VBS Team Geek of the Week: Rhonda VanCleave

vbsgeekoftheweek2Today’s team VBS Geek of the Week is our fearless leader! She’s the one who tries to keep all of us on schedule. Here’s Rhonda VanCleave!
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  1. What is your role on the VBS team? I am the publishing team leader. It is a lot like herding cats. I am responsible for making sure we have a theme and content every year. I also work with the team to divide up all the responsibilities so that all the pieces happen.
  2. What was your “geekiest” moment? Using two Arctic Edge large inflatable moose at our son’s rehearsal dinner before his wedding. They were dressed appropriately as a bride and groom.
  3. What has been your favorite VBS theme? The next one. I know this is an odd answer, but I love new things and VBS is new every year. I have loved every theme and it is SO exciting to watch God put together the next one. I know He has a plan and a message to deliver. God allows our work to be the vessel.
  4. You might be a VBS geek if . . . Without moving from where you are right now, you can reach out and touch something related to VBS (past or present). No matter where I am, there are traces of VBS (keychains, T-shirts, notepads, leader guides with ideas I want to keep, pencils, the list goes on and on!).
  5. What makes you love working on VBS? The stories we hear. Right in the middle of an extra challenging day, we will hear from a church who is so excited about what God did through their VBS. We hear about hundreds of salvations, re-energized ministries, and people who had fun reaching kids and their families. Sometimes the stories are our own. We are so blessed that God lets us see a tiny bit of the great work He is doing.
 

 

VBS Team Geek of the Week: Bethany Brown

vbsgeekoftheweek1We are back this week with another VBS team member as Geek of the Week. Bethany is one of our newer team members, but has a long VBS history! Here’s Bethany!

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  1. What is your role on the VBS Team? Production Editor- grammar, fact checking, the fun nitpicky stuff!
  2. What is your “geekiest” moment? Probably helping my mom promote Ocean Odyssey when I was in middle school. I don’t remember all of what I had to do, but it involved wearing light, summer clothes on a cold spring day up onto the church stage, while holding a giant stuffed seal. I still have the seal, her name is April.
  3. What has been your favorite VBS theme? Journey off the Map! It’s the first theme I’ve gotten to see through from beginning to end since coming to work at LifeWay and I LOVE how imaginative the design is…so fun and whimsical and yet somewhere kids could really imagining traveling to.
  4. You might be a VBS geek if . . . One phrase in a conversation makes you break into VBS song.
  5. What makes you love working on VBS? I love the creative part of our process, getting to dream big and imagine what will make products easier for churches to use. I also love that God can use everything from the tiniest grammar detail to the biggest, most visible thing we do, for His glory and to bring children closer to Him.

 

VBS Team Geek of the Week: Carol Tomlinson

vbsgeekoftheweek2Today’s VBS team member Geek of the Week is Carol Tomlinson. Hope you enjoy getting to know her!

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  1. What is your role on the VBS team? Content editor for Preteen, Students, Crafts, and Missions
  2. What was your “geekiest” VBS moment? Visiting the Goodwill Outlet with my team to rummage through large bins of stuff that could be use to make gadgets for Agency D3 Previews.
  3. What has been your favorite VBS theme? Outrigger Island & Agency D3 loved that both of these could simply answer the truth about who Jesus is and helped kids learn to answer the tough questions.
  4. You might be a VBS geek if . . . you think of how the food on the grocery aisles could be used in a trail mix.
  5. What makes you love working on VBS? I love working on VBS because it speaks to all generations. Young and old always have a favorite VBS memory to share. I love that God allows me to have a small part in spreading His word in such a fun, memorable curriculum.

 

VBS Team Geek of the Week: Gordon Brown

vbsgeekoftheweek2Today we are doing Geek of the Week a little differently! We are going to be highlighting the different members of the VBS team and see what makes them a VBS geek. Today we are starting with one of our graphic designers, Gordon Brown!

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  1. What is your role on the VBS team? Graphic designer
  2. What was your “geekiest” moment? Almost wearing the kangaroo costume—and almost being sad that I didn’t.
  3. What has been your favorite VBS theme? Saddle Ridge Ranch—cowboy boots are cool!
  4. You might be a VBS geek if . . . you think wearing a kangaroo costume is cool.
  5. What makes you love working on VBS? Knowing that you are a part of sharing the gospel with kids. 

 

How Do You Collect a VBS Offering?

candace-1We want to hear how you get your kids involved in helping to collect an offering during VBS. We know many of our own churches make the offering a competition between boys and girls or each grade to see who can bring the most. Some churches set a goal and if that offering goal is met, then the pastor or other staff member gets a pie in their face! It is also great to hear stories from churches who do not take up money as an offering, but collect school supplies, canned food, and so forth for a local ministry. There are so many options out there, but the most important thing is getting your kids involved. We would love to hear how you do this!

For a little incentive, we want to have a giveaway! We will pick one winner from our comments and send you five Agency D3 bags from our Preview events. Can’t wait to hear your stories!

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VBS Geek of the Week: Patty O’Shea

vbsgeekoftheweek21. What is your role in VBS? This year I am the VBS Director. I have been involved in VBS in some way since 1996. With the exception of 2002, I have used a week of vacation from my day-job to be at VBS since 1997.

1996: Registration/Attendance (went to work in the afternoon)

1997: Registration/Attendance & Newsletter

1998-2001: Director, Hazelwood Baptist Church

2002: Taught Director Workshops for Baltimore Baptist Association

2003-2008: Director, Hazelwood Baptist Church

2009: Offering counter/”Go-Fer” (moved membership in Jan 2009)

2010: Assistant to Director, White Marsh Baptist Church

2011-Present: Director, White Marsh Baptist Church

2. What was your “geekiest” moment? Geekiest moment would have to be when I did an announcement in church for VBS 2000, Ocean Odyssey. I wore a scuba diving suit, flippers, and mask to advertise an association meeting that was going to be held at our church. My husband had to help me navigate the two steps from the floor to the platform because the flippers were hard to walk in. My tag line that year was “It’s going to be deep—really deep!” I have been able to pull together some sort of costume (sometimes more than one!) for just about every theme so far.

3. What has been your favorite VBS theme? It’s really hard to pick a favorite VBS theme since I have enjoyed stirring up excitement for so many of them. One of my favorites was VBS 2004, Rickshaw Rally because I dressed up in a black wig, kimono, obi, socks, and wooden sandals for my announcements. I was unrecognizable by most of the congregation. Also that year we teamed up with a couple of other churches to make large decorations (a rickshaw and a bridge) plus we were able to borrow a gong from the local school system. I particularly enjoyed Jeff Slaughter’s music over the years and I’m really glad that I had a number of opportunities to meet him at Ridgecrest and at our state convention VBS workshop.

4. You might be a VBS geek if . . .

 The people working at the local LifeWay recognize you.

Your living room looks like VBS Central.

Church members know that emails or calls from you are going to be about VBS.

You love spending a couple of days in January at Ridgecrest.

Your T-shirt drawer is mostly official VBS T-shirts or VBS theme-related T-Shirts.

Your husband has learned that you love to get VBS theme-related gifts for Christmas.

A child sees you coming down the street and yells, “It’s the VBS Lady!”

5. What makes you keep doing VBS? God keeps me doing VBS. I have learned over the years that He has gifted me to lead this particular ministry. He has taught me flexibility, spontaneity, and to depend wholly on Him. He brings me someone to give me a hug and pray for me when the evil one attempts to steal my joy or I begin to stress about some of the details. If I was “independently wealthy”, I would be a “professional” VBS-er!

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VBS Geek of the Week: Traci Rogers

vbsgeekoftheweek2This week’s Geek of the Week so from Amarillo, Texas. Welcome, Traci Rogers!
  1. What is your role in VBS? Children’s Minister
  2. What was your “geekiest” moment? Making the theme song into a ring tone in January
  3. What has been your favorite VBS theme? Amazon Outfitters or Outrigger Island
  4. You might be a VBS geek if . . .  you know that spray adhesive on a church night is a bad idea (even if in a closed office).
  5. What makes you keep doing VBS? LOVE LOVE LOVE IT
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Geek of the Week: Jennifer Pyne

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This week’s VBS Geek of the week is Jennifer Pyne and she is from Providence Baptist Church in Harrisburg, NC.

  1.  My role in VBS: Director
  2. My geekiest moment: Wow, there are so many! Dressing up in various costumes, holding a prop making sleepover at church so we could get more work done, kissing a pig… but the geekiest is probably performing the Agency D3 theme song wearing a cardboard bobble head of our pastor! 
  3. What was your favorite theme? I have enjoyed all if the themes, but Big Apple Adventure was my favorite!
  4. You might be a VBS geek if… you follow the custodians around and pull things out of the trash because it would be “perfect for VBS”.
  5. What makes me keep doing VBS is reaching children for Christ in an exciting, meaningful, life-altering way!

 

VBS Geek of the Week: Deb Jones

vbsgeekoftheweek2This week’s VBS Geek of the Week is Deb Jones. Enjoy her story!

1. What is your role in VBS?  I am the VBS Director for our church, West Glendale Baptist Church.  I am also a part of the state training team for Arizona, for the past two years I have had the opportunity to attend the National Training in Fort Worth and then teach the Missions portion of VBS at our state training sessions.

2. What was your “geekiest” moment?  WOW!  One geeky moment, I am a geek, so this is hard to pinpoint!  This is the time of year that I eat, sleep, and dream VBS!  Probably the geekiest moment this year so far was an announcement I made at the end of April for our VBS worker sign-up.  We still had some openings and I wanted them filled before our church VBS training.  I wore my husband’s black leather jacket, my sunglasses, and my daughter’s Fedora hat.  I was a special agent sneaking up to the stage, got lots of laughs from the congregation and also got more workers signed up at the end of the service!  I don’t mind being laughed at.

3. What has been your favorite VBS theme?  Every year it just keeps getting better!  One of my favorites was Amazing Wonders Aviation because I was one of the teachers in the United States that won Space Camp thanks to the workers at Honeywell Hometown Solutions.  Space Camp had been a dream of mine since the ’80′s.  I got to wear my blue flight suit for Amazing Wonders VBS and that was wonderful (although hot in Arizona in the summer).

4. You might be a VBS geek if . . . you think VBS is just a little slice of Heaven!

5. What makes you keep doing VBS?  I was born Southern Baptist and have attended VBS since birth.  I just really enjoy Vacation Bible School, it is an AMAZING evangelical tool for our church to reach our community for Christ.  Last year for the first time ever, we made a concerted effort to disciple our children after VBS was over.  I used the materials created by Lifeway for Leading a Child to Christ in my VBS training.  We followed up in July and August on Wednesday nights and actually baptized children that had made decisions in June.  So exciting!

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VBS training WGBC 2014