It’s Time to Report Your VBS

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VBS 2014 reports have been arriving in my office by the thousands. If quantity of mail is any indication I must have the most popular address on the 7th floor. Of course the envelopes are actually addressed to the VBS Report Desk – which you might find humorous to learn is nothing more than a FAX machine sitting on a small metal foot stool in a corner of my office. So actually it is the Report Desk that holds title to the most popular address.

If you have not already done so, it is time to file your report as well. Here are a few reasons why reporting your VBS is valuable to both your church and to LifeWay.

1. Filling out the report forces you and your VBS ministry leaders to take time to evaluate your goals, actions, and results. Were your goals realistic and achievable?

2.  Reporting VBS 2014 creates a bench mark for setting goals for next year and future years.

3. Creating a year-to-year record reveals the long-term health of your VBS ministry. Are the numbers increasing or decreasing? Are your efforts resulting in professions of faith and other decisions?

4. Your VBS report is a vital element of your continued connection (follow up) process. It helps you clearly identify the number of unchurched families who participated in VBS and who need to be connected to ongoing ministries such as Sunday School.

5. Your VBS report becomes a tangible part of your ministry’s story that should be shared and celebrated.

6. Your VBS report and evaluation helps the LifeWay VBS team create future resources and training opportunities. Your report helps us measure the evangelistic health and effectiveness of our ministry and curriculum offerings.

To report your VBS you can fill out the Director’s Evaluation found in the Administrative Guide and mail it in. Or you can submit it electronically here.

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.

 

What to Save for 2015

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Want a jump on prepping for VBS 2015 decorations? Here’s a list of things you can start saving (and collecting) now for next summer.

  • Giant, colorful flowers (stores like Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, and JoAnn’s have tons of summer decor on sale at the end of the season)
  • Natural grass skirts or tablecloths
  • Palm fronds
  • Sticks, branches, bamboo poles, and the like
  • Green plastic tablecloths (for vines)
  • Green vinyl tablecloths (for lily pads)
  • Blue foil curtain (door curtain available from party supply stores)

Be sure to check back on August 29th for a list of craft supplies to start saving!

From the Archives: Questions To Ask About Your VBS Promotion

wooley1 2013LifeWay’s VBS team is Celebrating 90! That’s 90 years of providing VBS curriculum, training, and administrative helps that have been used by thousands of churches to reach millions of unchurched kids, teens, and adults. I’ve been combing the archives for advice from the past that is just as relevant today.

This list of questions will be a valuable resource as you begin planning printed promotions (flyers, newspaper and web advertisements, and bulletin inserts) for VBS 2015.

1. Does the message focus on how VBS will benefit the family?

 

2. Is the copy exciting, compelling, easy to read, quickly understood, and directed to one person (written as if you are telling one friend)?

 

3. Are all the essential details included (church name, location, dates, times, ages, cost, and contact information)?

 

4. Does the copy end with a call to action (enroll now, phone for additional information)?

 

5. Are the graphics appropriate and related to the VBS theme?

 

6. Does the appearance and message project quality and create a positive first impression of the Bible school and church?

Celebrating 90: LifeWay Christian Resources began publishing VBS resources in 1925 under the leadership of Dr. Homer Grice.

Why the “B” Word Might Not Be Such a Bad Thing

By Klista Storts

Maybe the “B” word has never bothered you at all, but it has me.  “Babysitting.” Doesn’t that just go all over you sometimes?  Especially when someone uses it to refer to what we do in kids ministry at church?  It makes me feel as if our ministry is viewed as unimportant to the Kingdom. Could it be that it’s just terminology and maybe just a misunderstanding of what we do? This video of how a family came to Christ as a result of one church “babysitting” their kids through Vacation Bible School may change your mind. It did mine. Now I’m thinking, “Who cares what they call it? Just bring me your kids!”

 


From the Archives: Telling Your Church About VBS Part 3

wooley1 2013Too often we VBS Groupies mistakenly assume everyone is as aware and enthused about VBS as we are. The truth is, no matter the size of the congregation, most members are unaware of and concerned about the dates, details, and needs of VBS until they are publicized and promoted. Even then little notice is taken to the first announcement. This is why we must actively and intentionally promote VBS to the congregation as well as the community. 

I know it seems a little early to begin promoting VBS 2015, but it is definitely not too early to begin planning how you will promote when the time comes. Here are four more ways to add to the ideas previously posted in Part 1 and Part 2.

1. Visit every Sunday School/small group class to explain the purpose and opportunities of VBS.

2. Send a personal letter to everyone who served during VBS 2014.

3. Create a video presentation using video and photos from VBS 2014.

4. Use skits and dramas (both live and video) during worship services, church business meetings, and other ministry events.

Celebrating 90: LifeWay Christian Resources began publishing VBS resources in 1925 under the leadership of Drs. Marion Frost and Homer Grice.

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. 

 

From the Archives: Telling Your Church About VBS Part 2

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Enlisting congregational support for VBS is a continuous process that must begin early and build momentum. As you continue evaluating VBS 2014 and begin planning for VBS 2015, here are six ways to insure every member of the church is on the team.

1. Enlist a phone team to call every member.

2. Conduct a Pep Rally two or three weeks before VBS to teach the theme song, motto, and Scripture.

3. Sponsor a coloring contest for children to promote VBS. Display the finished artwork throughout the church building.

4. Begin decorating sections of the building several weeks in advance. Add something new each week.

5. Hold a VBS Preview Day several weeks in advance. Display crafts, sample refreshments, demonstrate games, and preview Bible study and music.

6. Ask the Pastor to preach on the importance of using VBS to reach the community with the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Check out additional ideas by reading From the Archives: Telling Your Church About VBS Part 1.

Celebrating 90: LifeWay Christian Resources began publishing VBS resources in 1925 under the leadership of Drs. Marion Frost and Homer Grice.

 

Share Your VBS Story

Linds

 

curtisSummer is winding down, kids are heading back to school, and for the most part, you have wrapped VBS 2014.  That means it’s time to start sharing your stories.  One of our favorite parts of VBS is hearing how God is using you to change the lives of kids and make an impact in your community.

So, out with it!  We want to hear the funny stories, the sweet stories, the life-changing stories, and anything else you want to share.   Leave your story in the comments below and it could be featured in an upcoming post.

Also, don’t forget to submit your VBS 2014 Director’s Evaluation.  Check out this post to learn more about how we use that information and how to submit yours.

We are so thankful for all that you do in the lives of kids!

From the Archives: Telling Your Church About VBS Part 1

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VBS 2014 may be behind you, but it’s never too early to begin spreading the word about VBS 2015.

As LifeWay’s VBS team celebrates 90 years of providing trustworthy curriculum and training, I have been searching the archives for wisdom and tips that are as relevant today as when first published. Here are six ways to insure every member of your congregation is aware, energized, and on the team for VBS 2015.

1. Display photos from VBS 2014 to remind everyone of the fun and life-changing impact of VBS.

2. Make bulletin and newsletter announcements exciting and creative. Build expectation!

3. Conduct a Worker Enlistment Sunday complete with banners, displays, buttons, and prizes.

4. Give every volunteer an “I’m On the Team!” button, and ask that it be worn for three or four weeks before VBS.

5. Create eye-catching displays throughout the building.

6. Enlist volunteers to give VBS testimonies in every Sunday School class.

Celebrating 90: LifeWay Christian Resources began publishing VBS resources in 1925 under the leadership of Drs. Marion Frost and Homer Grice.