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

Follow-up Kit Giveaway

bethanyOne of the most important aspects of VBS to me is how we follow up with the new kids who come to VBS. Do they know we cared during the week? Yes. Did they have a great time? Yeah! Did they learn about Jesus. You bet! But what does that mean to them if they cease to hear from us the moment they walk out of the church doors. It’s so important for kids and their families to see God’s love at work in you outside of the church building. A phone call, a card, a visit on the door step. Any of these can show kids that Christ’s love is real at active.

Become a part of their lives. Pray for their problems. Help them when their family is in need. Be Jesus’ hands and feet to them.

There’s more information about how to plan a successful follow-up plan in the Continue the Connections portion of your VBS 2014 Administrative Guide for Directors or VBS 2014 Backyard Kids Club Directors Guide. We hope that these resources will help you translate your desire to help others into action.

In the meantime, to give you a little boost of inspiration, we’re giving away a little Follow-up Kit! This Agency D3 Bag contains VBS 2014 Bookmarks, stickers, picture frames, and blank note cards, as well as a Takin’ It Home CD, which you are free to duplicate for your kids.

Consider creating a treat bag with a framed picture of each visiting child, a bookmark, a card, and a CD. The CDs have content related to each day in Agency D3, so that kids can ideally listen to it with their parents on their way home from VBS each day. Have fun with this giveaway as you work to reach the kids in your community. We’re praying for your efforts as summer comes into full swing!


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From the Archives: Worker Enlistment Ideas

One of the biggest challenges of VBS continues to be worker enlistment. Here are some ideas I recently rediscovered from a VBS 2005 (Ramblin’ Road Trip) training plan.

1. Enlist last year’s workers first and ask them to enlist helpers.

20140114-075705.jpg2. Share enlistment responsibility with as many people as possible.

3. Ask for a volunteer for a specific job, don’t just ask for

4. Find a job for everyone willing to work.

5. Give workers ownership and decision-making responsibilities for their areas of ministry.

6. Set high expectations and establish lines of accountability.

7. Help workers find value in their service by seeing how they job contributes to the overall success of the week.

8. Encourage workers by providing adequate training and needed resources.

9. Happy workers this year will make next year’s enlistment easier.

10. Cheer and appreciate every worker at every opportunity.


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

We’re Takin’ It Home with VBS 2015

20140114-075705.jpgFor VBS 2014 we introduced the Takin’ It Home CD as a way to connect with parents and allow them an insider’s view of what took place during the VBS day. The response was been terrific, and I am excited to announce the Takin’ Home CD will be part of VBS 2015 as well.

Takin’ It Home extends the VBS experience and fun to the ride home! Kids, parents, and everyone in the car gets involved in reviewing the activities of the day and sharing with each other.

We believe this resource is so important and transformational that we are giving it to you for free! Yep, you read it correctly. FREE!

One copy of Takin’ It Home will be in the Jump Start Kit being released in October as well as online for free download. We want you to take this free resource and make as many copies as you want, or at least one copy for family. Distribute Takin’ It Home as kids are leaving the first day and encourage them and their parents to listen to the daily segments on their way home.

For kids, Takin’ It Home not only serves as a review of the day, but takes them deeper into the Bible study through personal application and family discussion. For parents, Takin’ It Home not only gives them an inside view of what their kids experienced at VBS, but makes the study personal for them as well. Not only will parents learn about the daily Bible content of VBS, they will be introduced to the Gospel and encouraged to begin their relationship with Jesus Christ.

Takin’ It Home is designed to start conversations, and the conversation begins with what the kids learned during a session of VBS.

Audio files for Takin’ It Home 2014 can still be downloaded at lifeway.com/vbs. Click on “About” to learn more.



The Journey of a Lifetime

LifeWay’s Journey Off the Map VBS will truly be the journey of a lifetime! Each location is filled with dramatic sights and amazing color. We have combed the Globe in search of God’s most amazing creations and have found some extremely unique plants and rock formations which have been incorporated into the theme to create the most amazing rotation sites ever. Plus, what kid would love the adventure of living and learning in a treehouse? Here is a quick peek at what you will discover on this journey of a lifetime.

Tangled Branch Tree House (Bible Study)


Shady Grove (Crafts)


Boulder Bridge (Missions)


Rushing Waters (Music)


Rappelling Ravine (Recreation)


Survival Springs (Snacks)




The Journey to VBS 2015 Begins!

Journey Off The Map™

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Set out on a journey to uncharted territory where kids will encounter the unexpected waiting around every bend. Imagine discovering new plants, flowers, or trees and seeing amazing scenery from brand new vantage points. What excitement! Sounds beautiful, right?


In 2015 God has led us to take our content outline a little “off the map.” We jump in with both feet on Day 1 by introducing Jesus as our ultimate Guide and sharing how to have a personal relationship with Him. On Days 2–4 kids will explore stories from the Book of Daniel. These Bible stories show how Daniel and his friends followed God as their Guide. Kids can discover from these examples how to follow Jesus as their Guide. On Day 5 kids will learn that, even though the journey may be unknown to us, it is known to Him. The vision God gave Daniel and the promises Jesus made to His disciples give all of us hope for now and forever.


Just as Daniel and his friends stepped into uncharted territory and found that God still had a plan, kids can begin to understand that obedience to God does not always lead to the expected. The journey of a lifetime begins with an exciting relationship with Jesus that continues into eternity. Whenever faced with the unexpected, kids can know to listen for God’s command: “This is the way. Walk in it.”


Bible Content Point of the Week

God is faithful. When we trust Jesus as our Savior, he walks with us along the journey of becoming more like Him. God’s story of redemption includes the promise of eternity with Him. Our faithfulness to God is important to insure that the relationship grows as we journey with Him.

Day 1 Know Your Guide

Jesus’ birth was announced and angels declared that He is the Messiah. Jesus spent time teaching and healing people. He died for our sins, was buried, and on the third day He arose. Jesus is our ultimate Guide. (Galatians 4:4–5; Luke 2:8–11; Matthew 4:23–25; 1 Corinthians 15:3–5)


Day 2 Follow Your Guide

Daniel and his friends were among the Jewish captives chosen to serve in King Nebuchadnezzar’s palace. The food provided for the friends broke the laws God had given the Jewish people. Instead of breaking God’s laws, Daniel chose to follow his Guide and requested permission to be given vegetables and water instead. (Daniel 1)


Day 3 Trust Your Guide

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to bow and worship the statue that Nebuchadnezzar had built. As a result the three friends were thrown into a fiery furnace. They trusted God whether He chose to save them or allowed them to perish. God protected the three friends in the fire and they emerged unharmed. (Daniel 3)


Day 4 Stay On Track

Daniel consistently did what was right and kept his focus on God. Even when the king signed an edict that made it illegal to pray to anyone but the king, Daniel continued to pray openly to God. Daniel was thrown into the lions’ den for refusing to pray to the king. God closed the lions’ mouths and rescued Daniel from the lions. (Daniel 6)


Day 5 Keep Watching

Daniel received a vision of things to come. Jesus also told His disciples about things to come. God tells believers to keep watching for Jesus’ return and to obey His Word. (Daniel 10:7–12; 12:13; John 14:1–4; Revelation 22:7)


Up next: The Journey of a Lifetime

VBS 2015 Theme Reveal – Live Today!

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After all the waiting and all those confusing clues, it has finally arrived.  Today is the VBS 2015 Theme Reveal!  Join us here at 1:00 P.M. CST to learn what’s in store for next summer.  We can’t wait to share it with you!

Use #lwvbs2015 to join in the conversation during the live reveal.  See you soon!


The Last One! Impossible Clue #6

 20140114-075705.jpgKnock, knock. Who’s there? It’s a clue.

So by now you should “Know what you know. You know?” The challenge is, knowing what you don’t know.  “You know?” And with the clues we have so far there is more that I don’t know than I do. You know?

Actually, what puzzled me the most about yesterday’s clues – besides the freaky way the guy’s mouth moved in the painting – was the extremely brief image at the end. What was that? Who was that?  Talk about life flashing before your eyes!

Today’s clue video will make you scream – or at least want to scream.

Did you see the hidden clue? You had to concentrate and stay focused.  I love the way the subtle image was revealed.  Speaking of reveal, I can hardly wait until Monday because some of you are so close you are going to be amazed at your own brilliance. Until then, I’m on expedition with the One True God. Take care.

Remember, share your guess in the comments section.  Then sign up in the box below to be entered to win a VBS 2015 Jump Start Kit, Preschool Starter Kit, and Kids Starter Kit! Five winners will be announced during the theme reveal blog party on June 2.

And join us here TOMORROW, June 2 at 1:00 pm CST for the live theme reveal!

Need a review? Catch up on all impossible clues! Clue One, Clue Two, Clue Three, Clue Four, Clue Five.

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Stumped Yet? Impossible Clue #5

20140114-075705.jpgOnce again I find myself stumped. Yesterday I saw a kangaroo (Boomerang Express), an apple (Big Apple Adventure), and snow (Artic Edge). Our marketing ladies are doing a great job of revealing previous themes but I’m really struggling with how all these clues that seem to suggest a previous theme work together to reveal the awesome theme that is VBS 2015.

Of course there was a brief shot of English peas (Kingdom Caper?), hair follicles (maybe the design is Outrigger Island?), and the human body that focused on the heart (maybe representing “The Heartland” in Ramblin’ Road Trip). All I know is that I need someone to guide me through this maze of confusion. Oh well, there are better minds than mine working on this so let’s watch Clue Number 5.

Love all the speculations on Facebook. Keep them coming. I’ll be back tomorrow with one last clue.

Don’t forget! Share your guess in the comments section.  Then sign up in the box below to be entered to win a VBS 2015 Jump Start Kit, Preschool Starter Kit, and Kids Starter Kit! Five winners will be announced during the theme reveal blog party on June 2.

Plus, bookmark this page to join us for the live theme reveal on Monday, June 2 at 1:00pm CST.

Miss a clue?  Check out these posts from TuesdayWednesday,  Thursday, or yesterday to catch up!

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Getting Closer…Impossible Clue #4

Wow! Now I’m more confused than ever (and I know the theme)! The two big clues yesterday seemed to be space and ocean yet we have already had those themes – StarQuest and Ocean Odyssey – so it is a mystery.  Oh yeah, we have had the mystery theme before as well – actually twice: Kingdom Caper and Agency D3. So what am I left with?

Actually, a few of you are getting close – just not close enough.  As one of my grandfathers would have said, “this dog don’t hunt.” Hmmmmmm, could that be a clue? Maybe. Maybe not.

So before I find myself chasing a rabbit again, here is Clue Number 4. Watch carefully, there just might be a Pop Quiz afterwards. Didn’t you hate pop quizzes? I always seem to have studied the wrong content.

In case you have not already done so, be sure to set an alarm and join us here at 1:00 PM CST Monday, June 2 for the live theme reveal.  Until then happy guessing!

Share your guess in the comments section.  Then sign up in the box below to be entered to win a VBS 2015 Jump Start Kit, Preschool Starter Kit, and Kids Starter Kit! Five winners will be announced during the theme reveal blog party on June 2.

Miss a clue?  Check out these posts from Tuesday, Wednesday, and yesterday to catch up!


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