Foto Friday!

Those picture are still rolling in!  I love getting emails with pictures and seeing things post to our Facebook wall!  As always, please keep sending them to me!  I would really love to see some Space Quest pictures, as well!  I know there are plenty of you out there who used that material– let’s see your “out of this world” decorations!

 

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Alan Summers shared this photo with us. “We had a great time creating our 32 foot wide wingspan airplane for this years VBS. The plane has now been borrowed by 3 other churches in our area. We are already planning our working roller coaster and ferris wheel for next year!”

This photo was shared by Pamela Lo Uroza from Methodist Church, Jo Jutla Morelos, Mexico! What a great looking crew!

Here’s another great looking plane shared with us via Facebook from Kari Abott Oglesby at First Baptist Church, Morris, Oklahoma!

Here’s a really cute Great Barrier Reef shared with us by Jennifer Young via Facebook. I absolutely love those polka-dotted octopi!

Renee Kelley shared her picture from Space Quest!”We were on a very tight budget, and this was our first year ever running a VBS program (our church is about 3 yrs old). The astronaut had a head cut-out for the kids to have photos taken. Rockford, Illinois!”

Tamie Stohlman- Konz from First Baptist Church of Brownsvill, CA. shared a few photos with us from her first experience decorating for VBS! I think she did a great job!

Sandra Brooks shared this photo of their worship rally hangar! “We are having a wonderful “Amazing Wonders” VBS at Union Baptist Church in Hull, GA this week.”

Deana Goss Martin shared this super cute picture of her Kindergarten Bible Study at Victoria Falls! “VBS 2012 at Eastside Baptist Church Elk City, OK.” She found the idea for the rainbow on Pinterest!

Marian Parson shared this photo of a beautiful worship rally hangar with us via Facebook!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keep sharing your photos!  Feel free to post them to our Facebook wall or email them to me at katie.decillo@lifeway.com.  Make sure you include the name of your church and a description of the photo!  Image size must be a minimum of 1024×678 in order to be shared on the blog!

YOUR VBS Stories!

A few weeks ago, I asked you to share some of your wonderful VBS stories.  Here are LifeWay headquarters, we are constantly encouraged when we hear stories of how God is using His people and the ministry of Vacation Bible School to make the name of Jesus famous all over the world!  No doubt, you are encouraged by those kids of stories, as well.  Please continue to share them with us as your church wraps up VBS 2012!

Sandy Harkins, FBC Canton, TX:

Our VBS was last week, June 11-15. We had 215 children registered for our “Amazing Wonders Aviation”. The children loved Worship Rally time. We averaged 182 children. Our high attendance was on Wednesday with 195! We had 23 professions of faith! What a wonderful week we experienced. This was the largest attendance for VBS in about 5 years!!

Peggy Banks, Chester, SC:

God showed up and showed out at our VBS in Chester SC at New Life Baptist Church Chester SC. We are a very small church but averaged 30 a night. Awesome God! Amazing power! We have gotten one family that has been to our Sunday service for the past two weeks since VBS. Praise God! If only one it is worth it all. God is so Good and I love Lifeway material. Thanks for being obedient to God’s calling and for listening when He speaks. Praise God form Whom ALL blessings flow!

Jessica Vass:

Our VBS was last week. I helped my mom teach the 10-11′s and I taught Missions. We had an awesome week with an average 107 attendance. On Wednesday night, we had one girl get saved! That same girl brought her friend with her Thursday and Friday. Her friend got saved Friday night! God is so good!! We could tell a big difference in the two boys that got saved last year. God is really working.

Leslie Johnstone, Holly Springs Baptist Church- Garrison TX:

VBS was beyond AMAZING!!! We averaged between 100-115 each night and had tons of workers helping. We did ours at night from 5:30-8:30 and started it with a Family Fun Night on Saturday. This helped with getting kids registered early. We had VBS for the kids who finished Kinder-3rd grade and we did VBX for the kids who finished 4th-6th. THAT WAS AWESOME!!

The VBX kids loved owning their own area, playing different games, and doing different crafts that were more age appropriate for them. In fact, we tied Missions into Crafts for VBX. They painted canvases that were put into a silent auction on the Sunday following VBS. It raised over $1000 for our missionary in Africa!!! I couldn’t believe it! God is so good!

But the best part was night 4- The salvation message where we had over 20 kids either check on their Response Card that they had questions or were ready to ask Jesus into their heart. We put a counseling team together and talked to those kids throughout the last evening and I was able to see 14 kids accept Jesus into their hearts!!!! Awesome!!!!!! God is so good!!!!

 

Foto Friday!

Can you believe it’s Friday again already?  I just keep getting so many great pictures from you guys!  I love it!  Here’s this week’s VBS 2012 photo roundup!  Make sure to continue to share them with me so I can share them here on our blog with everyone else!  It’s so much fun to see all the creative ideas you guys come up with for making your church’s VBS unique and special!

An A-M-A-Z-I-N-G worship rally hangar shared with us by Delores Frymire Lund via Facebook. “Once again Bro. Kevin out did himself. Wonder what will come next year with Colossal Coaster World as the theme. Roller coaster in the Sanctuary maybe???” We sure hope so, Delores!!

Ken Webb from Crosspointe Baptist Church in Concord, NC shared this picture of the airplane they built inside their worship area! Way to think outside the box!

Here’s another view from inside the “plane” at Crosspoint Baptist Church in Concord, NC. Photo courtesy Ken Webb.

Laura Garvin shared this photo from First Baptist Church Garden Lakes! They had lots of awesome decorations this year!

Becky Pruitt, VBS Director at Grace Fellowship Baptist Church shared this quick scene with us!

Keep sharing your photos!  Feel free to post them to our Facebook wall or email them to me at katie.decillo@lifeway.com.  Make sure you include the name of your church and a description of the photo!  Image size must be a minimum of 1024×678 in order to be shared on the blog!

Foto Friday!

Last week, I asked you to send in pictures to be featured on our blog, and boy did you ever!  Thanks so much for sharing, and please continue to share all your creative and wonderful VBS decorations with me!  As your church completes VBS, won’t you continue to share your stories and photos?  I love seeing all the different takes on VBS sets!

Great Barrier Reef at Eternal Faith Baptist Church in Manor, TX.  Shared by Kathy Hitzfelder who made the whole thing!

Worship Rally Hangar at FBC Selma, Selma, AL. The propeller of their plane is an old wooden one that a church member saved because it belonged to his grandfather who flew planes. It’s worth upwards of $10,000 today! AMAZING!

Worship Rally at Wilkies Grove Baptist Church in Hickory, NC

Worship Rally Hangar- Gapway Baptist Church, Mullins SC

Great Barrier Reef shared by Laura Mullins!

Great Barrier Reef shared by Laura Garvin!

Worship Rally Hangar shared by Stephanie Lane Abernathy. “We used foam gliders from the Dollar Tree to hang from the ceiling, we painted them all with different designs and hung about 30 or so!”

To share your VBS photos, email them to katie.decillo@lifeway.com or post them to our Facebook page! Make sure to include the name of your church with your post!

Video Bloopers!

I love to watch bloopers and behind-the-scenes footage from movies and television shows. Did you know you can see this type of footage on the VBS 2012 Worship Rally DVD Set? Back in the day when we actually shot the video on tape, we would end up with lots of bad takes and extra footage we couldn’t use in the actual drama. Much of it would end up in our bloopers. In today’s digital age, most of those extras simply get wiped off the video card.

Tim Cox

So, coming up with bloopers has become more challenging for our video editor, Tim Cox.

The bloopers always show up in our “Credits” section of the DVD. Here are some fun things to know as you watch the bloopers for this year’s video:

• The guys had to spin that propeller probably 70 times or more before the plane started.

• Michael Kennedy who played the part of our “ground crew chief” is the owner of the fabulous plane we used.

• You’ll see Bill Cox, our video director, hiking up Waimea Canyon. That was a hard . . . let me emphasize . . . HARD hike! We had passed the “End of Trail” sign before we began that descent into the canyon! There’s always a moment every year when I ask myself, “What am I doing here?” Hiking up this canyon was that moment for me in this particular shoot.

Those are just some fun tidbits to know as you watch the credits this year. Enjoy!

Foto Friday!

Katie here- filling in for Keith for a few weeks while he works hard on lots of fun things for you guys!

We’ve gotten to see so many AMAZING VBS decorations over on our Facebook page– submitted by you guys! Here are a few reader-submitted Worship Rally Hangar Photos!

Shiloh Baptist Church!

Calvary Baptist Church in Alexandria, LA. They had parts of a REAL plane!

First Baptist Bethany, Bethany, OK

First Baptist Church, Texas City

Bat Cave Baptist Church!

WOW!  I’m impressed by all this hard work!  If you have photos from your VBS this summer, please share them with us on Facebook or email them to me at katie.decillo@lifeway.com!

Say Y-E-S to Preschool V-B-S!

VBS season is in full swing & while all of you have been gearing up for VBS in your churches, all of us on the VBS team have been doing the same thing! It is so wonderful to get to experience VBS “from the trenches”… not as a job but as Kingdom work! I taught kindergartners this year… 31 of them, in fact! Out of those 31, only 7 were from my church. VBS really is an incredible outreach tool!

This year, my church tried something a little bit different. We added a second worship rally to our schedule that was specifically for preschoolers & kindergartners. The morning kicked off for 1st-6th graders with the traditional Worship Rally, but preschoolers started the morning in their respective rooms. Then at 9:40 (when all of the big kids had cleared out), we got to fly in for a worship rally designed just for us! We had a fabulous leader who basically modified the preschool music rotation teaching plans so that we could sing songs, play instruments, move around, and talk about the daily Bible stories in ways that just wouldn’t fly if preteens were in the room. But it was perfect for preschoolers! We even had time for offerings and practicing the theme song each day.

The kids’ favorite song from the week had to be one called “Always”… and it played a significant part in one of my all-time favorite VBS memories. The song lyrics are almost identical to preschool’s Day 2 verse: “Be strong. Do not be afraid. God is with you” (Joshua 1:9). On Wednesday morning one of my kindergartners came in the door and walked straight to me. “Miss Melita,” she said, “last night at bedtime I got kind of scared. But then I remembered that song. I sang it to myself probably 4-20 times. And you know what? It worked! God was with me, and I wasn’t afraid anymore.”

WOW! A 6-year-old child connected the truth of the Bible to a real life situation because she had “hidden it in her heart” through song. Wow! That’s what it’s all about!

Here’s a little video of “Always” from our preschool worship rally. And if you’re really good, you might be able to catch a glimpse of Gordon, too! Enjoy!

Always — preschool worship rally

VBS 2014? Really?

Believe it or not, LifeWay’s VBS team is already thinking 2014!

Now you know why I am constantly in danger of post-dating checks a year or two in advance! Seriously, scheduled online payment of my utility bills only to receive past due notices on them all. It seems I was living a year – a hazard of all VBS Groupies – in advance and dated payments with the wrong year.

At any one time I am collecting VBS reports from the previous year, responding to VBS questions from the current year, planning VBS events for the next year, and dreaming VBS for two years away. This is truly the best job in the world!

Now, to the real topic of this post – VBS Missions Rotation.

As many of you are in the midst of VBS 2012, and as we begin planning for VBS 2014, I am interested in how you use LifeWay’s Missions Rotation resources for both preschoolers and children.

  • If your church does not include the Mission Rotation, why not?
  • If you do not use them during VBS, do you use them at another time or in conjunction with another ministry? Explain.
  • If you do use the resources, what do you most like about them?
  • What would you like to see changed?
  • How do you incorporate the suggested hands-on mission project?
  • How could the hands-on project be more effective for your church?

You can respond here or send your comments and suggestions to me at jerry.wooley@lifeway.com.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Easy Peasy 2012 VBS Director's Evaluations

I know you’ve just seen months of planning come to fruition and all you really want to to is sit back and relax. But if you could, do one more thing. Just one and I promise to make it as easy as possible.

We want to hear from you. Please fill out the VBS Director’s Evaluations online here or you can complete a paper copy from the 2012 Administrative Guide and mail it in to the address on the form. That’s it! Easy peasy, right? And I promise I will read every one and pass along all your comments, thoughts, and suggestions to the VBS team to help us evaluate what you need for VBS to be easy for you.

Front Yard, Backyard, and All Around the House!

From my years as an older teenager and young adult, I remember being involved in several VBS-type ministries known as Backyard Bible Clubs and Big A Clubs. These clubs were a simplified or scaled-down version of VBS and were an effective way of reaching families – many of which would never attend an event on a church campus.

During all the years since, the concept of Backyard Bible Club (BBC for short) has survived mostly in connection to mission trips. But a new wind is blowing, and the concept of BBCs is experiencing revival all across the country – especially by larger congregations that have a regional influence beyond an individual neighborhood or community.

Once it was thought that BBCs were staffed by a couple of people and primarily attended by a dozen or so kids who lived within view of the designated yard. This trend is changing as more and more BBCs are becoming evangelistic outposts for entire neighborhoods.

Recently I had the privilege of visiting a BBC not far from my own neighborhood. Four years ago the Club registered approximately 12. The next year, 20. Around 40 the third year. And this year – drum roll please – over 60 kids and adults descended nightly on the front yard, backyard, garage, and bonus room of the Nashville area home of Vicki Hulsey.

While Miss Vicki (all polite Southern children refer to their female neighbors as “Miss”) generously opens her home for the annual BBC, she has extended the evangelistic potential by gathering the children and their families throughout the year for other neighborhood activities and parties. Her home has become a true outpost of Hermitage Hills Baptist Church.

This story is phenomenal so stay turned for more.

For now I would like to hear your BBC stories. You can share them here or send them to me at jerry.wooley@lifeway.com.

In 2013 we are introducing Backyard Kids Club as a new component to Colossal Coaster World. We will be telling you more about this exciting ministry resource in days to come. So again, stay tuned!