Front Yard, Backyard, and All Around the House!

From my years as an older teenager and young adult, I remember being involved in several VBS-type ministries known as Backyard Bible Clubs and Big A Clubs. These clubs were a simplified or scaled-down version of VBS and were an effective way of reaching families – many of which would never attend an event on a church campus.

During all the years since, the concept of Backyard Bible Club (BBC for short) has survived mostly in connection to mission trips. But a new wind is blowing, and the concept of BBCs is experiencing revival all across the country – especially by larger congregations that have a regional influence beyond an individual neighborhood or community.

Once it was thought that BBCs were staffed by a couple of people and primarily attended by a dozen or so kids who lived within view of the designated yard. This trend is changing as more and more BBCs are becoming evangelistic outposts for entire neighborhoods.

Recently I had the privilege of visiting a BBC not far from my own neighborhood. Four years ago the Club registered approximately 12. The next year, 20. Around 40 the third year. And this year – drum roll please – over 60 kids and adults descended nightly on the front yard, backyard, garage, and bonus room of the Nashville area home of Vicki Hulsey.

While Miss Vicki (all polite Southern children refer to their female neighbors as “Miss”) generously opens her home for the annual BBC, she has extended the evangelistic potential by gathering the children and their families throughout the year for other neighborhood activities and parties. Her home has become a true outpost of Hermitage Hills Baptist Church.

This story is phenomenal so stay turned for more.

For now I would like to hear your BBC stories. You can share them here or send them to me at jerry.wooley@lifeway.com.

In 2013 we are introducing Backyard Kids Club as a new component to Colossal Coaster World. We will be telling you more about this exciting ministry resource in days to come. So again, stay tuned!

Foto Friday…product testing!

One of the joys of my job is getting to test some potential VBS products and promotional samples. Not all of the samples become actual VBS products and some change from what we initially see to the final product. Occasionally I get my daughter to help me! So, with that said, enjoy!
These are just a few samples of things we looked at. They may not necessarily become a promotional product.

My daughter testing some glasses. Do you think they are TOO big?

What do you think about my new glasses? TOO flashy?

I gotta run to catch the next ride! ! !

Rhonda and Carol “modeling” some sample shirts.

EDIT: the shirts are prototypes for the leader shirt. It will be solid color (not the 2 tone. ..believe me, we were surprised when that one came in!) with the coaster car coming down into the pocket. As for the material, they are actually very breathable and a light material. Also, don’t worry, will have the t-shirt too!

Finally, I missed posting Rhonda’s theme park photo from last week and I wanted to make sure you had to opportunity to enjoy her family at Sea World! What a bunch of nuts! lol!

Have a blessed day!

Shirttail Tag Anyone?

It is often assumed that as the vbsguy I obviously direct VBS at my church – Nashville’s Inglewood Baptist Church – but actually I haven’t been a VBS director in more years than I care to count.

During my 20 plus years on church staff I had ultimate responsibility for VBS, but usually had a volunteer VBS director. For most of those years, which were spent at Park Place Baptist Church in Houston, Texas, the director was Dava Donaho, who taught me most of what I know about efficiently organizing and managing the details of VBS.

Since moving to Nashville in 2006, I have participated in VBS by mostly serving as an assistant teacher or helper. This has given me a great opportunity to experience VBS and LifeWay’s curriculum from many vantage points.

In the past six years I have served multiple times as the teacher for adult VBS, on the security team for youth VBS, served as a helper/group leader in VBX, a co-teacher in 1st-2nd Grade Bible Study, and this year the most fun assignment of all – co-leader for recreation! Shirttail Tag! Paper Plane Relay!

Thought you might enjoy a few pictures from our rainy-evening retreat indoors, where recreation included Great Barrier Reef cupcakes and a highly competitive paper plane relay.

Wonder what my assignment will be next year????

Foto Friday…Theme Park Photos!

Wow! Colossal Coaster World! I can’t wait to go! I love theme parks. . .and photos! So for today’s Foto Friday, I wanted to share some photos of the VBS theme when they were younger and at a theme park!

Enjoy!

Lynne (on the left) working the train at Opryland!

Carol (on the left) at Walt Disney World!

Melita with Snow White!

Darlene (on the right) at Opryland!

Darlene and her dad at Opryland!

Darlene and Guitar Man at Opryland!

Candace at the 1982 World’s Fair!