Congratulations parents! It was another great year of VBS. Both you and your kids might be a little tired from the week, but everyone is smiling with hearts full of wonderful new memories. We all know that VBS is a lot of fun, but if it was just about fun, then you could've sent your kids to a circus camp instead. There's something that we often overlook about VBS that makes it unique...
It is meant to give kids the opportunity to learn more about their Catholic faith and continue fostering a relationship with Jesus. VBS is meant to be a kickstarter, and then the torch gets passed to you. We are living in a time when we need to be intentional about teaching our kids the faith. Our culture is becoming increasingly secular, and if we want them to know more about God, then they also need to hear it at home with their family.
Here are 3 simple steps to help make that happen:
1. Pray at Home
Prayer is one of the most important things you can do with your kids because it's giving them a foundation of faith that will be with them for the rest of their lives. The goal as parents is not just to raise good kids, but to form young men and women who want to impact the world for Christ. Daily prayer at home as a family will help you do that.
You don't need a theology degree to teach your kids to pray. All you need is a desire to see your kids deepen their relationship with Jesus, and the ability to encourage and guide them. Prayer at home doesn't have to be complicated, and you can start as simple as saying grace before meals and praying an Our Father as they get ready for bed. If you want more ideas on how to teach kids to pray, click here.
2. Stay Connected to the Church and the Sacraments
Whether you go to church every Sunday or only make it to Mass once in awhile, make it a priority for your family. Our week gets busy and it can feel like Mass is just another thing to do, but we need to remember that it's an essential part of our commitment as Catholics. If we can make time for football games and dance recitals, then we can certainly give an hour of our Sunday to God. Don’t make it seem like something you have to do, but as something you get to do. The sacraments are there to help us on our journey in life, and the more often we go, the more strength we will have for the week ahead.
As a bonus tip, try and have everyone wear their "Sunday best" to church every week. It serves as a reminder to everyone that Mass is important and worth looking our best for.
3. Keep Providing Faith Experiences for Your Kids
Faith is not something that kids are meant to just be taught, but something that also needs to be lived out and experienced. Following Christ is a joyful adventure, and VBS shouldn't be the only place that your kids have fun, faith-filled memories. Find creative ways to ensure that your kids witness the joy of the Gospel more than just one week in the summer. Here are a few ideas:
- Keep listening to the VBS Music. Relive your VBS experiences all year with songs to play in the car or at home. Music is a powerful tool, and the things that kids listen to and watch play a huge role in forming them as individuals. Play songs that inspire faith and virtue and gives them something to dance to.
- Go to a soup kitchen or an elderly care home and have your kids help serve them a meal. Putting faith into action means serving others and seeing Jesus in the poor and the sick.
- Host a Cat.Chat Kids Club in your parish! It's a brand new program that is meant to bring a small taste of VBS to your kids every month during the school year. It's a wonderful way to continue forming them in their faith.
So what are some of your ideas? Let us know in the comments how your family keeps faith growing after VBS!