Pioneers settled Nebraska and Kansas, and historic trails cross our two states. But the coronavirus crisis has caused the need for our pioneer spirit to be rekindled.

Kansas-Nebraska Southern Baptist churches aired their worship services online in a variety of ways. Drive-in worship services became a popular option for a number of churches.

And now some churches are showing their pioneer spirit in Vacation Bible School.

During the week of June 8-12 two churches in the Kansas City area held Virtual VBS — Emmanuel Baptist Church and Blue Valley Baptist Church, both in Overland Park. Both churches used the “Concrete & Cranes” VBS material from LifeWay Christian Resources.

Syd Gilliland, Preschool and Children’s Ministry Director at Emmanuel, shared how their Virtual VBS came about:

“I spoke with our Interim Pastor Alan Branch to get his thoughts about our options:

  1. Cancel VBS
  2. Change the date and hope we can get it done sometime during the summer.
  3. Keep our original advertised date and do VBS in a different way.

He suggested keeping the same date so the only way I could think to do VBS was “Virtual.” So that was the plan.

“Here is what we did each day:

  1. Welcome and opening prayer
  2. Music rotation
  3. Bible Story — shared by different leaders
  4. Craft
  5. Worship Rally
  6. Closing information and prayer
  7. Plan of salvation shared by pastor”

Both Emmanuel and Blue Valley asked families to preregister their children and they prerecorded the VBS sessions.

And both churches assembled VBS packets to distribute to the families. Blue Valley delivered Porch Packets of VBS materials to homes. Emmanuel held drive-through pickup of VBS materials.

Other churches are adapting in order to hold VBS despite the coronavirus crisis.

Nall Avenue Baptist Church, Prairie Village, Kan., is holding Parking Lot VBS Thursday, July 16, through Saturday, July 18, from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

Some churches are holding backyard VBS at church members’ homes or in parks. First Southern Baptist Church, Great Bend, Kan., is holding its Backyard VBS July 20-24.

Country Acres Baptist Church, Wichita, Kan., also is holding a Backyard Bible Club VBS July 20-24.

Vacation Bible School can be a church’s most important outreach event. But if your church can’t hold VBS this year, it’s never too early to start praying and planning for 2021.