Geek of Week Ann Flavin

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  1. I am the VBS Director.  I have been directing VBS at the Conneautville Church of Christ since 2004.  I had one summer off when my family took a trip across the country so this year will actually be my 10th VBS.  Interestingly enough, by the time I finally agreed to direct VBS, I had been asked several times and said no.  My youngest son was barely a year old and I kept saying it wasn't really my time, etc.  I have three older boys as well and they were only 8, 6 1/2, and 4 1/2 at the time.  I hadn't even really volunteered at VBS yet.  When I was told that there would be no VBS because no one would take it on I felt the spirit nudging (OK pushing really hard) and I stepped up and took on the position of VBS director.  I had absolutely no idea what I was doing or what I was getting into but I knew with certainty that this was what God wanted me doing.  That year was a real learning process but I had some good mentors and great volunteers and we had a great VBS.  I have been hooked ever since.
  2. What was my "geekiest" moment?  Wow that is really hard because there are so many to choose from!  I think that when I spent our New Year's Eve party planning, promoting and recruiting for VBS has to rank right up there though.  My friends certainly thought it was pretty geeky when I was all excited showing them the VBS preview videos.   Everyone jokes about how I find a way to bring VBS into most conversations all year round.   At VBS one of my most VBS geeky moments had to be last year when I allowed some of the volunteers to turn me into a human cotton candy!  Teased hair with pink and blue hair spray complete with a white cone wrapper.  It took me hours to get that out of my hair!!
  3.  My favorite VBS theme.  Every year the one that I am doing is my favorite theme!  (And I have to say I am super excited for Agency D3 this year.  It is going to be amazing!!)   However, I think that Boomerang Express is probably one of my all time favorites.  I love the tag line "It all comes back to Jesus", that hit a home run with the kids.  They really seem to get the connection of Jesus with their lives.  The theme and decorations were a lot of fun too.  We are a very small rural community (if you Google Conneautville, PA it will tell you the population is less than 800 people.)  So at VBS, we took all the kids on a trip to Australia and it was an experience I don't think they will forget.  It is hard to explain in words (I will send pictures) but we actually built a train out of 2x4s and cardboard that the kids would get into and with sound effects they would "travel" through Australia.  When they got out of the train (on the other side of the wall) they were in the Australian outback.  Talking about geeky VBS moments, I actually dressed in a Kangaroo costume that year at the closing program.  The kids met their Missions giving goal so I got the Kangaroo costume!
  4.  You might be a VBS geek if you and your family mark the passage of time based on VBS themes.   Something like, "That was the year of Artic Edge".  You might also be a VBS geek if you get excited about cardboard and foam insulation board.  (Last year, when we did Colossal Coaster World, I got very excited about pipe insulation!)  Your most definitely a VBS geek if you feel like EVERYONE should get involved in VBS.  (You know being a geek is not always bad, everyone should have a role reaching our community for Jesus Christ.  You just have to figure out where their passion is and plug them in.)
  5. Honestly, the leading of God through his Spirit is what keeps me doing VBS.  Every year in the fall I wonder if I should do another VBS.  Can I put together another great week?  Will there be the volunteers?  Does my family want to go through this again?  But God does not provide the prompting for something he does not equip us for.  My family and closest friends are my greatest support (after my faith in Jesus Christ) and despite the fact that we practically live at the church for two weeks before VBS each year (pretty much all but sleep there), they continue to be supportive of my VBS ministry.  I am a blessed woman!  I feel very strongly about the power of VBS to reach the families of our communities for Jesus Christ.  I go big because I can and because that is what God puts in my heart.  I will not deny that I get excited when I think/talk/plan/execute VBS.  I love coming up with outrageous ideas for decorations and creative ways to show God's love.  We try to give the kids in our community that may not have much, an experience of a lifetime each summer.  Each year it is an experience the families will remember and when they do it is my prayer that those memories are connected to the love Jesus Christ has for them.  When I first started VBS I thought it was for the children but as I mature and continue to serve in this ministry I am seeing that VBS is not just for the children but for the entire family.  We have extended VBS to 3.5 hours and added an adult discussion group and family lunches to our VBS over the last several years.  We also are very intentional about getting the tweens and teens involved in VBS.  All of this designed to give us an opportunity to meaningfully reach into the lives of the families in our communities.  I believe in planting seeds.  When I do VBS I may be a sower or the one who waters and possibly even a harvester once in a while.  But it does not matter to me which one I am as long as I am fulfilling my commission to love God and love people.  How long will I do VBS?  (I know you didn't ask that question.)  I will continue to do VBS as long as I am able and possibly longer if that is what God directs me to do.

VBS Geek 7

VBS Geek 9

VBS Geek 8

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VBS Geek 2

Comments

  1. Dawn Story says

    Thanks for your article! I am also a director. I have to make a decision about our schedule- I would value ur opinion: the worship rally is one of the highlights of our day; we have found that 30 minutes doesn't seem to be enough time for this, so the idea came up "why not skip the pledges?" Do they have anything whatsoever to do with emphasizing the theme in vbs? What is the purpose of saying pledges? It's tradition, but is this reason enough?
    Any thoughts?

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