Can plays and skits about Bible stories be used to teach children during a VBS?

Question:

Can plays and skits about Bible stories be used to teach children during a VBS?


Answer:

A Vacation Bible School (VBS) is basically a gospel meeting for kids.

The Bible shows teaching being done in a variety of ways:

  • A fig tree was killed (Matthew 21:21),
  • Idols and worldly poets were cited (Acts 17:23,28),
  • Children were called upon (Luke 18:16),
  • Watching people contribute to the Temple (Mark 12:41-44),
  • Shaking dust in the air (Luke 9:5), and
  • Observing the reaction of a rich young ruler (Luke 18:18-27).

Ezekiel was told to build and do a skit (or play) with brick and siege walls, ramps, tents, army men, etc and even himself (Ezekiel 4:1-4). He later did a demonstration where food was used (Ezekiel 4:9). And another involving hair, a sword, scales and fire (Ezekiel 5:1-5). All served as illustrations to his message.

One prophet asked men to strike him, then he bandaged himself up and acted a part to teach a king (I Kings 20:35-43). I'm sure we could find more examples, but this shows you that a variety of techniques were employed as teaching tools by God's people.

These are teaching opportunities because not everyone learns the same way. Plays and skits can be used, but it must be done within the context God desires. For example, when in the assembly women are told to keep silent (I Corinthians 14:34), thus, any skit or play during that time could only be done by the men. Outside of the assembly, women are not told to keep complete silence, but the way women act in a "quiet" attitude and not exert authority over men (I Timothy 2:11-13). Thus, as long has this is met, a skit or play could be used. Women do have authority to teach children (I Timothy 2:14). Women would be allowed to do skits or plays, if a man is not under her authority. In Bible classes there is more freedom than in the assembly. The teacher can ask children to act out what happened, such as marching seven times around a table and showing the walls of Jericho falling down. Kids seem to enjoy learning from seeing examples over just straight reading.

Adults may also enjoy learning this way in Bible class, but to get adults to march seven times around a table and then pretend to blow a horn and shout would be like a dentist in the old days pulling teeth with pliers. Adults are more self-conscience than children. If it is out of their comfort zone, they won't get involved. It would be impolite to force such on adults. It will cause problems, and so it is better to stick with teaching styles that will be accepted.

Often Christians oppose plays or skits because they associate them with the things done in the denominations. People should remove their feelings and think logically. If we are not allowed to do anything denominations do, then we could not pray, preach, teach, sing, read the Bible, have Bible classes, etc.. Just because a denomination does something, it doesn't make it wrong. God did use plays or skits at times as tools in His teachings. Our authority comes from God's word and not by what others are doing.

by Alan Feaster

Thanks!