Endless VBS Promotion, Decorating and Snack Ideas!

Katie DeCilloIf there’s one thing we know you’re doing right now, it’s looking for inspiration!  VBS is seriously just around the corner.  We’re really excited about all the great sharing and conversations going on on our Facebook wall, but we know VBSers are active on Pinterest, too!

We’re doing our best to find what you’re pinning and pin it to our board so that our followers can see what you’re up to.  Be sure to check out the TONS of ideas VBSers have posted online!

Tip: Don’t see what you’re looking for on our board?  Type “Colossal Coaster World,” “Jungle Jaunt” or search terms like “theme park decorations” in the search bar and hit enter to see what others are posting.

Happy Pinning!

A Colossal Coaster at Prestonwood Baptist!

katie2We are always so thrilled this time of year when pictures start showing up on our social media networks like Facebook and Twitter and in our inboxes of all the wonderful things churches are doing to promote and prepare for their VBS programs.

Last week, someone forwarded me these images of an incredible welcome space Prestonwood Baptist created for their VBS registration.  They were even kind enough to share the instructions so you can build your own coaster!



Check out that Ferris wheel to the left!  You can find Melita’s easy instructions for building your own moving Ferris wheel here. IMG_6179

You can get your own giant roller coaster background by purchasing the VBS 2013 Supersized Coaster Backdrop.  These 6′ x 3′ backdrop panels can be used like wallpaper to create a topsy-turvy coaster that will wrap around any space. Ideal for hallways and classrooms, it’s a set of three panels packaged without folds for a crease-free, easy set up. The design allows you to connect multiple sets over and over for an endless coaster scene.


We love this giant coaster they have suspended from the ceiling! Looks like it was made out of pipe insulation.  And I spy several of the VBS 2013 Inflatable Coaster Cars up there!  They make the perfect addition to any homemade coaster and also function well as a fun table-topper!


In this picture, you can see even more of the suspended roller coaster, as well as a DIY marquee “ENTER” sign.  You can find instructions for making your own lighted sign here.

If you have pictures of your VBS space, please send them to us at katie.decillo@lifeway.com or upload them to our Idea Share App.

Looking for Colossal Coaster World Clipart??

katie2We’ve been hearing from so many of you that you’re into the decorating and planning phases of preparing for VBS 2014.  Not only are we praying for you, we want to make sure you know where all our available resources are.

I’ve gotten lots of questions on the VBS Facebook page about clipart this year.  We’ve got clipart!  And we want to make it easier for you to find.

For FREE downloadable images, visit this page right here on our VBS website.

To return to the site, follow these instructions or bookmark the page within your browser.

Once you’re there, be sure to click on Images on the sidebar to download cool desktop and cell phone background images!

If you’re looking for additional images, you have two options.

  1. If you or your VBS director purchased a Decorating Made Easy Guide, there is a clipart CD-ROM included in the guide!  This is where you’ll find rotation signs, etc.
  2. You can purchase a digital clipart pack from LifeWay.com.


Jungle Jaunt clipart can be found by following this link and clicking on “Jungle Jaunt” on the sidebar.  

Looking for FREE way to publicize your VBS?

wooley1 2013With the biggest week of VBS just 28 days away, are you certain you have spread the word every way possible?  How about the free posting on LifeWay’s “Find a VBS” site?

Seriously, one of the most under utilized ways of publicizing VBS is online. For a moment think about the online possibilities that stretch beyond your church web page. What about community calendars, church member blogs, tweets, and Facebook? And what about LifeWay’s “Find a VBS” site?

Click here and check it out!

You might be surprised at the number of phone calls I receive each summer from parents looking for Bible schools in their community.

Often it is a family who has just moved to the community and has not yet established a church home. Their kids went to VBS every year in their previous community and want a similar experience in their new community.

Sometimes it is a parent who has heard about VBS but doesn’t know anything about it. They Google VBS, and end up at LifeWay’s VBS. At which point they make a phone call to LifeWay’s corporate office and the call is directed to me.

When I receive these calls I frantically go to lifeway.com/vbs. Click on Events. And then click on Find a VBS. Since I can search by by city name and/or zip code the search is quick and easy – at least until there are no entries found.

No entries found means churches in the community did not take advantage of this free opportunity to publicize their Bible schools. Don’t be one of those churches – post your VBS dates today by clicking here.

Please make sure all the information is correct before you hit submit. It is impossible for you to change the information once you hit submit. The only way to make changes is to send me an e-mail (jerry.wooley@lifeway.com) with the corrected info. So three cheers for checking twice and submitting once!

If at first your information can not be found, don’t panic! Once you submit your information it will take up to 24 hours to appear.

Looking forward to seeing your VBS posted today!

Calling all VBS-loving kids (and their parents)! We need YOU for our video/photo shoot!

LifeWay is looking for kids who have recently completed 1st Grade to 6th grade, and adults for our annual VBS promotional video and catalog. The videos will be placed online and will also appear on a promotional DVD that is mailed to churches. The catalog will be mailed to churches, handed out at events, and included in the VBS 2014 Jump Start Kit.


Wednesday, June 5th
Thursday, June 6th
Friday, June 7th

Things to know…

  • Times and ages/grades needed will vary and participation during all days is not required.
  • The shoot will take place at LifeWay – One LifeWay Plaza, Nashville, TN 37234 and participation is voluntary.
  • A parent/adult must accompany the child to the shoot. There will be no child care.
  • Please be prepared for periods of waiting.

Sound like a fun time?  We’d love to have you!  If you’re interested in participating, please fill out this form and you will be contacted to schedule shoot times!  For additional information, email Meredith at  lifewayvbs@lifeway.comdeadline is May 20th!

Congratulations to our Winner!

katie2Thank you so much for reading up on the new Bible Studies for Life with us this week and learning all about how it connects the unconnected, strengthens families, and helps you disciple with wisdom.
The winner of the Bible Studies for Life giveaway has been selected. Thank you to everyone who entered! 
And congratulations to Jon Cooper, our winner!  Jon is a student minister at Highland Baptist Church in Meridian, MS.
 Don’t forget you can still preview three lessons of Bible Studies for Life for FREE!

I scream, you scream, we all scream for VBS??

katie2aIf you’ve been around kids for any amount of time, you know they can be LOUD!  What’s more fun than to be a little loud during VBS?

This year, make sure you don’t miss these super fun Screamer Balloons.  They’re long balloons that make a crazy “screaming” noise when you let the air out!

Check out this funny video of some of our LifeWay Kids team trying them out for the first time.

Catching a New Vision: VBS 2013

photoHappy Thursday, VBS friends!

I love Thursdays, don’t you?  If you’re anything like me, (busy!) you’re looking forward to the weekend and a couple of days of rest, but you’re thankful to still have two more days in the week to get everything on the “to-do” list done!

How’s your planning coming along so far?  What are you working on right now?

I’ve got a couple projects on my plate right now (including a brand new social media feature for sharing ideas you guys are gonna LOVE!) that I’m really excited about seeing come to fruition.

Speaking of seeing… do like my new specs?

Even though these Fun Glasses don’t have special lenses, I think wearing them is helping me catch a new vision for the work ahead. Maybe you could use a pair to help your team catch the vision for VBS 2013?

And of course, if YOU have them, your kiddos are going to need a pair for themselves, too!


Personalize Your Colossal Coaster World Shirts for FREE!

2013 t shirt

Looking for a way to make sure your VBS team or kids stand out? A personalized Colossal Coaster World T-shirt is just the ticket!

Specialty Imprints, the division of LifeWay Christian Resources that produces our VBS shirts, is making a limited-time offer for free personalization for any church that orderd 100 or more shirts before May 1. Your church name will fit perfectly  inside the Admit One ticket on the back of the shirt pictured above.

To take advantage of this offer call 1.800.443.8032 before May 1!



Introducing the Nashville VBS Costume Winners

On January 31—February 2, 2013, LifeWay Christian Resources held two annual events in Nashville to preview its new 2013 VBS materials. This year’s curriculum is named Colossal Coaster World, and participants were encouraged to dress for an exciting day at a favorite theme park.

Each day, conferees were asked to vote for their favorite costume, and after each event, a winner was named. During the preview of the children’s musical on Thursday night, Karen Gilmore, a member of the Delta Dawns, was named as winner of the first event. (Karen is the one with the beautiful blue hair.)

Photo by Kent Harville

Photo by Kent Harville

The Delta Dawns are from Monument Baptist Church in Deer Park, Texas (near Houston). In the front seats are Dawn Soileau (left) and Jackie Frasure (right). In the two rear seats are Karen Gilmore (left) and Gaylynn Lassetter (right).

During the preview of the children’s musical on Friday night, Lisa Moore was named as winner of the second event. Lisa attends Lawrence Drive Baptist Church in Macon, Georgia.

Each winner will receive a special invitation to attend the Think Tank in 2014 to help select the theme for VBS 2015.

Congratulations to both of these winners, and thank you to all the participants who helped make these events a success.