VBS Geek of the Week Cande Ackler

vbsgeekoftheweek2This week’s VBS Geek of the Week is Cande Ackler. She was nominated by her good friend, Eunice Pond! She is from First Baptist Church of Orangevale in Orangevale, California.

  1. What is your role in VBS?
  • California State Team, Children’s Consultant
  • Associational Team Clinic Leader
  • VBS Director for First Baptist Church of Orangevale for 13 of the past 14 years.
  1. What was your “geekiest” moment? It could have been riding my stick horse across the stage during Sunday Morning services while wearing cowboy boots and a Saddle Ridge Ranch hat; or even trying to keep up with Jeff Slaughter dancing through the Tumbleweed Song!
  2. What has been your favorite VBS theme? So hard to choose!  Probably Outrigger Island . . . O-I-O-I, O-I-O-I, Oh I love God’s Unshakeable Truth!
  3. You might be a VBS geek if . . . You have more than ten year’s collection of VBS Leader shirts, hats, pencils, and are still wondering why LifeWay no longer has scrapbook papers for all of the VBS themes. You find yourself working on a VBS Float in your back yard for the community parade year after year!
  4. What makes you keep doing VBS? VBS is a blessing that keeps on giving.  The children who were saved during VBS, or have attended all the years until they were old enough to be helpers, then teachers, bless my heart every year.  I have seen brand new teachers who were so nervous about teaching become master teachers and VBS Clinic leaders.  Occasionally I decide that at my age it’s time to “retire” from VBS . . . then I think . . . No way, I’m here to stay!

Colossal Coaster World float

Game Day Central

Outrigger Island

Saddleback Ranch float








VBS Geek of the Week Tiffany


This week’s VBS Geek of the Week is Tiffany from Raymond Baptist Church in Illinois! I love hearing from all of you VBS Geeks!

  1. What is your role in VBS? My role in VBS is that of VBX teacher!!!
  2. What was your “geekiest” moment? This is my geekiest moment was being so excited about a child receiving Christ that I jumped in the air and clicked my heels and shouted!! But it was also one of my favorite moments:).
  3. What has been your favorite VBS theme? Amazing wonders
  4. You might be a VBS geek if . . . you buy two I love VBS bags even though one is enough (I will find a use for it).
  5. What makes you keep doing VBS? I continue to do VBS because I love the kids and I know the difference it made in my own life:) I just want to spread the word and this is one of the best most fun ways!!!

The 3 D’s of Preteens

abbyWhile snow and ice continue to linger around my home in Tennessee, it’s hard to believe summer is around the corner. While the weather doesn’t give me glimpse of warmer temperatures, the fact remains that my church is less than 100 days away from VBS.

As I traveled around teaching several preteen VBS conferences this winter, I kept getting a question from a few people, “Why is it called VBX? I’m just teaching 5th and 6th graders. Isn’t it VBS?” What is available in the VBX 2014 Leader Guide is a huge amount of material including preteen Bible study, craft, and recreation ideas. The preteen leader guide provides the opportunity for your preteens to have a Vacation Bible EXperience. If your church chooses to do so, you can keep preteens on their own schedule. Leaders for preteens are provided with a lot of material. Be sure you as a leader consult with your VBS director to know what is expected of you.

For those who have the privilege and honor to teach preteens this year, here are a few tips to help you be prepared for your mission, no matter the amount of time you have with your preteens.

Discover who your preteens are physically, socially, emotionally, and intellectually. They don’t think like you do, no matter your age! Preteens are competitive, worried about rejection, critical of themselves, and don’t usually enjoy attempting tasks that are too difficult for them. Most importantly, perhaps, is the fact preteens are developing a value system based on their own understanding of biblical principles. Guess who needs to help impact how preteens develop those value systems? Check out page 5 in the VBX 2014 Preteen Bible Study Leader Guide for some specific characteristics.

Decide how you will teach preteens. Recognize different approaches should be used. No one learns exactly the same way as another person does. Preteens are going through a lot of emotions. Different activities will appeal to different preteens. Be sure to provide opportunities for all the approaches to learning to be used.  If you just teach preteens in the same way you learn, you aren’t going to reach them as effectively as you could be. The more approaches to learning in the activities you choose to do, the better chance you will have preteens engaged in the learning process. Approaches include logical, verbal, visual, musical, natural, physical, relational, and reflective.  You can check out Melita Thomas’s video for more information about approaches to learning.

Defend the Truth. This year, preteens will spend some time each day revealing more information about the Gospel. Three steps will be used each day, which are found on the CD and in the VBS 2014 Preteen Leader Pack. The three pieces of information can be uncovered by three individuals or assigned to three small groups. The tasks are reproducible.

  1. One task will involve unscrambling a phrase using letters provided to preteens.
  2. Another task will use Bible skills to reveal a book of the Bible.
  3. The third task will involve completing math equations to reveal the chapter and verse .

Preteens will spend time discussing the information revealed each day. For example, on the first day, preteens will decipher the phrase God Rules and the verse Colossians 2:8-9. On the fourth day of VBX, the information will be reviewed from each day, and preteens will fill out a response card that gathers information about each preteen’s beliefs. The response cards will help leaders know which preteens might have questions about becoming a Christian. Because this time is crucial to preteens’ forming of values of their own, please be familiar with presenting the gospel. You never know when a preteen may have a question, and you might not have your Bible or leader guide handy. Begin praying right now for God to provide opportunities to present the Truth during Agency D3.

Discover who Preteens are. Decide how to teach them. Defend and know the Truth. If you begin to prepare to teach by following these three steps, and spend time in prayer, God will honor your desire to preteens to know Him more.


Abbey Land is our guest blogger. She is active in children’s ministry, teaches 5th grade Sunday School, edits Bible Express devotional, and leads conferences. She and her husband have four boys.

VBS Geek of the Week Michelle Stutts

vbsgeekoftheweek2Michelle is from New Bethel Baptist Church in Tuscumbia, Alabama. VBS is her favorite week of the year. It’s the week that the kids get to be kids and adults are given the opportunity to show Jesus’ love to them in the way that the kids understand.
  1. What is your role in VBS? I am the VBS director
  2. What was your “geekiest” moment? I always look for geek moments. I guess when you go to the trash pile and pick up things that are about to thrown away and people ask what you are doing with that and you have to say “Not sure but we can use it some way for VBS” then you are for sure a VBS geek.
  3. What has been your favorite VBS theme? I don’t really have a favorite theme. I love them all. The kids remember the music. We still do Arctic Edge and Game Day Central in my children’s church. So I guess those would be two of my favorites.
  4. You might be a VBS geek if . . . You might be a VBS geek if you start looking for next years theme almost immediately when this years VBS is over. If you work for that one week of VBS . . . ALL YEAR LONG!!!
  5. What makes you keep doing VBS? I keep doin VBS because I love seeing the kids faces when they learn about Jesus. I love making lifelong friendship and planting seeds that I know will grow into wonderful relationships in the future!!! I love seeing what Jesus does with the seeds that I help plant.

VBS Geek of the Week: Megan Thomas

vbsgeekoftheweek2Welcome today’s VBS Geek of the Week, Megan Thomas from South Carolina!

  1. What is your role in VBS? I have had many roles; teacher, coordinator, and this year music.
  2. What was your “geekiest” moment? My geekiest moment would have to be, oh how do I choose?  I would say I am a geek because I look at things and think, how can I use this for VBS?
  3. What has been your favorite VBS theme? I think this years theme may be my favorite!!!  It is going to be spytastic!
  4. You might be a VBS geek if. . . You might be a VBS geek if you plan your decorations year round, shopping goodwill, etc
  5. What makes you keep doing VBS? I keep doing VBS because I love Jesus and I love seeing the excitement on the kids faces from the beginning.

VBS Geek of the Week Jenn Anderson

Jenn Anderson is this week’s Geek of the Week. Hope you enjoy getting to know her!
1.What is your role in VBS? Preschool Minister
2. What was your “geekiest” moment? Acting silly for the kids! Got to be my “funnest” moments ever too!
3. What has been your favorite VBS theme? Colossal Coaster World!!
4. You might be a VBS geek if . . . you begin planning for the next years VBS right after the previous years VBS!! :)
5. What makes you keep doing VBS? Definitely the children. To see the smiles on their faces when they’re laughing singing, dancing, learning about Jesus. I love it! :)

VBS Preview in Kissimmee

candace-1Last week we had our last VBS preview event for the year. We had a great time in Florida getting to see some of you again and getting to meet those who were there for the first time. The VBS team loves telling people about Agency D3, whether we’re talking about the biblical content, the theme, or decorations, we’ll answer any questions. I was part of the Creative Zone where we showcased the sets for Bible study and each of the rotations. We also had crafts and a make your own gadget station. I hope everyone who attended any of the preview events had a great time and we’ll see you next year!

Here’s a few pictures of the sets.


Here’s a few pictures of some of our team members working hard!


VBS Geek of the Week Cody Martin

vbsgeekoftheweek2Cody Martin is this week’s VBS Geek of the Week. He attends the 225 yr old Curtin United Methodist Church in Howard, Pennsylvania. Their website is curtinchurch.weebly.com.
1. What is your role in VBS? In 2011, I became a VBS helper and did odd jobs for VBS. In 2012, (somehow) I got to be the assistant director. And then, as of January 2013 I became the Director. I run the Sound System at VBS, take pictures, etc. Sometimes I think I do everything, but not really. :)
2. What was your “geekiest” moment?  Whenever I went to a monthly church board meeting in March 2013 requesting to do a fundraiser to rent a Ferris Wheel for VBS 2013. I told them I would shave my head and/or wear my Carnival Barker costume (fake mustache, too!) everywhere I went if the funds could be raised….
3. What has been your favorite VBS theme? Tough one, but it has to be Colossal Coaster World! I think that this theme took our church through the roof with the thrills and excitement. After a drop-off in VBS attendance in the past few years, we had our highest attendance record, yet!
4. You might be a VBS geek if….  For the 2013 VBS preview in Ridgecrest, I convinced 3 elderly women from our VBS staff and my younger sister to all pack into a sardine can of a car, go to North Carolina for the 2013 preview event (and did I mention I even convinced them to dress up in full costume with me? We went as a clown, Ice cream cone, a bumper car, a crazy tourist who loves roller coasters, and a Carnival Barker.)
5. What makes you keep doing VBS? I think it’s the enjoyment of making the week of VBS impact our visitors’ lives as much as possible. Seeing how the kids enjoy VBS is really something else. At this point in time, My sister and I are the only youth who regularly attend the church. I and all the other willing volunteers are struggling to get young people into the church. All I can say is to please pray for our church as well as the churches that are dealing with the same situation so that we can experience a growth of young people interested in Jesus.

Agency D3 App

candace-1 UPDATE: We have a winner! Thanks for all of you who commented! Swan is our winner. 

This year we have an Agency D3 App that is available in the app store. It’s a great tool to help your kids enjoy VBS. The app is available for the ipad, iphone, and android devices. It is only $2.99 and has theme-related games, devotions, activities, how to share the gospel, and the choreography videos. Kids and adults both can listen to the songs they learned in VBS and watch the motions. We want to give one lucky blog reader the Agency D3 app for free. So, leave a comment on this blog, and we will select one winner randomly. Even if you don’t win, but sure to check it out!

Click below to go straight to the app store to purchase the app.Screen shot 2014-01-23 at 9.51.12 AM

Here are some pictures from the actual app!photo 1

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