Instead of VBS: Mississippi Congregation Breaks the Mold for Greater Impact

 In All Church of God, CHOG, Loving and Serving, Southeast

By Carl Stagner

Thank God for Vacation Bible School! Perhaps we’ll never know the number of people won to Christ who trace their origins of faith back to adventure-laden themes, cheesy-yet-meaningful tunes, messy art projects, out-of-control water games, and too much sugar. But for Zion Community Church of God in Oak Vale, Mississippi, this year was a great year to break the mold and try something a little different. The result was a “Family Fun Day” that strategically streamlined the church’s resources and enhanced their overall impact.

Isaac Carter serves as pastor of Zion Community Church of God, and offers some explanation behind the deviation.

“Our BCE [Board of Christian Education] ministry decided to try this activity in lieu of 2023 VBS,” he says. “Because of various other community activities and family obligations, we felt that a one-day activity that involved the whole family might be a little more community friendly/effective. We’re so grateful for the participation! Several young families were in attendance.”

Face painting at Zion Community Church of God.

The special event, which commenced in the church’s sanctuary with prayer, Scripture, and singing the Lord’s praises, was almost entirely planned and implemented by a team of young adults with various skills and backgrounds. The synergy behind the development of Zion Community’s Family Fun Day likely contributed to the success of the experience. A water slide saw the broadest appeal, followed closely by canvas and finger painting, board games, guessing games, and lunch. A young-adult professional artist was also on hand to offer face and mural painting.

This year’s Family Fun Day isn’t the only example of the ways Zion Community Church of God serves their community. This year, after a ten-year hiatus, and in acknowledgement of lifted pandemic restrictions, the church held a “Spring Break Youth/Family Conference Weekend” just before spring break. Deviating from the norm again, the conference weekend took place in lieu of their traditional spring revival with the goal of reaching more people—a goal met with great gratitude and glory to God, as some eighty people participated. The church also hosts an annual fall festival outreach.

“These activities provide the opportunity to build relationships with young families in the community,” Pastor Isaac Carter concludes, “and encourage church attendance/discipleship.”

Learn more about the Church of God movement at

Start typing and press Enter to search