Appreciate Your Leaders

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You’ve enlisted them, you’ve trained them, and they’ve done their jobs! Now it’s time to show them a little appreciation for all those long hours, last minute errands, and loving’ on the kids.

No matter who you are or how long you’ve invested in the lives of kids, it never gets old to be appreciated, so we’ve complied some clever ways to say, “Thank you for all you do.”  Check out our “Teacher Appreciation Board” on the LifeWay Kids Pintrest site.  Some of my favorites include:

 

Or check out specific VBS theme appreciation ideas on the enhanced CD in the front of the VBS 2013 Administrative Guide for Directors.

What are some ways you’ve thanked your teachers?

Club VBS – Answering Your Questions

Many of you are preparing for an out-of-this-world VBS experience with Club VBS SpaceQuest! Space was a theme many of you requested on our surveys last year. We were so excited that we were able to offer a fun theme that focused on Jesus and His mission to be the Savior of the world.

Recently I saw a couple of customer questions asking where Club VBS Snacks and Crafts suggestions could be found. You’ll love this answer! Both Snacks and Crafts are two of the reproducible sections found in The Administrative Guide in the Club VBS 2012 Starter Kit. Not only will you find preparation and planning helps in The Administrative Guide, but you will also find a section for recreation, crafts, snacks, and Babies-2s.

A ton of resources are also available online at www.lifeway.com/clubvbs ! You can find photos of the crafts, photos of the snacks, and Club VBS 2012 SpaceQuest Drama Scripts.

Rocket Pop-up Card

Planet Ring Fruit Tray

You can also download FREE Adult Club VBS Bible Studies, as well as FREE Mission Stories to accompany your Club VBS.

Orbit around the Club VBS website when you get a chance.

If you plan to use Club VBS this summer, be sure and tell us about it! We’d love to hear how Club VBS worked for you!

A Movement Called VBS

A few days ago I purchased my first pair of TOMS shoes – grey classics. Now I know some of you might be thinking I’m a little too old and definitely not hip enough to wear such shoes, but hey, you are as young as your feet feel, and mine are feeling exceedingly young today!

Upon opening the box I found a tag that proclaimed that I am now part of a movement and should share this information proudly! So I’m sharing.

I have bought plenty of shoes in my life, but this is the first pair that proclaimed me a member of a movement. My point here is not to promote a particular brand of shoes, so I’ll let you figure out the “movement” for yourself. What I do want to promote is the idea of a movement – or a group of people banding together to promote a commonly held belief or passion.

Vacation Bible School is a movement that began in 1898 when Mrs. Walker Hawes, a doctor’s wife from the East side of New York City, obediently responded to God’s call to minister to the neighborhood children who were in desperate need of organized activities.

Here we are 114 years later continuing not only the dream God planted in her heart, but continuing the passion of reaching boys and girls, teenagers, and adult for Jesus Christ through the ministry of VBS. The methods have changed over the years, but the message has thankfully remained the same.

Millions upon millions of people have been recipients of the message and have experienced a personal encounter with Jesus Christ as a result of the faithfulness of Mrs. Walker Hawes and the many – including you – who have followed in her footsteps.

You are part of a movement! Proclaim it proudly!

Social Media as a Ministry Tool: The Basics

Some of you may be thinking, “Social media!? There’s no way I can use that as a ministry tool. I’m too far behind already.” But guess what… if you are reading this blog post, you’re already more savvy than you think.

YOU are reading a blog post– and according to our data, chances are good that you got to this blog by Google searching for VBS or clicking on a link on Facebook or Twitter. So how can you use what you already know about the Internet to connect with your parents, volunteers, and community? Let me show you the way!

1) Just have a social media presence. There are many options to choose from, but Twitter and Facebook are the most commonly used social realms. I would say most parents use Facebook rather than Twitter. But determine what your parents and volunteers are using and sign up. Make sure it’s clear that the Facebook page or Twitter handle belongs to your ministry. Be sure to use a familiar logo so that users can easily identify the account as yours.

2) UPDATE, UPDATE, UPDATE! Twitter and Facebook are FREE ways to communicate–great tools! But those avenues are useless if you aren’t using them. Use your “status” to inform parents and volunteers of dates/times and ministry needs. Make sure that you update regularly and respond to questions from parents and volunteers.

A good example of a status update might be: “Amazing Wonders Aviation VBS kicks off in just one month!! We’re looking for excited volunteers to help us take flight! Interested? Let us know! “

Interested volunteers could then interact with that status by responding and expressing their desire to help with VBS. This is especially helpful if you use youth and college students to help with VBS; most students that age are constantly receiving information from social media outlets!

Here are some other great examples:

“Don’t forget!! VBS volunteer training TONIGHT from 6-7pm in the Fellowship Hall. Can’t wait to see your smiling faces!”

“Registered to send your little camper to CentriKid yet? Deadline for registration is May 30th! Scholarships available. Contact Katie for more information.”

3) Have fun! It may surprise you how much fun social media can be. When you show excitement about your new-fangled tool, others will be excited to communicate with you. Enjoy “being part of the conversation” and engaging parents and volunteers in this way.

4) Follow US! If you’re on Facebook, make sure you check out the pages for LifeWay Kids, LifeWay VBS, CentriKid Camps, and LifeWay PreTeens. They’re great places to get updates about the latest stuff going on, ask questions and get in on the conversation with other folks in ministry. If you’re on Twitter, make sure to follow @lifewayvbs, @lifewaykids, @centrikidcamps, and our new curriculum, @gospel_project!

So there are the basics. Think you’re ready to get started? If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment here or email me: katie.decillo@lifeway.com. I’d love to help you out!

I’ll be back soon with more tips and tricks–stay tuned!

 

 

More VBS Decorating Ideas Coming Your Way

With VBS and camps just weeks away, we have some great tips and ideas to share on tomorrow’s Kids Ministry 101 Show.

Ann Oliver, preschool ministry leader from Paris, Tennessee, will share great preschool decorating ideas and fun extras for Amazing Wonders Aviation. Mark Jones, decorator extraordinaire from Oklahoma City, has AWA site ideas for even the most artistically challenged (which includes me).

CentriKid Camp specialists Jeremy Echols and Mary Carlisle will be on hand to help you get yourself and your kids ready for camp.

Also on the show will be Brian Haynes, author of Shift: What it Takes to Finally Reach Families Today, and Scott Kindig who will present three basic strategies parents and the church need to raise radical kids.

Join us tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. Central at lifeway.com/kidsministry101show.

We’ll be looking for you.