Texas Baptist Voices

Richard Ray: Vacation Bible Schools bless children, communities

One of the greatest joys I get to experience as director of missions and as president of the Bivocational/Small Church Association is surveying the churches I serve.

Recently, I was driving to various churches that were hosting Vacation Bibles Schools. The first church I visited was Fairy Baptist Church in Fairy. It was their first day of VBS, the children were piling out of the church van, and all I could see were smiles and laughter. However, those smiles and laughter was not just coming from the children, but also from each adult and youth volunteer who were welcoming each child to VBS.

richard ray130Richard RayThe following day, I visited the VBS of First Baptist Church in Kempner. Let me tell you I again saw the smiles and laughter coming from each volunteer, whether it was from those working in the kitchen, those helping make the crafts or those running around with the children during recreation. I could not help but to smile and rejoice with them.

I then headed to Pearl Baptist Church in Pearl. As I arrived for just a visit, unbeknownst to me, they were having a communitywide VBS. As I walked across the street to where it was taking place, I was welcomed and invited to join in their circle of prayer. Fifty-five people attended this small community VBS that day, and they baptized six children the night before in a creek. I was overwhelmed with joy and satisfaction in knowing our Lord is saving souls in the smallest of places because of those serving with the largest of hearts.

Small-church ministry has its challenges, but the rewards outweigh all the struggles when we witness a single child receiving the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. These past few days as I traveled from church to church, it was my goal to be an encourager, when in reality I was the one encouraged.

texas baptist voices right120Please take a moment and lift up all our churches that are hosting their Vacation Bible Schools this summer. Pray that volunteers realize what an amazing impact they are making for the kingdom of God with just their smiles and their laughter as they welcome each child.

I also encourage you to attend the upcoming Bivocational/Small Church Association annual conference, scheduled for July 11-12 on the campus of the Baptist University of the Americas in San Antonio. This conference is design to minister to small-church ministers and their families who have taken on the call of God to serve in the small-church mission field. During this conference, you will receive information that will help you serve your church; however, the friendships you will gain will enable you to be encouraged and an encourager to those serving as ministers and to their families.

If you need additional information or you would like to register for this year’s conference, please go to our website at Remember, God has called you to serve, but God has not called you to serve alone. Let us be your advocate, your resource, and your prayer partner as you fulfill your calling. Until next time, please visit our website

Richard Ray is president of the Bivocational/Small Church Association and director of missions for the Tri-Rivers Baptist Area. You can reach him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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