

-Serena Maerkl