VBS 2014? Yes, you read that right. This week is a big week for the VBS team here at LifeWay. It is time for us to start planning for VBS 2014. The VBS team along with guests from outside of LifeWay will start the process to determine the 2014 VBS theme. While we can’t tell you much at this point, we do ask for your prayers. We know that putting God first is the only way to begin this process. We ask for His guidance in every decision we make. We thank you for your prayers as the planning begins and we can’t wait until we get to share it all with you!
Being able to work on VBS all year long is such a great job! But the even better part is being able to teach VBS in my local church and watch the kids enjoy the products that I have spent many hours working on! I teach VBX each year, and I love my preteens. This year we averaged about 22 preteens, so we had a great group. When you teach VBS, you never know who will be in your class because people come from all over the community.
This year we had a very sweet girl come everyday, but she was not a member of our church. One day during Bible study I asked several different kids to look up Scripture passages, and she was one of the ones I asked. She looked up at me and said, “Miss Candace, I don’t know how to use a Bible, I’ve never used one before.” How often do we assume that all the children we come in contact with just know how to use a Bible? I was so glad that she wasn’t embarrassed to tell me, and then I got the privilege of showing her how to find verses in her Bible. Isn’t that what VBS is really all about? Sharing God’s word with those who come in the church?
We had a great rest of the week. The kids had fun in rec, ate lots of snacks, and made crafts. Friday night was Family Night and the kids did a great job performing the musical. Thankfully, the following Sunday, that same sweet girl came to Sunday School. We never know when we are going to minister to those we come in contact with, but VBS this year will always remind me to never take for granted the joy that comes with teaching children about Jesus.
Worship Rally Set
Worship Rally with planes flying in the background!
- What has been your “geekiest” VBS moment? ”Creating and designing a bi-plane from a tiny balsa wood model into an 18ft airplane within two weeks! It’s 18ft in length and was constructed in my driveway! Crazy!”
- What is your favorite VBS theme to date? Arctic Edge, Space Quest
- What makes you continue to do VBS year after year? The Kids! I have now completed my 40th VBS. WOW! I served as Associational VBS Director in Florida for 8 years and have spent 8 years in Georgia.
- How would you complete this sentence? You might be a VBS geek if . . . You wake up at 2 a.m. and you are designing a roller coaster for 2013!!!
Preteens are a unique group of kids. They are not quite in the youth department, but are feeling too old for the children’s department. So what do you do? You use VBX! It is VBS designed especially for preteens.
I have taught VBX at my church for several years now and I have loved it. There are many different ways to do VBX. It is designed so that the preteens can have their own unique VBS experience that occurs at the same time as VBS. The VBX curriculum offers Bible study time, recreation suggestions, and craft suggestions. There are breakout times scheduled for music, missions, and snacks if your church offers these. My church has worked out a schedule where the preteens rotate to missions and music first thing in the morning while the other ages are in Bible study. This way the preteens have the opportunity to participate in these rotations, yet it does not affect the rotation schedule for the rest of the classes. After these rotations, we head to our room to have our own Bible study, recreation, and craft time. This schedule may not work for every church, but we have found that it is what works best for us. That’s the best part of VBX, you can make it what you need for your situation.
Some churches choose to use the normal VBS rotation with preteens and that is totally fine! You can still use the VBX curriculum with no problem! Just do the activities labeled, “The Core” and rotate to the other activities. Just remember that no matter what schedule you use with your preteens in VBS, show them that Jesus loves them and so do you.
VBS Family Night is an important ministry of your VBS. It is a great way to get to know the families of the kids who have been attending your VBS. VBS is one of the greatest outreach tools for a church, and while some people may not come to church to hear a sermon, they will come to see their kids perform. Below are some tips to help make your VBS Family Night Successful.
- Members should park as far away from the church building as possible. Let the guests have the good parking spots!
- Ask couples or outgoing church members to sit at different tables to serve as hosts and hostess. This helps keep conversation flowing, makes sure no one is sitting alone, and helps guests feel more comfortable.
- Greeters should man every door to help guests find the event location. Guests that have not been to your church need to feel comfortable from the minute they step on to your property, and that includes knowing where to go. Have people available to assist and direct the guests to the sanctuary, worship center, etc.
- Church staff should play a pivotal role. This helps guests put names with faces and to get to know the church staff.
- Teachers should greet and help parents of the kids in their class. Parents want to meet the teachers who have been teaching their kids all week.
- Have fun! Family Night should be a fun event for all involved.
- Follow Up. Get information from those visiting so that you can contact them and follow up with them and let them know more about your church and the programs you offer.