VBS Kits for Kids–Connecting Kids Who Care with Kids in Need

It’s mid-August and that means it’s been back-to-school time for many states. That also means many families have done some back-to-school shopping! Number 2 pencils, scissors, and rulers may have been on the list! These items were also on the list of needed supplies for the VBS Kits for Kids project that many churches participated in as part of the Missions Rotation of Big Apple Adventure. The kits for kids collected during VBS have been making their way to the warehouse in Richmond, Virginia. Over 5600 kits have been received as you can see from this Web site: www.vbskitsforkids.com. However, if your church has not mailed your kits to the warehouse, many more kits are still needed. The deadline for shipping the kits to the warehouse is October 31, 2011.

The address to mail the kits is: Baptist Global Response, c/o A&O Services, 2109 Loumour Avenue, Richmond, VA  23230-4109. From this warehouse, the kits will be mailed to children living outside the U.S. to children who need educational supplies in order to attend school. Many of these children may be living in poverty areas, where their families cannot afford to purchase these supplies or in areas of recent disasters, where the supplies are not available.

Also, if your church collected offerings to help with this project, you can mail a check to Baptist Global Response, 402 BNA Drive, Suite 411, Nashville, TN 37217 or make a donation online at www.gobgr.org. These offerings will help with shipping costs to get these supplies to children who really need them.

If you are looking for a mission project for your kids to be involved in, between now and the end of October, you can find the shopping list of school supplies for the kits for kids at: www.baptistglobalresponse.com/kitsforkids/pdf/shopping%20list.pdf. More kits are needed and it’s a great way to connect kids who care with kids in need!

Make the Connection From VBS to Bible Drill

Got any Big Apple Curriculum laying around? Want to help your kids learn Bible verses in a fun way? If you answered yes to those questions then why not pull those leaders guides back out and find some ready made activites that you can adapt with any Bible verse.

Oh, what’s that? You already gave away your curriculum. No worries, Sue Harmon with the South Carolina Baptist Convention recently contacted us about an article on their site that connects activities from the Big Apple to use with Bible Drill. Check it out here.

As you can see,  there are lots of great ideas for adapting VBS teaching resources to be used with Bible Drill, Wednesday night fillers, or anytime you need a great way to reinforce Bible skills. Share with us how you have used VBS teaching materials at other times.

Connecting Faith and Life

So what do you do when an unexpected crisis comes along? James Blakeney, Alabama Baptist Children’s Consultant, sent us this Big Apple story from Beth Yates and First Baptist Church, Tuscaloosa.

“After the tornado hit Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on April 27, 2011, we didn’t feel right about going about business as usual, especially when it came to VBS. So many churches were damaged, and others were in Disaster Relief support.  We decided to take VBS out to the community areas that were hardest hit by the tornado. We wanted to provide some positive activities for kids who still lived in those communities—something that was for them and not about the storm. We also wanted to encourage churches in the hardest hit areas that may not have been able to do VBS on their own.

“We contacted the pastors of Rosedale Baptist Church, The Soma Church, and Alberta Baptist Church, and they were very interested in partnering with us to provide VBS in their communities. Our student ministry also led a backyard Bible club for a mostly Hispanic neighborhood.

“The result was outstanding! The attendance and enrollment grew each day, with our highest attendance on Thursday—710! We were surprised at the number of older kids (above grade 6) who were attracted to VBS activities. We were able to give a Bible to every kid in VBS, cookies and Kool-Aid®, and even lunches at some locations. Our congregation could not have been more supportive.

“Everyone was encouraged by the workers from the other churches and by the kids who participated and their families. Even on the hottest days while they were working hard, many of our workers began to say things like, ‘This is the best VBS ever!’ ‘We should always do VBS this way!’ and ‘We need to do things like this more than once a year!’”

Thanks, Beth, for letting us tell your church’s story. Connecting faith and life . . . what’s your favorite Big Apple story?

It Ain't Over Til It's Over

Wait! Don’t pack away that inflatable Statue of Liberty or all those little yellow inflatable taxi cabs decorating your church.  Just because the teaching, singing, craft making fun of VBS is complete, doesn’t mean we’re done. There’s still lots left to do to connect all those prospects discovered during the week to an on going relationship with your church and our Savior and Lord. Remember that small little tag line that comes after Big Apple Adventure—Where Faith and Life Connect? Well, now is the time to help “connect” the biblical truths taught during VBS with real life! Following up with  those who visited during VBS is a vital part of successfully completing your VBS experience.

Check out Chapter 4 in the VBS 2011 Administrative Guide to find Follow-up Strategies and helps. Or check out some of these tips from previous posts here, here, and here.

What are some of your favorite Follow-up Strategies? We would love to hear them!

Foto Friday. . .random fun VBS photos!

Hi everyone! I love looking at everyone’s photos! It’s fun to see the excitement and joy in the faces of the kids and the teachers in VBS! Seeing the decorations, crazy poses, and funny pictures remind me of when I grew up in my church, attending VBS and then working VBS as a youth. So for today’s Foto Friday, I want to post some photos that I found on our Community and our Facebook page!

The relation of the size of the taxi and the 3 guys is cracking me up! ! !

Gotta love the custom Chuck Taylors! Very creative!

The title to this photo was “Crazy Hat” day. They look like they came from the royal wedding! :)

Love the Central Park Zoo entrance!

This photo is awesome! I love the different color “I heart VBS” t-shirts! ! !

Great puppet stage!

This photo is my favorite! It’s titled, “Hanging with Jesus”. Very creative! (notice the chalk is still at the top of the “S”)

Have a great weekend! ! !

The Big Apple in the Mule Capital of the World!

Hey y’all, It was definitely a big city adventure last week! My church is located in Columbia, Tennessee—home of the Mule Day celebrations! Yep, it’s a city that celebrates its mules! (But, I’ll save those stories for another time!)

We had about 140 super-neat preschoolers and I got to teach missions! From teaching them about Proof and Andrew to learning about the Zoe Church in Sao Paulo to hearing about the Fusion kids in New Orleans, it was definitely all about the big city!

Entering Proof’s Dog House (and our room)!

Playing a game with our dog ears!

My favorite experiences?

1. Listening to kids’ laughter and hearing them chat with their friends about the fun things they were doing at VBS!

2. Hearing kids verbalize places and ways that they can tell others about Jesus. Missions begins at home, right?

3. Watching the kids bring in school supplies for kindergartners in Joplin, Missouri. By the end of the week, we had tons of scissors, crayons, glue, notebooks, and erasers! Hands-on missions helps preschoolers think beyond themselves and about others (a sometimes hard concept for young kids).

4. Working with some of the best preschool VBS teachers in the world! They created an atmosphere of love and acceptance that made it easy for kids to hear about Jesus and His incredible love for them.

5. Knowing that when it was all over, some important truths had been planted in the hearts and minds of the boys and girls.

I can’t wait for next year!



Is anybody else tired after completing a full week of VBS? I had 30 kindergartners in my room last week (and only 12 were from my church)! That’s enough to wear you out just thinking about it! Seriously, we had such a wonderful week! Everything went smoothly, kids were happy, teachers were happy, nobody broke any bones… what more could you ask for? This…


While telling the Bible story on the very first day, a child said matter-of-factly, “My dad says Jesus isn’t real.” It wasn’t a challenge… it was simply a response stemming from the worldview being taught to him at home.  I was reminded in that moment that THIS is why my teachers and I had planned for weeks and weeks. This is why we took off work to teach. Here, in one brief moment, was a God-ordained opportunity to introduce a child (and a family) to Jesus.


Each day of VBS, this child learned more and more about a very real Jesus—who did things no one else could do because He is God’s Son; who loved people and cared for them; and who loves me and cares for me! This child met people who showed Him what Jesus’ love is like… people who loved him unconditionally, who helped guide his behavior, who played and talked with him, who taught him. This is what it’s all about. When the decorations come down and the supplies are packed away and the fun is over, one thing remains… the impact we had on a child’s life for time and eternity.


One of my favorite memories of the week was what one child said to his teachers: “Thank you for teaching me about Jesus!” My pleasure! My privilege! How about you?

A favorite game of the week was inspired by "Twister."


These boys built hospitals, roads, and helipads on Day 5 when we talked about the four friends who brought their friend to Jesus.

Foto Friday. . .Guest Video!

It’s (Foto) Friday,  (Foto) Friday. . .yesterday was Thursday, Thursday. . .today i-is (Foto) Friday, (Foto) Friday. Sorry, I couldn’t resist! :P

I had a video come through yesterday that I thought was pretty fun, so I decided to share it! It comes to us from Salem Baptist Church. Again, I couldn’t get it posted into the blog site, but here’s a link to it.


Have a great weekend!


Kids Say the Most Memorable Things


When my kids were young, I used to spend hours and risk major hand cramps to decorate “memory-making” birthday cakes from Transformers to Barbie dolls. Then, one day when my son was in college I overheard a conversation about “memories of growing up.” With a smile I listened, thinking all that hard work was about to pay off! He was talking about birthday cakes! He described in glowing terms how he LOVED those candy peel off decorations that you just plop on the cake! My ego crashed! What about all those hand cramps for squeezing out a gazillion stars? What about the cost of the special food coloring that makes REAL black and red? My ego took a hard hit that day, but it was a light bulb moment. It wasn’t about the pizzazz. It was about the memory. It was what felt like a new, fun thing for my son.

I think VBS decorations can take us on that same “what’s important” ride. Don’t get me wrong. I am extremely visual. That’s how I learn best. The visual stimulus charges my engines. But at the end of the day when I talk to the kids at my church, what impacted each child most. Was it the set, or was it the teacher who took the time to sit with them, or listen to the long description of something they needed to say, or smiled at them when they felt overlooked, or just plain loved on ‘em really good!


I’ve been thinking. What were the biggest take-aways by our kids? Help me find out. Share with me some of the greatest kids’ quotes from your VBS. Add your comment here. I can’t wait to share experiences!

VBS By the Numbers

We wanted to share some of our favorite VBS “numbers” with you.

4–  The number of Diet Mt. Dews it takes to get through a week of editing Preteen Bible Study materials.

5(and counting)–  The number of computers, cell phones, keyboards and other electronic devices Rhonda has gone through since joining the VBS team.

101–  The number of times a day Keith checks to see how many blog views his post are beating my post by.

2– The number of years we usually work ahead on a VBS theme. (We never put the right year on our checks. ha ha)

55– The number of times Gordon has assigned another team member to write a blog post.

All kidding aside, the work God does through VBS is amazing! Check out these stats we just received from last year’s VBS reports.

24,445– The number of churches who reported their VBS.

2,757,976- The total number of enrollment reported.

82,371- Professions of Faith

2,647- Decisions for Vocation Ministry

243,602- The number of prospects discovered.

So as you can see VBS can have a huge impact for your church and for the Kingdom. What are some of your favorite VBS numbers?