By Aaron Earls
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Next summer, kids will have the opportunity to explore and discover the adventure of life during an exciting “Journey Off the Map” that is “Unknown to Us, Known to Him” in LifeWay’s 2015 Vacation Bible School.
The description of the latest VBS theme invites students to “set out on a journey to uncharted territory where they will encounter the unexpected waiting around every bend. On this expedition of a lifetime, kids will need to stick close to their guide in order to survive. They will discover that Jesus is the ultimate guide on a journey uncharted by them, but known by Him.”
LifeWay’s VBS specialist Jerry Wooley says churches should be excited about “Journey Off the Map” because it is “filled with things kids like such as adventure, discovery, cool tree houses, challenging destinations, bright colors and fun music.”
Wooley says the theme’s message is particularly relevant today. “Kids are being bombarded by loud voices telling them what they should do, where they should go, who they should be and what they should believe. The messages are confusing and misleading,” he said.
He explained that “kids of all ages, meaning adults too, need to know that in the midst of these voices there is one and only one they can totally depend on.”
Most previous VBS materials were geared to build up to an evangelistic lesson later in the week. This year, LifeWay felt that it would be better to introduce the idea of a personal relationship with Christ on the first day.
“Since ‘Journey Off the Map’ is based on following Jesus as our guide, it is necessary to introduce this relationship on day one and build from there,” Wooley says.
The theme verse for the week will be Isaiah 30:21: “And whenever you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear this command behind you: ‘This is the way. Walk in it.’”
Participants will learn to trust Jesus as Savior and walk along the journey of life becoming more like Him as they traverse the adventures in The Overlook Worship Rally, Tangled Branch Tree House Bible Study, Shady Grove Crafts, Boulder Bridge Missions, Rushing Waters Music, Rappelling Ravine Recreation and Survival Springs Snacks.
Each day kids will discover more truths about Jesus as their guide.
Day 1 – Know your guide
Day 2 – Follow your guide
Day 3 – Trust your guide
Day 4 – Stay on track
Day 5 – Keep watching
The 2015 VBS Jump Start Kit will be available for purchase in early October. It is designed to help church leaders and VBS directors in the planning and promotion of the event. All other resources will be released in December.
For those leaders wanting to experience “Journey Off the Map” a little early and learn from experts on how churches can best use the materials, LifeWay will host preview events in four locations next year: Ridgecrest (N.C.) Conference Center, Jan. 9-10; Fort Worth, Jan. 16-17; Nashville (three events) Jan. 22-24; and two events in Kissimmee, Fla., Feb. 6-7.
Additional information about the materials or preview events can be found at the LifeWay VBS blog.