Behind the Music in español

!Hola mis amigos! Hello my friends! Great news guys! We’re finally finishing up production of Amazing Wonders Aviation! WOO HOO! It’s crazy/busy around here but even more so for those responsible for translating VBS into Spanish! One of many things that has to be produced is the Spanish music video. Filming was last week so yours truly slapped on my photog hat and snapped a few behind the scene shots for you. Enjoy!!

Constanza Zurita—our "amazing" on-camera host—gets camera-ready with Vanessa Sellers—make-up artist extraordinaire.

Constanza dreams of someday singing in the LifeWay choir! jk

Our on-camera host Constanza Zurita and Jeff Slaughter—what a great team!

Our friend and fellow VBS teammate Lynne Norris produced the EBV (akaVBS) Spanish choreography/music video along with Tim Cox, director/Camera operator and Steve Fralick, audio/lighting. Lynne was also joined by Alyssa Goins from LifeWay’s Music Department (VBS music wouldn’t get done without her!) and Angel Ortiz who is in charge of translating ALL of our Spanish products!

Steve Fralick, Lynne Norris, Tim Cox, Vanessa Sellers (hiding!), ALyssa Goins, Angel Ortiz

It was fun to watch as they worked up new motions. Yes! New motions! Why you ask? Well, it seems some words—even words used in our title—do no translate in Spanish. So new words equals new motions.

"It's Maravillas INCREI´BLES de la Aviacio´n!"

Constanza spent a lot of time and research finding just the right motions for the translation. Kudos to Konstanza!

cooool—motion blurrr

Hasta luego mis amigos! …see you later my friends!

VBS & KMC – a Perfect Fit!

October 10 – 12 is just around the corner. School is back in session, leaves are starting to fall, pumpkins will soon be replacing watermelons in the aisles of the Piggly Wiggly, and before we know it we will be in the middle of October — and that means LifeWay’s Kids Ministry Conference in Nashville, Tennessee!

KMC gives you one of the first opportunities to see, hear, and experience VBS 2012 Amazing Wonders Aviation and Club VBS: SpaceQuest. I’ll be there on Wednesday morning for an overview session on both themes. By the time we finish you’ll have your pilot’s wings and be ready to take flight! A great way to learn the music and motions of Amazing Wonders Aviation is with the master musician himself – Jeff Slaughter – who will be leading a pre-conference Monday morning. This session fills up fast so sign up today.

In addition to VBS, KMC offers great opportunities to learn, meet new friends from across the Nation, and be inspired by the likes of Ed Stetzer, The Duggars, Jon Acuff, Pete Wilson, Angie Smith, Tim Elmore, and many others.

At KMC 2011 we are being challenged to DREAM BIG, and we want you to dream with us. Call 1.800.254.2022 or go to today!

Looking forward to seeing you October 10-12 in Music City USA!

Recording Sessions . . . and Cinnamon Rolls!

Recently we were in the studio recording the music for VBS 2012. I love the experience of seeing a song go from an idea, to lyrics and melody on paper, to a full-blown production. And then to see kids performing the songs and the musical. . . . Well, it can be a very emotional thing! Many times, I’ve been one of the weepy ones in the audience at our VBS Institutes and VBS Previews as I watch kids perform these songs, singing their hearts out!

We worked with a different production team this year.  We were in a new studio with new surroundings and different processes. This production team of Spencer and Preston first worked with Jeff Slaughter, the composer of the VBS 2012 music, on the arrangements of the songs. Then, some of the instrumentation was recorded before bringing in voices. On the nights I was there, we had two young ladies in the sound booth.  (Other voices were recorded at different times.)

After the voices are recorded, then the producers work many hours to put all the pieces together, adding just the right level of this and not too much of that. Know what I mean? Take a listen to the theme song“Amazing Wonders Aviation”. Oh, and you’re going to love the “pretty song,” as I like to call it—“Worthy.” I hope you enjoy the music of Amazing Wonders Aviation™!

BTW, we did have some celebratory cinnamon rolls once the final song was recorded! Yummmmy!

Jeff and a Hymn

Good Wednesday morning! It’s a rainy, cold morning in Nashville, with temperatures about 10 degrees below normal. Makes me envy my good friend, Jeff Slaughter, as he has just returned from vacation in warmer climates! For those of you who know LifeWay’s VBS, Jeff needs no introduction. But, just in case any of you are new here, I’ll give you a short intro. Jeff began writing the music for our VBS with Good News Stampede, our 1997 release. We’ve been fortunate to have him remain on board with us for what will be our 16th theme next year! (And it’s a good one!) I love to hear Jeff’s stories of how the lyrics and melodies come to him each year. Jeff sincerely presents himself as a vessel for God to use.

Here’s an interesting story from Jeff about this year’s “pretty song” (as I like to call it), “I Will.”

Hey everybody! This is such a fun time of the year for me…getting to travel around to different VBS conferences… singing, dancing and worshiping with friends…and hearing about how the Lord is already using this program to touch people’s lives. I love to hear the stories!

A few weeks ago a lady shared with me that the woman who wrote the lyrics for the hymn “Take the Name of Jesus With You,” Lydia Baxter, was born in New York, started a church in Petersburg, NY, and served as a missionary in the state until she passed away in NYC in 1874! I had no idea when I used the chorus of this hymn as the bridge for “I Will” (the Day 4 song) that New York was such a special part of the composer’s life! I love how the Lord is always “connecting the dots” for us!

One more thing, she was born on Sept. 2nd, 1809. Our VBS team settled upon the Big Apple Adventure theme on Sept. 2nd, 2009! So cool!! How sweet of the Lord to allow her passion for New York to continue to have an impact 200 years later!!

MISC MONDAYS: VBS 2011 Spectacular Coming to Birmingham October 13

Many of you have sent word that you are ready for a sneak peek at VBS 2011 Big Apple Adventure: Where Faith and Life Connect. A great opportunity is just weeks from now during LifeWay’s Kids Ministry Conference, October 11 – 13, in Birmingham, Alabama.

You can register here.

In addition to two VBS 2011 related breakout sessions on Tuesday (Live from New York, It’s VBS 2011!, and Don’t Drop the Ball: The 10 Best Promotion & Follow-up Ideas), you will have an opportunity to spend Monday morning in a small group with Jeff Slaughter where he will teach you the lyrics and motions to all the VBS 2011 songs.

But the best is yet to come! Wednesday evening has been designated as the VBS 2011 Spectacular and will include a great dinner with music provided by Denver & the Mile High Orchestra, Jeff Slaughter, a few surprises, and the premier performance of the Big Apple Adventure musical performed by the Shades Mountain Baptist Church Older Children’s Choir. I promise it will be an evening of great fun!

Other highlights of the week (of course when you have VBS what more do you really need?) include Rick Burgess from the nationally syndicated radio show Rick & Bubba, best-selling author and speaker Angela Thomas, and worship with Anthony Evans. If this were not enough there will be 50 workshop options to choose from, speakers Mike Satterfield and Thom Rainer, and entertainers such as Mission Six, Yancy, The Rubyz, iShine, and Tommy Blaze. To learn more go to and make plans to join the fun.

I look forward to seeing you in Birmingham for the Kids Ministry Conference and the VBS 2011 Spectacular.

-the vbsguy

Another VBS 2011 Song – By Faith!

To those of you who joined us today for the VBS webcast, it was a lot of fun!! Can’t wait to get the video archive – I was busy chatting away with you guys, so I didn’t even get to see it!

One of the things we did during the VBS webcast was a Q&A time with Jerry Wooley, our VBS Ministry Specialist, and Jeff Slaughter, our VBS songwriter. During that time, Jeff shared about his favorite song from VBS 2011, which is called “By Faith.”

While he was sharing that, I realized that you guys haven’t had a chance to hear it yet, so here goes – this is the “radio mix” of By Faith!!

Be a part of our first VBS live webcast!!!

I’m so excited about our VBS 2011 Worship Rally Live webcast next week.  We already have over 500 people who are planning to watch, and there’s definitely room for  more!!  This is our first live webcast, and with the response we are getting it won’t be our last! You can sign up for a reminder email at

Here are the details:

On Wednesday, August 11th at 8:30 AM, we will begin streaming our pre-Worship Rally video at this website:

At 9 AM, we will move to a live feed from Van Ness Auditorium in Nashville, TN, where you can experience the first ever presentation of the VBS 2011 Worship Rally!! We will be doing some Big Apple Adventure music, previewing the Worship Rally Video for 2011, and looking at one of the missions videos for 2011. We’ll also have a live chat going on during the worship rally if you would like to participate.

After the live worship rally, we’ll have a live Q&A session with Jeff Slaughter.  If you have questions  you would like to ask Jeff Slaughter or the LifeWay VBS team, go ahead and email them to!

Be sure to tune in before 9 AM in order to make sure the audio and video stream is working on your computer.

Also,  if you are in the Nashville area and want to join us in person, we would love to have you!

And, if you can’t be a part of our live audience, don’t worry. We’ll be moving the video taken from the day to our LifeWay VBS You Tube page, and eventually our new VBS 2011 website.

Space is limited at VBS Preview Events!

Two of our VBS Preview Events are already sold out (January 8-9 at Ridgecrest and January 29-30 in Nashville), so you’ll want to go ahead and register soon to make sure you have a spot!

AND – To celebrate our newest preview event locations (Ft. Worth, TX and Las Vegas, NV), we are giving away a free VBS 2010 Quick Scene Wall Art set (an $8.99 value) to anyone who registers by 12/15/09 for the following events (and if you’ve already registered for one of these events, we’ve got you covered!)

VBS Preview 1 – January 14 – 15, 2010,  Travis Avenue Baptist Church, Fort Worth, TX
VBS Preview 2 – January 15 – 16, 2010, Travis Avenue Baptist Church, Fort Worth, TX
VBS Preview Sneak Peek – January 22 – 23, 2010, Green Valley Baptist Church, Las Vegas, NV

To register by phone, call 800.254.2022.
*An email with a coupon for a free VBS 2010 Quick Scene Wall Art set to be redeemed at the VBS Preview Event will be sent to all Fort Worth and Las Vegas attendees who register by 11:59 PM on 12/15/09. Coupon can only be redeemed at the VBS Preview Event. Coupon will not be honored at LifeWay Christian Stores.

Can't get it out of my head. . .

So while I was driving to work this morning, all of a sudden I found myself singing “We Believe” from Ramblin’ Road Trip. Out of the blue that was the song that came into my head! Out of all of the VBS themes that I’ve been involved in (I started working on VBS at LifeWay in 2003, but did VBS in my church for years before that) that is the song that I can identify as my favorite VBS song.  What’s your favorite VBS song? Which one is the one that you can’t get out of your head? Are they the same?? There are a couple of songs from VBS 2010 (which you guys will hear very soon) that I can’t get out of my head!

Big kudos to Jeff Slaughter for writing the songs that make the whole (VBS) world sing :)

Jeff's Testimony

While we were at the VBS Preview events, Jeff Slaughter shared a story about filming the “Because” music video in Israel that was very moving. I made a video of it for you guys to enjoy – you’ll have to forgive my bad camera skills!!


If you are interested in seeing the video he is referring to, it’s on the VBS 2009 Worship Rally DVD, and is also available for preview and download on