Search Site

How About a Multigenerational Vacation Bible School?

Age puts up barriers. Experiences—not just years—separate the 5-year-old and the 75-year-old. Intelligence levels, emotional development, and personal interests all vary. Because of these differences, it might seem crazy to bring all ages together for a Bible study. But if the younger generation is going to imitate the faith and way of life of those who have gone before them, let’s let them see and engage with the older generations.

Each June we hold a four-day, morning Soccer Bible Camp aimed at children in preschool thru grade 4. This year we decided to add a three-evening All-Ages Vacation Bible School (VBS) later in the summer. At this special event, all ages come together for fellowship, fun, and time in the Word. We want the older generations to be models for the younger generations, to show them the importance of being in the Word together. Instead of dividing the adults from the kids, we keep everyone together so that the generations can interact as they grow in the Word.

Here is what our All-Ages VBS schedule looks like:
6:00–6:45pm - Supper
6:45–7:00pm - Singing
7:00–7:50pm - Bible study
7:50–8:00pm - Singing and Closing Prayer

nding-Across-GenerationsThis year we did a VBS on “Hidden Heroes of the Bible” and studied Barnabas, Apollos, and Deborah, three Bible characters that many people may not know much about. At the end of the article is a link to a study on Apollos as a sample lesson.

One of the goals of our Bible study time was to have all ages interact with one another as they discovered and learned Bible truths and shared their faith. The questions in the study were purposely designed to prompt dialogue about the life and actions of a Bible character, God’s interaction in the character’s life, and ways we live out our own Christian lives.

Appealing to various learning styles and age levels and encouraging creativity and movement were important for the study. At each table was a basket that contained the following: crayons, markers, colored pencils, modeling clay, sticky notes, index cards, glue stick, pens, coloring sheets of the Bible story that day, an envelope with pictures used during an exercise in the study, a photocopy of the hymn for singing time, and blank pieces of paper. Most items can be picked up at a discount store to save on expenses. We also had four flip charts on easels around the room that we used during the study.

Designing a multigenerational Bible study does take extra work, especially to keep the attention of the 5-, 15-, 35-, and 75-year-olds. With little ones in the study, the noise level is raised a few decibels from a Sunday morning adult Bible study. And sometimes it’s the adults who are the loud ones! Be prepared to roll with that. You may need to design a study from the ground up, but with all the resources from back issues of Teach the Word, this should be a piece of cake! If you haven’t checked out the items from previous issues, it’s well worth your time.

A multigenerational VBS may be something you want to try. Having all ages in God’s Word together and growing in their knowledge of Jesus together will bring unprecedented blessings.

Apollos Bible Study
Pictures used for Question #6 in the study

Dan Schroeder