Last week, July 25-29, Jordan Presley and I had the privilege of leading out at Summit Heights Fellowship (in Hawkins) during KidVenture Live! week, what they do in lieu of your typical Vacation Bible School.
KVL is just that, anything but your typical VBS. From the time we walked in the door Monday afternoon, I had no doubt in my mind big things were ahead that week. Oh, how that was an understatement!
KVL taught me more than I can ever put into words. But, I'll do my best.
The theme for the week was CSI: Christ Seen Investigations. The concepts daily went into teaching the kids to dig in and investigate who Christ is and who He wants to be in their life. Every lesson was based on scripture to the core. The material wasn't sugar-coated. It was truth. And it was truth the kids could relate to.
Starting off the night, Jake and Ashley Conner would get the kids stoked up, introduce the theme and scripture for that session, and then dive into the Word. Jake brought it every night, without hesitation. The kids got it.....and it wasn't just handed to them. They were tuned in.
Immediately following the message, we'd break up into small groups based on grade and, in some cases, gender depending on the number of kids. Small group time was by far was my favorite part of the night. I had the privilege of leading one of the 4th & 5th grade girls' small groups. I couldn't have asked for a better group of kids. They honestly far exceeded my expectations.
This time began nightly with some sort of game or activity that tied directly into the lesson and allowed for the girls to work together, developing relationships they didn't have prior. We'd lead straight into the session following this activity. These sessions were designed to reiterate what Jake had spoken on prior and to expand, allowing for the girls to dig in and investigate for themselves who Christ really is. Seeing these girls open up, share their struggles, ask tough questions, and long to know more was such a humbling moment. They got it. And what got me more was their desire for others to get it. It's great to be challenged by such young, innocent souls.
Small group time led into snack time. Snack time meant meal time. Summit Heights didn't just provide these kids with a snack to hold them over until they got home. They fed them, relieving their guardians of yet another burden. My favorite part of snack time wasn't the food. Odd, I know. My favorite part was the "man who had an encounter with Jesus". Each night, the kids had the opportunity to interview someone who had encountered Christ, picking his brain as to how he'd been changed and challenging them to meet Christ, too. This was such a powerful time.
We would go from snack time to music, allowing the kid's the freedom to worship as they pleased. The songs, while fun and high energy, weren't your typical "VBS kid's songs." Worship took place. He was praised. The theme was reiterated. The kids heard that they were loved, that He ultimately is the one we are to worship, and then, they saw that praising Him can be fun. Simple, yet volume-speaking.
Lastly, we would come back together and Skittle, the rapper for the week, along with Jake and Ashley would review what we had learned that day, allowing the kids to answer questions and for more reiteration of the message. We'd end the night with Marshmallow gun fights and dance offs, one of the kid's favorite times.
KidVenture Live! wasn't just another week for me. I learned more than I can put into words. I was stretched in ways unimagined. From hearing girls share their struggles with each other to seeing them in tears over friends and family that don't know the Lord to watching their faces light up when complimented by their peers, I was blown away by the faith of the child...and am still being encouraged by them.
These girls will from this time forward be special to me. Relationships were formed and continue to blossom. Big things will come from this week. And not just in Hawkins, TX. He's at work. Jordan and I got to join Him during KVL. (Thank you, Ashley, for making this happen.) I get to join Him now. All or nothing. I'm diving in.