We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. We are thankful for you and all you do to make VBS a success!
I wasn’t sure there could ever be a better theme than an Amusement Park coupled with biblical content about facing fear and trusting God. That was a homerun! But then the call came last April. I was invited to write the Decorating Made Easy Book for Agency D3. When the theme was described to me, I got so excited for all the boys in my children’s ministry. Girls like everything, but boys are picky. Let me say, this theme will be a hit for both. Here are seven reasons I’m looking forward to seeing you at the VBS preview.
1. The theme has a much different appearance than before. The locations are all “inside” headquarters and I have ideas for making it look amazing and I think they will surprise you.
2. Boxes, silver spray paint, mailing tubes and aluminum foil are your friends! I’ll show you simple assembly steps to create the props.
3. Go and buy the clear shower curtain with the world map from Bed Bath and Beyond or www.target.com with left over money in your budget this year. (Ha Ha- If you have some.)
4. I have created a silver case Investigation Kit that will only be seen at the event. I am using this to enlist workers and give Top Secret information to my Special Agents beginning in February.
5. I will share the mistakes and time wasting goofs so you can avoid wasting your time.
6. All these props are loaded and shipped and will be on display for you to touch, take pictures, and ask questions so when you get home you’re more prepared for tackling the VBS decorations with ease.
7. You will be inspired! Starting now is the best choice. Hearing others’ ideas and taking pictures will make the work this spring so much easier.
I believe the most benefit you will receive is when you travel with your team of VBS friends. The relationships grow deeper and the enthusiasm builds and your team can come up with more and better ideas than just struggling on your own. Load everyone on the VBS party van and meet me at the VBS preview! We are going to have a great time! It will be a hoot!
I will unveil more ideas and photos at www.mrmarksclassroom.com the last week of January. Come see me!
Sign up for VBS Previews here!
You’ve done your VBS and you’ve packed it away until you can reuse items fromAgency D3. But what if you could still serve kids by grabbing some of those leftovers and a Backyard Kids Club Kit and taking them on mission?
We’ve heard lots of stories about people using VBS and Backyard Kids Club for mission trips and we love hearing them! I’m especially excited about the simplified version of VBS that Backyard Kids Club provides, since it means a much easier time organizing kids’ programming with limited space, time, or supplies.
I grew up as a missionary kid and I’ve seen many people bring VBS overseas with them. I’ve even been on short term VBS mission trips myself. Because of that, I’ve had the chance to learn what works and doesn’t work in an international setting.
After you start by praying hard for every step of your trip, here are a few tips as you prepare:
1. Pack light. Check with the airline you’re flying with about weight restrictions and baggage fees and then determine what you have to have for your Backyard Kids Club, within that restriction. Remember to check security guidelines when you’re packing your carry-on baggage as well.
2. Be sustainable. What this looks like depends on where you’re going, but don’t focus on taking a lot of extra stuff for your Backyard Kids Club. While extras can be fun, if it’s something a local church in another country won’t be able to replicate without you, either because of money or availability, it could do more harm than good. Instead, focus on the eternal message you’ll be sharing. Talk with local missionaries and church leaders in the area where you’ll be going for more advice on this subject.
3. Be culturally sensitive. Talk with missionaries, read books, and learn about the culture where you’ll be conducting Backyard Kids Club. Things that are innocent in the U.S. could mean something totally different in another country. Being prepared for things to get lost in translation shows you care about people and their culture, and helps show them what Christ means to them in their culture.
4. Strive for good teamwork. Pray that God will help your team work well together and be patient with one another. Also do your best to work well with local missionaries, churches, and other Christian organizations in the area where you’re serving. When you leave, those people will remain to continue serving God and showing His love to people, so it’s important to listen to them and take their advice in order to avoid breaking relationships they’ve worked hard to build, even if it’s done accidentally.
5. Love well. A smile here and a hug there (when it’s culturally appropriate!) go a long way toward telling any child you love them, no matter the language. Give your time and caring freely, knowing God will be honored if you love well, and that more people will hopefully come to love and follow Him.
Have you taken VBS or Backyard Kids Club on mission before? We’d love to hear your stories in the comments! To see more information about our Backyard Kids Club resources, click here.
1. What is your role in VBS? VBS Director
- I attended 3 VBS Preview events in one year
- I promote upcoming VBS at every event possible: I make my Grand Prix race car to match the theme, my fall festival costume is based on the VBS theme, school chapels, etc
- I prepare VBS materials & equip leaders to teach overseas. I have been a part of training teams to Germany, Africa, Nepal, India, & Thailand.
- I plan for VBS year round – there is always something to be done for VBS
- I sing the VBS music for 3 hours straight on our 10 hour trip to VBS preview event
- I give VBS themed items as Christmas & birthday gifts – because they are just cool!
- Every T-shirt I own is VBS related – I counted before sending this email…20 & still counting
- I plan lunch breaks & meetings around the VBS reveal.
3. What has been your favorite VBS theme? Each year the VBS materials seem to be better than the previous year. I like different themes for different reasons:
- Rambling Road Trip: My “1st” VBS as a director. After that week I was hooked & knew VBS was going to be a part of my life every summer.
- Outrigger Island: The music was fantastic & I still tear up thinking about the kids singing “The Word”
- Boomerang Express: I have always wanted to visit Australia & bringing the daily lessons of Paul’s life back to Jesus made great connections for the kids & adults.
- Colossal Coaster World: Theme parks are AMAZING!!!! I love visiting Disney & it was great brining a theme park to my church. I am still using the simple truth of “Facing Fears, Trusting God “as I talk to kids and adults regarding the trials of this world.
- I love them all – VBS is the best & every theme has a special place in my heart & memories.
Who knew that there is day for being marooned without a compass? I love that we can find reasons to celebrate/honor odd days. I mean, who thought, “I know! November 6th should be Marooned Without a Compass Day”? Was it someone who had recently been marooned and rescued? Was it someone who had just finished watching the Tom Hanks movie, Castaway? I’m not sure what the history behind the day is, but I thought it would be fun to poll the VBS team (in honor of Wilson, the volleyball) to see what VBS item they would want to have with them if they were marooned without a compass. I, of course, would take the VBS tablecloths. You can make a lean-to, rain poncho, sleeping bag, or any number of items.
So, in no certain order, here are the responses:
Keith— The giant inflatable to use as a raft.
Rhonda—Wanted to say the inflatable, but she changed to the tablecloths. And since it only said, “No compass,” She’s thinking her pack would have duct tape etc. She would put up a temporary shelter, use them to keep things waterproof, tote the food she would find when she’s foraging, and set a fine table for whomever wanders by.
Gordon—Decided to be all spiritual on us and said The New Testament of course! But he also gave props to Survivorman, Les Stroud for teaching him all he needs to know.
Bethany—Wanted to take the Rocket Pack Jack Stand-up, so she would have a friend. (Kind of like Wilson in Castaway.)
Mary—Opted for the Special Agent Watch, which she thought had a GPS function – thus allowing someone to find her. She was just going to enjoy the scenery until they arrived, but we hated to inform her it might be a long wait since the watch doesn’t have GPS. It does, however, have a cool laser light with which she could entertain small animals and a working watch so she could keep track of just how long she was marooned.
Candace—Settled on taking the balloons, so she could tie them to something and fly away. She has her movies confused – that would have been Up.
Melita—Of course Melita is the rebel on the team, she said she would take duct tape. Because even though it’s not an official VBS accessory, you can’t do VBS without it!
So there you have it. What VBS accessory would you take if you were marooned without a compass?
The Agency D3 Jump Start Kit is now shipping! Want to know what all the fuss is about? You came to the right place. Today, we’re going to unpack the kit to show you everything that is included and why it is a must-have for VBS directors.
You’ll remember from this post that Starter Kits have now replaced samplers. The Jump Start Kit is designed to give VBS directors a jump start in planning, promoting, choosing dates, and enlisting volunteers.
The Agency D3 Jump Start Kit includes an Administrative Guide for Directors, a copy of Decorating Made Easy, Music for Kids CD, a sample of the Kids Evidence Kit for Grades 1-6, Special Agent Carabiner, Special Agent Rearview Sunglasses, Catalog, Jump Start Poster, Promotional DVD, a master of the new Takin’ It Home CD, and an exclusive Director’s Badge, all packaged in an official Agency D3 metal attache case.
Let’s take a look at each piece:
- Administrative Guide for Directors- This guide contains everything a VBS director needs to plan, conduct, evaluate, and follow up on VBS. You’ll find schedules, organizational charts, reproducible items, PowerPoint presentations, handouts, and more!
- Decorating Made Easy – This guide gives step-by-step instructions for creating both large and small scale decorations and it includes a CD full of colorful clip art.
- Music for Kids CD – Be one of the first to hear the Agency D3 music for kids!
- Kids Evidence Kit – The number one item each kid needs! It includes everything kids need to collect and examine the evidence presented in Bible Study: an Evidence Log, D3 Decoder, five Daily Evidence Cards, one Special Agent ID card, one invisible ink pen.
- Special Agent Carabiner and Special Agent Rearview Sunglasses- Here are two fun accessories that kids of all ages will want! The Special Agent Carabiner is a clip, flashlight and pen in one. The Special Agent Rearview Glasses have a mirror on the edge of the lens that allows agents to catch action from all angles!
- Jump Start Poster – Help promote your VBS with the double-sided Agency D3 poster.
- Promotional DVD – This Agency D3 Promotional CD is filled with promotional clips to use for teacher training, promoting VBS, and recruiting leaders.
- Takin’ It Home CD – The all-new Takin’ it Home CD. Each day when kids leave your VBS, place the CD in their hands with instructions to play it in the car. It helps kids follow-up on what they just learned and helps engage families in spiritual conversations. The CD included in your Jump Start Kit can be reproduced as many times as you need! It can also be customized to be specific to your church.
- Director’s Badge – Your very own Agency D3 Director’s Badge!
So there you have the Agency D3 Jump Start Kit! You can pick one up at any LifeWay Store or order here today!
Hello Agents! It’s time for this week’s “What is It?“! I gave you a break last week. Actually I gave myself a break to find something really good. . .because you are TOO smart and keep guessing what it is! LOL!
Here we go. What is it?
What do you think? Can you DISCOVER what it is? Can you DECIDE if it’s a VBS craft or snack? Will you DEFEND your choice?
Give me your best, craziest, funniest responses!
I didn’t want Pastor Appreciation Month to pass without taking a moment to express my thankfulness for the many ways you shepherd us, encourage us, love us, and challenges us throughout the year, but especially through the ministry of Vacation Bible School.
Thank you for voicing your conviction that VBS remains one of the very best ways to reach unchurched boys and girls, and their families, with the Gospel.
Thank you for reminding the congregation that VBS is the biggest evangelistic ministry we will conduct all year and that VBS is an all-church ministry, not just a children’s ministry.
Thank you for making VBS a priority not only on the church calendar, but your personal calendar as well.
Thank you for insisting VBS be adequately funded through the evangelism and outreach portion of the church budget.
Thank you for leading the way by not only being the first person to volunteer, but for saying, “just tell me what you need me to do and I’ll do it.”
And when I asked you to lead in the Worship Rally by climbing a 40-foot mountain created from construction scaffolding, staying curled up for 20 minutes in a preschool-size tent, or swinging on a cable above the heads of the kids, you didn’t for one minute respond hesitantly or suggest that I had lost my mind. Thank you for leading by example.
Thank you for visiting every classroom, for spending time with the kids during snacks and recreation, and being on the parking lot to meet parents and thank them for bringing the kids.
Most of all, thank you for being our biggest cheerleader! When we thought we couldn’t do it, you assured us we could. When frustration and anxiety might have ruled the day, you brought calm. When exhaustion started robbing our joy, your words of encouragement renewed our strength and resolve to not give up.
Thank you for being a VBS Pastor!
How does your Pastor participate in VBS? Don’t forget to say thank you!
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We want to make sure those of you who aren’t on Facebook have access to our 2013 Theme Reveal video clues!! Here are the first three that have been released, and you’ll have access to more as they’re released within the week!
[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/43187579 w=500&h=281]
[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/43187655 w=500&h=281]
[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/43187656 w=500&h=281]