Four Weeks and Counting…

Hopefully it is looking a lot like – and sounding a lot like – Christmas where you are today. It certainly is here in the VBS office! But it is also looking and sounding a lot like four weeks until the first national VBS Preview at Ridgecrest Conference Center in North Carolina.

We are in perpetual motion putting the finishing touches on a not-to-be-missed event! We have now hit capacity at Ridgecrest and the Nashville Friday/Saturday events, but there is still room at Fort Worth, Nashville Thursday/Friday, and Kissimmee.

A complete list of breakout sessions is now available at Check it out today!

In addition to the basics for Colossal Coaster World and Club VBS: Jungle Jaunt, you will have the opportunity to explore decorating options with Mark Jones and the VBS Design Team, be introduced to LifeWay’s newest VBS resource Backyard Kids Club, be challenged by the preaching of Dr. Shane Garrison, and participate in worship with the Austin Adamec Band.

I’m looking forward to seeing you soon for the Colossal Coaster World Experience!

Your Chance to be Part of VBS Think Tank 2015

This past weekend I completed my Fall VBS 2013 Jump Start traveling schedule. The past few weeks have found me in Arizona, Illinois, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Alabama, and Michigan helping church, associational, and state VBS leaders prepare for a Colossal Coaster World experience.

It is always fun to see how people (VBS Groupies) across the U.S. interpret a theme. Each location plays host to a variety of theme-related food, decorations, and costumes – which I think add the most unexpected touch of all.  It started me thinking – what if people wore theme-related costumes to VBS Previews? Talk about creating a fun atmosphere!

With just 39 days until the first Preview at Ridgecrest, North Carolina, I’m challenging all of you to make this the most entertaining Preview ever by showing up in a costume that shouts Colossal Coaster World!

Jerry and Roberta dressed as tacky tourists for our CCW theme release party.

Each event guest wearing a costume will receive a chance to be selected as a member of the VBS 2015 Think Tank team. This is the team that will create the 2015 theme! One Think Tank member and one alternate will be chosen from each of the five Previews. (An alternate is being chosen in case the team member is unavailable to attend Think Tank.)

Looking for costume ideas to get you started? Check out these great photos from our 2013 Theme Release party in June.

Click here to register for a Preview. Several locations are just about full so register today! You definitely want to be part of the fun! It just might be the most exciting ride of your life!

 Click here for official LifeWay Sweepstakes rules.

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!

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.

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.

Time to Start Thinking VBS 2013

Now that Labor Day is behind us and we Southerners have packed away our summer whites, it is officially time to start thinking VBS 2013! Of course, most of you reading this post are like me and have been thinking (dreaming, contemplating, planning) VBS 2013 since at least June 4!

There are two great opportunities to be one of the first to see, touch, and experience the fun of Colossal Coaster World.

The first is KMC (Kids Ministry Conference) at Ridgecrest, North Carolina, October 8-10.  Just click on KMC to learn more.

The second opportunity is at one of four VBS Preview locations in January and February. VBS Preview is your Fast Pass to Colossal Coaster World. You don’t want to miss it! Click on VBS Preview to learn more.

Hold on tight! This ride is ready for take off!


Wow! What an awesome response we have had to our challenge to find the best person to teach and lead music motions for our VBS 2013 Preview events! We have been amazed by the number of videos submitted, and overwhelmed by the number of people casting votes – first for the Fab Five, and then for the Final Two.

Both of the Final Two received such tremendous support we just could not leave one at home.

And the winner is…

Jennifer Moore of Murfreesboro, Tennessee,


Tammy Nall of Marietta, Georgia

We will be inviting Tammy to join us at Ridgecrest, North Carolina, January 10-12, and Kissimmee, Florida, February 8-9. We will be inviting Jennifer to join us at Fort Worth, Texas, January 17-19, and Nashville, Tennessee, January 31-February 1.

We are honored to have both ladies serving with us. In addition to teaching the Music in Motion breakout sessions, they will serve on the music team to lead motions, along with a group of CentriKid staffers, during the large group experiences.

I am also excited to announce that Dr. Shane Garrison, professor at Campbellsville University, Kentucky, and an outstanding band (can tell you who just yet) will be joining Jennifer and Tammy for the large group experiences.

Thanks to everyone who participated – both those who sent in videos and those who voted. It has been great fun!

From the Fab Five to Final Two!

Just when you thought the voting was over!!!

Last week’s vote resulted in two strong contenders for the title of motions leader for LifeWay’s VBS 2013 events. Our budget won’t allow us to take both ladies on tour, so we need you to help us choose between these two great VBS music leaders. The final result will be announced next Tuesday, August 21. I promise!  Click here to view the videos.

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We're Down to the Final Five!

Back on June 4, I asked anyone interested in being considered to lead music at our VBS 2013 events to submit a video of them leading music from VBS 2012. Mail started arriving almost instantly, and we have had a major challenge choosing five semi-finalist for YOUR consideration.

I want to thank each of you who responded. I wish we could choose all of you to travel with us to Preview events in North Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, and Florida. But alas, the budget will only allow for one.

Make sure to tune in next Tuesday, August 7, for your opportunity to view the final five and cast your vote. Until then – keep on singing!