VBS 2013 on Pinterest!

It’s never too early to start planning, right? If you’re itching to get a jump on VBS 2013, check out our Colossal Coaster World board on the LifeWay Kids Pinterest site. There are already lots of great ideas. Here are some of my favorites…

What a cute hot dog cart! I wish I’d had this for Big Apple Advenure!Source: goscoutcreative.com via LifeWayKids on Pinterest

This is the same technique we used to create an “Enter” sign for Coaster Alley (Bible study) in our decorations. Fun!

Source: ohhappyday.com via LifeWayKids on Pinterest

A perfect roller coaster experience for younger preschoolers!

Source: ikea.com via LifeWayKids on Pinterest

What ideas have you come up with?  If you’re on Pinterest, leave us a link to your VBS 2013 board in the comment section!

On Today’s Agenda . . .

As a member of the VBS Team, I get this question a lot: “You mean you have stuff to do all year?” Yes, yes, and yes! I was at the dentist office recently and the receptionist said to me, “Now that VBS is over, I guess your work has slowed down.” Au contraire, mon ami! We are in the crunch of trying to get 2013 ready and to the printer, and beginning development of 2014, all while churches are wrapping up and evaluating VBS 2012!

I keep a set of index cards, one product per card, and I write on each card what steps have been completed so I can keep up! Here’s my current rundown. . . .

1) Worship Rally DVD

• THE DRAMA: Working with the video editor on a daily basis right now; got approval from my management team on the content and overall appearance just a couple of days ago. Waiting for the editor to make final tweaks and send me an approval copy.

• THE CHOREOGRAPHY: Performance segments have been approved. Viewed the instruction segments over the weekend, and three corrections need to be made. I’m waiting to see those ASAP.

• ABC segment: Video editor #2 is working on that now. It’s due to me any minute for my approval.

• Still waiting to see “Scenic Footage” segment and the “Video Trailer.”

• I’ve created the DVD menu and just sent it to the DVD author.

2) Music Rotation Leader Guide

• Received a final approval copy from the graphic designer. This is being routed through our production editor and editorial project leader first, then will come back to me with any needed corrections marked.

3) Club VBS: Jungle Jaunt DVD

• This is due to me from the DVD author today. If everything looks OK, it will go on to the duplicator.

4) Spanish VBS Choreography DVD

• Talent enlisted. Waiting to receive Spanish recording and typeset music to send to her so she can create the choreography. (It has to be different because many of the words differ from the English versions!)

There are more products on my list, but this is probably more info than you care to read already! I will say, though, that everyone on my team feels fortunate to be able to work on VBS products. So, next time you’re wondering—yes, we have enough to do all year (and we are thankful for that)!

Foto Friday…I’m here!

Where’s Keith? Here I am! Hi everyone! Sorry I haven’t blogged for a while but it’s been a bit crazy, busy and hairy with the deadlines.

Okay, maybe all the hairiness is from the gorilla suit I’ve been wearing! :D

But honestly, I have been working!

So what have I been working on? I’m glad you asked!

This week, I’ve been working on the VBX 2013 Preteen Leader Pack. I love working on the VBX material! It’s always jammed packed with visuals. Here’s shot of the cover.

One of the other items I have been working on is the VBS 2013 Supersized Coaster Backdrop. This backdrop really excites me! Take a look at it and see if you can see why I love this one SO much.

Bucket rides? Nope, that’s not it! But I do love the bucket rides. Such a fun way to get from one side of the park to the other side and relax while you are doing it.

Roller coasters? Getting closer! It does have something to do with the roller coasters! Take a look at the next photo.

Check it out! You can connect multiple Supersized Coaster Backdrops and make one COLOSSAL Coaster backdrop! :D

It’s back to work now! Have a great weekend and God bless!

We’re Down to the Final Five!

Back on June 4, I asked anyone interested in being considered to lead music at our VBS 2013 events to submit a video of them leading music from VBS 2012. Mail started arriving almost instantly, and we have had a major challenge choosing five semi-finalist for YOUR consideration.

I want to thank each of you who responded. I wish we could choose all of you to travel with us to Preview events in North Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, and Florida. But alas, the budget will only allow for one.

Make sure to tune in next Tuesday, August 7, for your opportunity to view the final five and cast your vote. Until then – keep on singing!

VBS at My Church

What an exciting week we had experiencing Amazing Wonders Aviation at my church— Brentwood Baptist Church in Brentwood, TN! When we entered the sanctuary, it looked like an airplane had come straight through the ceiling and was just hanging there! Great way to kick off the aviation feel each day. Our average daily attendance was 1,846 (1,380 kids plus 466 volunteers)!

I taught in one of nine kindergarten classes. We usually had 22 kids and six workers in our “Kindergarten G” group! (“Go G-fliers!”) Three of our helpers were teenagers who did not take on leadership roles, but assisted the three adult teachers. That was a great help! For many of the senior high students this VBS is “training” for those who will travel to Chicago to conduct VBS there.

Our church provided a training event called “VBS University” where all volunteers had an opportunity to receive age-group or rotation group training prior to VBS. Our leadership also provided enrichment sessions such as “Leading a Child to Christ,” “Using Teens Effectively as Volunteers” or “Guiding Behavior.”  It was a great time to get folks excited and prepared for VBS.

This is not the only VBS that happens—it’s just the first. The materials are reused to conduct six other VBS events in downtown Nashville, Chicago, Georgia, Hong Kong, South Africa, and Israel.  The missions offering taken during VBS goes to help support the ministry of these other mission VBS events.

Most importantly, 52 children made professions of faith this week. We expect that many other lives were influenced and changed, and that we will continue to see children ADMIT, BELIEVE, and CONFESS.

Coming with VBS 2013 – Backyard Kids Club™

 One of the most exciting things about my job is watching God put the pieces together to make something great happen. That’s what it has felt like as the plans for a Backyard Kids Club resource have come together. Here’s a sneak peak at the why, what, and who of Backyard Kids Club.

Why offer a Backyard Kids Club option? 

Many churches are looking for ways to take VBS outside their church and into their communities. Whether those communities are down the street or around the world, our Backyard Kids Club Directors Guide and Backyard Kids Club Kit provide portable resources that can be used easily wherever you can gather a group of kids!

What will be available to help organize and conduct a Backyard Kids Club?

The Backyard Kids Club Directors Guide is designed for the person or team who will be coordinating and planning the Backyard Kids Club or Clubs. Based on expert advice from folks who have held successful Backyard Kids Clubs, this guide gives easy, step-by-step instructions.

The Backyard Kids Club Kit is an all-in-one box designed for a club of about 25 to 30 kids. The traditional VBS curriculum is simplified to fit a limited outdoor setting. The kit includes leader resources for worship and music, Bible study, crafts, and recreation. A special “Host Folder” even includes snack ideas. Music CDs and a choreography DVD are included!

What if a church wants some of the “extras” that go with a traditional VBS?

Because our Backyard Kids Club uses the same Bible content, music, and theme as our traditional VBS, all the fun accessories used for a large scale VBS will coordinate with your Backyard Kids Club!

Who will be able to benefit from the Backyard Kids Club resources?

  • Churches who are looking to take VBS outside the church walls and into communities where kids are
  • Mission groups who need a pack-and-go VBS option for local community centers, campgrounds, or mission locations in other states or around the world
  • Small churches who may have twenty or fewer children, but wish to provide a summer VBS experience that will reach the kids and their families

I know there are even more ideas about how this resource could be used. What are some of your ideas? Have we gotten your wheels turning? We’d love to hear from you!

Today on Kids Ministry 101, learn more about LifeWay’s Kids Ministry Conference! 

Video Bloopers!

I love to watch bloopers and behind-the-scenes footage from movies and television shows. Did you know you can see this type of footage on the VBS 2012 Worship Rally DVD Set? Back in the day when we actually shot the video on tape, we would end up with lots of bad takes and extra footage we couldn’t use in the actual drama. Much of it would end up in our bloopers. In today’s digital age, most of those extras simply get wiped off the video card.

Tim Cox

So, coming up with bloopers has become more challenging for our video editor, Tim Cox.

The bloopers always show up in our “Credits” section of the DVD. Here are some fun things to know as you watch the bloopers for this year’s video:

• The guys had to spin that propeller probably 70 times or more before the plane started.

• Michael Kennedy who played the part of our “ground crew chief” is the owner of the fabulous plane we used.

• You’ll see Bill Cox, our video director, hiking up Waimea Canyon. That was a hard . . . let me emphasize . . . HARD hike! We had passed the “End of Trail” sign before we began that descent into the canyon! There’s always a moment every year when I ask myself, “What am I doing here?” Hiking up this canyon was that moment for me in this particular shoot.

Those are just some fun tidbits to know as you watch the credits this year. Enjoy!