As I have told you before, one of the most rewarding aspects of my job is being privileged to hear and read the great stories and reports of churches witnessing and experiencing transformation through the ministry of VBS. Here is one such story:
“I have a wonderful report for FBC Winters (California) Amazing Wonders Aviation VBS this year! We had a total of 69 children attend AWA VBS in June, which we conducted as a 5-day, 3-hour evening program. The kids had a ton of fun, of course, but the most exciting news is that 20 children were saved during VBS this year. Praise The Lord!
My volunteer staff of 55 workers and I really enjoyed the aviation theme this year. We’ve all been flying high for Jesus ever since, along with plenty of the VBS kids. With prayer and staff evaluations guiding me, I decided to extend 2012 VBS with a weekly summer VBS program, held on Wednesday nights for eight weeks. The attendance of this ‘pilot’ project was also a success, with an average of 15-20 children attending each week.
This has lead to a new ministry at FBCW for elementary age children – Wacky Wednesdays! There has been a ton of support from the FBCW congregation to get Wacky Wednesdays up and flying. A unanimous vote at our church business meeting to approve this new ministry, hundreds of dollars in designaed donations, snacks provided by our church food closet, and a talented volunteer teaching staff have Wacky Wednesdays taking off! Now, every Wednesday night from 6:30 – 7:30, the children of the Winters community have an opportunity to worship The Lord at an abbreviated VBS-style evening program. All because God’s good and faithful servants have once again come together to do His work.
FBC Winters LOVES VBS!
Julie, to you and the thousands of leaders (faithful servants) who make VBS possible – THANK YOU!
While your Amazing Wonders Aviation flight has probably landed, your bags are unpacked, and you are already dreaming about your VBS 2013 destination, some essential follow-up can still take off for 2012. Candace offered some great follow-up suggestions last Wednesday at http://lifewayvbs.wordpress.com/2012/08/01/vbs-follow-up/.
Here’s another great way to consider connecting specifically with the parents of VBS kids. If your church did not purchase the VBS 2012 Family Flight Log Parent Guide: Logging Time Together to Discover God’s Amazing Power! (005404243), mailing a copy of this small “flight log” that reinforces the Amazing truths kids learned about God’s power can be a great way to connect with parents.
The guide contains five daily devotions for families, fun activities to do as a family, and the ABCs of Becoming a Christian. It’s a great way for parents to reinforce what kids learned during VBS, and it’s an excellent opportunity for churches to let parents know they care about their kids and them as a family. The guide is an inexpensive way, priced at $3.49 for a package of 10, to connect with parents as the summer comes to a close and families begin to get back in normal routines.
Visit your local LifeWay Christian Store soon while VBS supplies are still available and purchase enough packages to send to all your VBS kids. Don’t miss this opportunity to make another connecting flight on AWA airlines!
The summer is beginning to wind down, but that hasn’t slowed down the photo-sharing! Many churches are still in the midst of VBS, so the pictures just keep coming! Big church or little church, it’s really cool to see how God uses VBS in so many different ways to convey one simple message: Jesus saves. I’m so excited to share another round of VBS 2012 photos with you!
Fanny Grote shared these photos from East Shore Baptist Church, Harrisburg, PA. They used VBS materials while on their mission trip to Jamaica! They reported 6 decisions for Christ from their VBS.
Another great photo from East Shore Baptist Church, Harrisburg, PA who used VBS materials on their trip to Jamaica!
Sally Crank shared this photo from water day at Sparks Christian Fellowship in Sparks, NV. “Our Amazing Wonders week was July 9-12, 2012. We ended with 193 kids and 161 volunteers. It was an amazing week full of Gods awesome power!!! The kids had a ball, the volunteers went above and beyond. Cant wait until next year!! It is definitely my favorite week of the summer!!”
DezaRay shared this photo from New Pilgrim Baptist Church, Salt Lake City, Utah. I thought it was so creative of them to decorate outside for recreation! How creative! “We had an A-M-A-Z-I-N-G time decorating in and outside our church for VBS!”
Neal Cox shared this photo of an AWA plane at The Bible Temple in Coward SC. “The plane is made from insulation foam and covered with conact paper and is assembled like a giant balsa plane.” Very cool!
Cathy Mattingly and Brenda Nelson, co-directors of VBS at West Broadway Baptist Church in Louisville, KY shared that they included radio-controlled airplane flight simulator training with their Amazing Wonders Aviation VBS. WOW! Cathy said the kids had an absolute blast!!
Here’s another fun photo from Cathy and Brenda at West Broadway Baptist Church in Louisville, KY. Love that propellor!
Marsha Henderson from Bear Creek Baptist Church in Houston, TX shared this photo with us. “Here is our version of the Great Barrier Reef. We had such a great week with over 1000 kids. 100 kids accepted Christ as their Savior!!!! Can’t wait till next year!!!!”
Here’s a teaser for next week. I can’t wait to share all the photos from Church on the Queensway in Toronto Ontario, Canada– a church that does VBS REALLY BIG!
If you’d like to share your VBS photos and stores, post them to our Facebook page, or send them to me in an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure you include the name of your church and a description of the photo! Image size must be a minimum of 1024×678 in order to be shared on the blog. Happy weekend!
It’s Friday, Friday, Friday! I love Fridays, but I also really love Mondays because I usually return to work and open an inbox full of pictures and stories from YOU about your week of VBS! Please continue to share those! I never tire of being reminded of how God uses the ministry of Vacation Bible School to bring others to Himself. Here are a few of this week’s pictures!
This plane is sitting outside New Life Assembly of God in Landisburg, PA. Their VBS was this week- July 23-27th. The photo was submitted us by Lisa Moyer who said the plane attracted lots of attention!
Water of Life Community Church in Fontana California built a two level spotting tower next to their hanger with a 1/3 scale Electra-10 (Amelia Earhart’s Plane) flying over the first few rows.
Make sure you click to view the full-size version of this photo. It was sent to us by Julie Monroe from Forestville Baptist Church in Greenville, SC. “We chose to decorate our Worship Rally a little bit differently; we re-created 5 of the 6 wonders for our Main Stage! My mother Carol and I spent the past 6 months working on the wonders and it was AMAZING FUN!”
This Worship Rally Hangar photo was sent to us by Amy Dillard of Union #3 Baptist Church in Ball Play, AL.
This is one of my favorite pictures! Anderson Bond has taken his VBS airplane to 5 different churches to excite hundreds of kids about Amazing Wonders Aviation Vacation Bible School!
Here’s an Amazing Wonders Aviation VBS setup from Richmond Hill Baptist Church in Boonville, NC. They had a total enrollment of around 180 with an average attendance of 140. Not pictured, they used an actual wooden propeller of a crashed plane to get kids excited as they enter the Worship Rally Hangar!
This photo was sent to us from Chris Crosswhite at Woodland Hills Baptist Church in Newcastle, OK. The hangar was hand painted by a wonderful lady at the church and in the lower left corner, she even included snoopy and his house. The propeller on the plane rotated, and the plane and the air traffic control tower were used for puppets of Bill Rogers and Amelia Erhart!
Wild things can happen when you say Yes to VBS! Jason McNair and Geek of the Week Debbie Chidester got “sundae’d” as part of Family Night at First Baptist Church of West Valley City. Congratulations, kids, for bringing in a combined weight of over 80 lbs of pennies and over 800 items for missionaries in Alaska!
If you’d like to share your VBS photos and stories, feel free to post them to our Facebook page, or send them to me in an email at email@example.com. Make sure you include the name of your church and a description of the photo! Image size must be a minimum of 1024×678 in order to be shared on the blog!
A few weeks ago, I asked you to share some of your wonderful VBS stories. Here are LifeWay headquarters, we are constantly encouraged when we hear stories of how God is using His people and the ministry of Vacation Bible School to make the name of Jesus famous all over the world! No doubt, you are encouraged by those kids of stories, as well. Please continue to share them with us as your church wraps up VBS 2012!
Sandy Harkins, FBC Canton, TX:
Our VBS was last week, June 11-15. We had 215 children registered for our “Amazing Wonders Aviation”. The children loved Worship Rally time. We averaged 182 children. Our high attendance was on Wednesday with 195! We had 23 professions of faith! What a wonderful week we experienced. This was the largest attendance for VBS in about 5 years!!
Peggy Banks, Chester, SC:
God showed up and showed out at our VBS in Chester SC at New Life Baptist Church Chester SC. We are a very small church but averaged 30 a night. Awesome God! Amazing power! We have gotten one family that has been to our Sunday service for the past two weeks since VBS. Praise God! If only one it is worth it all. God is so Good and I love Lifeway material. Thanks for being obedient to God’s calling and for listening when He speaks. Praise God form Whom ALL blessings flow!
Our VBS was last week. I helped my mom teach the 10-11′s and I taught Missions. We had an awesome week with an average 107 attendance. On Wednesday night, we had one girl get saved! That same girl brought her friend with her Thursday and Friday. Her friend got saved Friday night! God is so good!! We could tell a big difference in the two boys that got saved last year. God is really working.
Leslie Johnstone, Holly Springs Baptist Church- Garrison TX:
VBS was beyond AMAZING!!! We averaged between 100-115 each night and had tons of workers helping. We did ours at night from 5:30-8:30 and started it with a Family Fun Night on Saturday. This helped with getting kids registered early. We had VBS for the kids who finished Kinder-3rd grade and we did VBX for the kids who finished 4th-6th. THAT WAS AWESOME!!
The VBX kids loved owning their own area, playing different games, and doing different crafts that were more age appropriate for them. In fact, we tied Missions into Crafts for VBX. They painted canvases that were put into a silent auction on the Sunday following VBS. It raised over $1000 for our missionary in Africa!!! I couldn’t believe it! God is so good!
But the best part was night 4- The salvation message where we had over 20 kids either check on their Response Card that they had questions or were ready to ask Jesus into their heart. We put a counseling team together and talked to those kids throughout the last evening and I was able to see 14 kids accept Jesus into their hearts!!!! Awesome!!!!!! God is so good!!!!
VBS season is in full swing & while all of you have been gearing up for VBS in your churches, all of us on the VBS team have been doing the same thing! It is so wonderful to get to experience VBS “from the trenches”… not as a job but as Kingdom work! I taught kindergartners this year… 31 of them, in fact! Out of those 31, only 7 were from my church. VBS really is an incredible outreach tool!
This year, my church tried something a little bit different. We added a second worship rally to our schedule that was specifically for preschoolers & kindergartners. The morning kicked off for 1st-6th graders with the traditional Worship Rally, but preschoolers started the morning in their respective rooms. Then at 9:40 (when all of the big kids had cleared out), we got to fly in for a worship rally designed just for us! We had a fabulous leader who basically modified the preschool music rotation teaching plans so that we could sing songs, play instruments, move around, and talk about the daily Bible stories in ways that just wouldn’t fly if preteens were in the room. But it was perfect for preschoolers! We even had time for offerings and practicing the theme song each day.
The kids’ favorite song from the week had to be one called “Always”… and it played a significant part in one of my all-time favorite VBS memories. The song lyrics are almost identical to preschool’s Day 2 verse: “Be strong. Do not be afraid. God is with you” (Joshua 1:9). On Wednesday morning one of my kindergartners came in the door and walked straight to me. “Miss Melita,” she said, “last night at bedtime I got kind of scared. But then I remembered that song. I sang it to myself probably 4-20 times. And you know what? It worked! God was with me, and I wasn’t afraid anymore.”
WOW! A 6-year-old child connected the truth of the Bible to a real life situation because she had “hidden it in her heart” through song. Wow! That’s what it’s all about!
Here’s a little video of “Always” from our preschool worship rally. And if you’re really good, you might be able to catch a glimpse of Gordon, too! Enjoy!
Always — preschool worship rally
Believe it or not, LifeWay’s VBS team is already thinking 2014!
Now you know why I am constantly in danger of post-dating checks a year or two in advance! Seriously, scheduled online payment of my utility bills only to receive past due notices on them all. It seems I was living a year – a hazard of all VBS Groupies – in advance and dated payments with the wrong year.
At any one time I am collecting VBS reports from the previous year, responding to VBS questions from the current year, planning VBS events for the next year, and dreaming VBS for two years away. This is truly the best job in the world!
Now, to the real topic of this post – VBS Missions Rotation.
As many of you are in the midst of VBS 2012, and as we begin planning for VBS 2014, I am interested in how you use LifeWay’s Missions Rotation resources for both preschoolers and children.
- If your church does not include the Mission Rotation, why not?
- If you do not use them during VBS, do you use them at another time or in conjunction with another ministry? Explain.
- If you do use the resources, what do you most like about them?
- What would you like to see changed?
- How do you incorporate the suggested hands-on mission project?
- How could the hands-on project be more effective for your church?
You can respond here or send your comments and suggestions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.