And the Winners Are…

Several weeks ago our VBS blog guru, Katie, invited our faithful readers to become our guests at one of five VBS Previews being held in January and February. Readers were asked to respond with short statements explaining why they would like to attend.

As promised, we have randomly chosen someone for each of the five locations. And the winners are: Dakota Martin for Ridgecrest, January 11-12; Joyce C. for Fort Worth, January 18-19; Tina Spencer for Nashville 1, January 31 – February 1; Myra Elder for Nashville 2, February 1-2; and Dana Pendarvis for Kissimmee, February 8-9.

Congratulations to each of you! We are truly happy to have you joining us for Preview 2013. It is going to be a colossal experience!

Each of you are invited to bring one additional guest at no charge. To register for the event please contact me personally at I will need your name, address, e-mail address,  and phone number. I will need the same information for your friend.

As stated in the original blog post, this free offer covers event registration only and does not include travel, housing, or meals. If you have already registered for one of the events we can not refund your registration fee, but we can apply your free spot to a friend of your choice who has not already registered.

If your name has not already been mentioned hold on. The excitement is just beginning!

Sixty-two people responded, and each gave a great reason why he or she should be chosen. In fact, the submissions were so good we decided just this morning to name everyone a winner!

For everyone listed below we are offering one free registration with a paid registration. Basically, buy one and get one free. The free spots apply to registration fee only and does not include travel, housing, or meals. If you have already registered for one of the events we can not refund your registration fee, but we can apply your free spot to a friend of your choice who has not already registered.

And the winners for Ridgecrest, January 11- 12, are:

Stacey Griffith, Valerie Hendrick, Nicole Moua, Leisa Bentley, Ann Flavin, Lisa Harvell, Angie Shelton, Teresa Taylor, Ashley Lawton, Peggy Banks, Wanda Sloan, Brandi Hunt, Emily Wood, and Joyanna Kellough.

The winners for Fort Worth, January 18-19, are:

Monica Banuelos, Carla Spunaugle, Reba Collingsworth, Joyce Still, Jenn Clark, Mary Nichols, Tara Lewis, Jan Smith, and Debbie Mallory.

The winners for Nasvhille, January 31 – February 1 and February 1-2, are:

Cryst Jones, Patty Edwards, Somer mcElyea, Debbie Muuller, Tammy Winton, Susan Shay, Carol Ann Guthrie, Cole Ormsby, Lisa Moore, Cindy Martin, Kelley Taylor, Billie Sue Johnson, Tammy Allen, and Angela Epperson.

The winners for Kissimmee, February 8-9, are:

Lorinda Norris, Mona Antley, Collin Senkasenka, Linda K. Creech, Kristy Gilpin, Denise Blankschen, Amy McNeil, Jaccilee Singleton, Mereline Angela, Penny Mourer, Matt Norman, and Lanita Branch.

I apologize in advance if I incorrectly spelled your name.

To claim your free spot and to register for your friend you will need to call 1.800.588.7222 for Ridgecrest, and 1.800.254.2022 for all other locations. When the registration service partner answers be sure to mention that you participated in the VBS Blog registration giveaway. She will check the official list for your name.


Preview Events will be here before you know it, so register today! The price increases December 1. To register go to or call 1.800.254.2022 for Fort Worth, Nashville, or Kissimmee, and 1.800.588.7222 for Ridgecrest.

Sneak Peek: Coming Attractions

You will not want to miss out on VBS Preview events this year! The team has been hard at work planning new “rides” and “attractions” for Colossal Coaster World that are sure to delight the young and the young at heart. And let me tell you, from what I’ve seen so far, these coming attractions will definitely be worth the price of admission! Today I’m going to give you an exclusive behind the scenes look at two of our newest attractions… the Design Lab and the Creative Zone.


The Design Lab will take you inside the heart of Colossal Coaster World for hands-on training and personal consultation with our VBS design team. Mini workshops are available to allow you to hone your skills and learn techniques to take back to your church. Don’t forget your camera as part of your Design Lab experience includes an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at ALL of the VBS sets created for Colossal Coaster World. Be sure to grab your tickets early, as they will go quickly!


Learn how to bring the magic of Colossal Coaster World to life in The Creative Zone! This interactive area showcases the best Colossal Coaster World has to offer such as games, crafts, and snacks. Here you’ll find exclusive bonus ideas that can only be found at LifeWay Preview events. The Creative Zone is also the home to the world’s largest (and only) VBS snack contest. Create the best delectable, edible treat and you could be a big WINNER! Be sure to drop by early and often to catch all the excitement! Who knows, you might even catch a balloon animal demonstration or two.


So what are you waiting for? Book your tickets today for this once in a lifetime experience. We’ll see you at Ridgecrest, Ft Worth, Nashville, or Kissimmee!

Backyard Kids Club Shoot!

Whew!  We had so much fun shooting a promotional video for Backyard Kids Club on Wednesday!  Video shoots are lots of work, but always lots of fun.  This shoot was especially comical because we had to pretend it was the middle of summer when it’s really almost the middle of November!  It was a brisk 45 degrees outside on Wednesday but all of the kids involved with the shoot were so great about being outside in short sleeves!  We had plenty of giggles together all day while we pretended to be on-location in Hawaii or someplace much warmer!

Check out a few of the highlights from the day. (Click on image to open gallery!)

New for VBS 2013

Good morning from VBS Headquarters – aka Nashville, Tennessee!

Since I know some of you are already busy planning for VBS 2013, I thought I would share a few of the changes you will find when resources are available for order December 1.

Here goes…

The Administration Guide for Directors has been changed from “chapters” to “steps.” First page is an overview of the six steps directors need to follow in planning, conducting, and following up a VBS.

Snack Rotation Recipe Cards include a Bible story related option for each day. (These are my favorite snacks for 2013!)

Missions rotation includes two short (2 to 3 minutes each) video segments per day, and two missionary families that will be followed all week. Missionary families are the Flooks, who have six kids and minister in Bolivia, and the Pillays, who are originally from South Africa and now minister in Connecticut.

Mission project is Colossal Care Kits which can be distributed to local homeless individuals and shelters.

Decorating Made Easy has undergone a complete redesign with decorations on an easier and smaller scale.

Worship Rally DVD Set now includes two DVDS for the same price. One is a DVD that includes music motions and drama. The second is a DVD-ROM with printable resources.

Bible Study Leader Guides include “Start Here!” on page one of each guide with “what now” steps.

Bible studies include a “Christ Connection” for each day.

Watch for more info in the coming weeks. Also beginning next week I will start sharing information about the exciting changes we are making and the additions to VBS Previews. As of today we are just 80 days away from the first event at Ridgecrest, North Carolina. Sure hope you are planning to join us.

Expect Big Things

We had the pleasure of hearing from Tom Eliff, President of the International Mission Board, in chapel yesterday here at LifeWay.  He had many wonderful things to say, and what he said resonated with what we all do as part of the ministry of Vacation Bible School.

Tom said that many of our prayer lives would amount to a thimble full of requests, but that when it comes to spreading the good news of the gospel, we can and should expect BIG things from God in response to our prayers.

We can be sure that when we ask for big things, God will:

  •  Respond in a way that is consistent with His character
  •  Respond in a way that reflects His capacity

Are you expecting BIG things from God for VBS 2013?

2013 VBS Planning Advice

Have you started planning for VBS 2013?  If you haven’t, no worries– you aren’t behind just yet!  Some of the VBS pros have already ordered their Super Sampler or Backyard Kids Club kits and have begun collecting ideas to make this year’s VBS a success.  If you are coordinating VBS for the very first time this year, planning can seem intimidating!  Know that we are here to help you every step of the way.

For you pro VBS planners, what’s some advice you’d share with those who may be coordinating VBS for the first time?  

How early do you order your Sampler/Super Sampler materials?

When do you begin building a team of volunteers?  How do you train them?

When do you start working on decorations?  

Looking for 2013 Club VBS resources

Exciting Days – VBS 2013 and 2014!

As Rhonda shared yesterday, we are in the midst of writing curriculum for VBS 2014. We have great VBS creatives in town from across the U.S. writing for babies through sixth grade. Student, adult, and Special Friends resources are not far behind.

These writers have been given the goal of noon Saturday to have materials for leader guides and packs written, polished, and ready for the editors. Please pray for these ladies as they will be putting in extremely long hours each day. Pray for God’s message for VBS 2014 to come through loud and clear.


While these writers are busy developing resources for 2014, another group is in the building putting the finishing touches on 2013 resources and planning for VBS 2013 Previews. It is truly exciting days around One LifeWay Plaza!

Speaking of VBS 2013 Previews, I hope you will plan to join us at Ridgecrest Conference Center, North Carolina, January 11-12; Travis Avenue Baptist Church, Fort Worth, Texas, January 18-19; LifeWay Christian Resources, Nashville, Tennessee, January 31 – February 1; or First Baptist Church, Kissimmee, Florida, February 8-9.

We are going to have great fun! Looking forward to having you as one of our very special guests.

A Peek at the Preschool Paks!

Hey y’all,  I am so excited to show you some changes to the 2013 Activity Paks for preschoolers. These handle books are both keepsake books and teaching tools. They bring the theme park to life through a great story with interactive punch-out shapes.

Take a look!

The books are bigger (about 6 x 9.5 inches) and, thanks to your great feedback, we’ve kept the handle to make it easy for little ones to hold and carry. Five punch-out shapes can be tied to the handle and matched to images in the book. You’ll also find a punch-out picture frame on the back cover. For a great souvenir of the week, take a 4-by-6-inch picture of a child (or your class) and insert it into the back cover. Five activity pages follow the 15-page story and reinforce the heart of what kids need to know each day.

Another cool twist . . . books for both age-groups are about the same family as they explore the sights, sounds, and smells of a theme park. See and Hear with Your Eyes and Ears (for Babies–2s) highlights the experiences of a 2-year-old boy, while in Click, Clack, Up the Track (for 3s–Kindergarten), his big sister goes on her first roller coaster ride. Both books reinforce our Bible verse “God helps me. I will not be afraid.” Hebrews 13:6 

We hope that these activity paks will help you as you teach this coming summer and as you follow up with preschoolers and their parents!

I can see clearly now!

It’s tough to see when the sun’s in your eyes.  No worries– your peepers will be shaded for VBS 2013 if you order these sweet Colossal Coaster World Visors!!  (Available for purchase in December)

The visor even feature’s the scripture address 2 Timothy 1:7 to help kids remember their theme verse for the week.  What do you think?

Foto Friday!

What a wonderful week it’s been– happy Friday!

I’m so excited to share a photo from a little shoot for the 2013 VBS catalog that we did last Friday.  I won’t give you any clues as to what was going on, but I can tell you you’ll see these happy faces on something you’ll get in the mail very soon!  What do you think they’re up to?