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.




VBS Director”

Julie, to you and the thousands of leaders (faithful servants) who make VBS possible – THANK YOU!

VBS & Fall Fest

Could there be a more perfect way to reuse VBS decorations than at your church’s fall festival? LifeWay Kids had our own fall festival last week… complete with food, candy, and games. Candace & I put our own spin on the classic “fish for a prize” game and totally decked out Candace’s office door with decorations from the Great Barrier Reef (Amazing Wonders Aviation).

You can check out more of the great games, booths, and decorations from our fall office party on the Kids Ministry 101 blog all this week!

We want to hear from you… Does your church do any kind of fall festival? How have you reused VBS decorations for other church/community events? Give us all some inspiration!

Happy Quiznos Day!

We are privileged at the LifeWay office in Nashville to have an employee cafe  that is open for breakfast and lunch. The cafe is convenient (especially on rainy days), nutritious, competitively priced, and usually quick.

While the menu varies, most days are pretty much the same with a salad bar, pizza station, grill, and meat and vegetable station. It is good. It meets a need. It is safe and predictable.

But occasionally, on a day like today, it is Quiznos Day at the Cafe! Let the party begin!

On Quiznos Day you get to the cafe when they open the doors or else you stand in a line that snakes out the door and into the lobby. All it takes is one person to return to their office floor with a Quiznos sandwich and the word spreads. People shout the news down the hall. People talk about it in the elevator. People who never step foot in the cafe run with haste trying to be the first in line.

Is it that Quiznos is so much better than the daily fare? No, not really. It is just different and makes lunch seem a little more special.

Vacation Bible School is like (or at least can be like) Quizos Day. Most churches offer great Bible student 52 weeks of the year. It is not that the Bible stories and study offered during VBS are better than those offered each Sunday. They are just different and as a result seem just a little more special.

To all of you who love VBS like to make it special, a very Happy Quiznos Day!

VBS and Trail Mix

It’s National Trail Mix Day and what goes better with trail mix than VBS? So in honor of National Trail Mix Day, I went back and dusted off the archives to find the names of all the VBS trail mix recipes since our major redesign in 1997! So take a stroll done memory lane, (or should I say down the VBS Trail?) and let us know which trail mix was your favorite.

1997 Wild and Wonderful Good New Stampede– Locust-and-Honey Trail Mix

1998 StarQuest– Power Corn

1999 Mt. Extreme– S’more Mountain Mix

2000 Ocean Odyssey– Fish Food

2001 Truth Trackers– Camel Fodder

2002 Amazon Outfitters– Recycled Trash Snack Mix

2003 Kingdom Caper– Hot-on-the-Trail Mix

2004 Rickshaw Rally– Crunch for the Course

2005 Ramblin’ Road Trip– Park Trail Mix

2006 Arctic Edge– Caribou Crunch

2007 Game Day Central– Half-time Cheese Mix

2008 Outrigger Island– Tropical Trail Treat

2009 Boomerang Express– Koala Krunch and Coral Reef Mix

2010 Saddle Ridge Ranch– Horse Feed

2011 Big Apple Adventure– Zoo Mix

2012 Amazing Wonders Aviation– Matterhorn Mix, Paricutin Volcano Mix, and Great Barrier Reef Mix

And here’s a sneak peek at 2013 Colossal Coaster World– Tilt-a-Whirl Fun Mix



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!

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!

Behind-the-Scenes Video: Colossal Coaster World Set Creation!

I am so excited to be bringing you this video!  Six of our designers have been working SO hard to put together large-scale sets for the marketing photo/video shoot that we do every year.  They let me hang out while they put their talents to the test and created some awesome stuff!  You’ll get to see  lots of pictures from the shoot later this week, I promise!


What questions do you have for our designers about set creation?  Bring ’em on, and I’ll see how many I can get answered for you!