Celebrating 90: Did You Know? Part 3

LifeWay’s VBS team is celebrating 90 years of life-changing resources for the ministry we all love and know as Vacation Bible School. Here are just a few tidbits you might not find in a history book.

  • Approximately 3,000,000 people enrolled in VBS last year.
  • It is rumored the first VBS (Daily Bible School) included lessons on hygiene. Considering VBS was started by a doctor’s wife there just might be truth to the rumor.
  • The first VBS was started by Mrs. Eliza Hawes in response to the stories her doctor husband (Walter Aylett Hawes) told about the injuries sustained by kids playing in the streets of New York City. Mrs. Hawes began her school in 1898.
  • LifeWay’s VBS resources include over 100 individual products.
  • In 2008, 97% of leaders surveyed said the greatest need in VBS is help with follow-up.
  • Approximately one million unchurched individuals are discovered each year as a result of VBS.
  • The first associational Daily Vacation Bible School training clinic was held by the Grayson County Association at Sherman, Texas in 1928.
Celebrating 90: LifeWay Christian Resources began publishing VBS resources in 1925 under the leadership of Dr. Homer Grice.

Celebrating 90: Did You Know? Part 2

As LifeWay’s VBS team continues celebrating 90 years of VBS heritage we thought you might enjoy these milestone facts.

  • The first VBS was called Everyday School and held in New York City in 1898.
  • Approximately 80,000 professions of faith are made each year during thee week of VBS.This number does not include the decisions made public in the following days and weeks.
  • LifeWay’s VBS music from previous years is available on iTunes.
  • Average VBS enrollment is 100 including workers.
  • Approximately 10 percent of people attending VBS claim to be unchurched.
  • LifeWay produces VBS resources for preschoolers and kids in Spanish.
  • LifeWay produces VBS resources based on the same Biblical theme and Scripture for every member of the family including kids and adults with special needs.
  • In 1992 Southern Baptist churches hit a VBS enrollment record of 3,709,174.
Celebrating 90: LifeWay Christian Resources began publishing VBS resources in 1925 under the leadership of Dr. Homer Grice.

Celebrating 90: Did You Know? Part 1

LifeWay Christian Resources, formerly known as The Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, first created what became known as the Daily Vacation Bible School Department in 1924 — so we’re CELEBRATING 90! Ninety years of history, but more importantly 90 years of transformed lives, families, churches and communities.

VBS started as an evangelistic outreach and has stayed true to the mission. Millions upon millions of people have professed faith in Jesus Christ as a result of being exposed to the Gospel through VBS.

LifeWay’s VBS team is proud of the heritage that we stand on. Here’s a glimpse at our history.

  • Dr. Homer Grice, a pastor from Washington, Georgia, was hired as the first Secretary in Charge of the Daily Vacation Bible School Department and Editor of Daily Vacation Bible School textbooks.
  • The first guides, or textbooks, for leaders were published in 1925 and contained 20 “daily programs and appendices of music, games, handwork patterns and other necessary material.”
  • The first extensive manual for pastors and Bible school leaders, The Daily Vacation Bible School Guide, was written and published by Dr. Grice in 1926. A small pamphlet outlining the need and purpose of Bible schools had been published by The Sunday School Board in 1922.
  • Daily Vacation Bible Schools were designed for four weeks, five days a week, for children over five and under 17 years of age.
  • The most dramatic change in the 90 year history of LifeWay’s VBS curriculum occurred in 1997 with the introduction of The Wild and Wonderful Good News Stampede: Telling Others about Jesus. Both the curriculum and the format of VBS was revolutionized centering around a theme that permeated every aspect of the VBS day.
  • Prior to Good News Stampede, themes were Go for the Gold (1996), Windows on the World (1995), Trail of Treasures (1994), Summer Shine (1993), Fantastic Journey (1992), Celebrate Jesus (1991), and Share Hope: Reach Through VBS (1990).
  • In 2003 LifeWay introduced a Spanish translation of the VBS theme and resources.

Celebrating 90: LifeWay Christian Resources began publishing VBS resources in 1925 under the leadership of Dr. Homer Grice. We would love to celebrate your VBS memories. What do you remember about the first VBS you attended? 

What to Save for 2015

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Want a jump on prepping for VBS 2015 decorations? Here’s a list of things you can start saving (and collecting) now for next summer.

  • Giant, colorful flowers (stores like Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, and JoAnn’s have tons of summer decor on sale at the end of the season)
  • Natural grass skirts or tablecloths
  • Palm fronds
  • Sticks, branches, bamboo poles, and the like
  • Green plastic tablecloths (for vines)
  • Green vinyl tablecloths (for lily pads)
  • Blue foil curtain (door curtain available from party supply stores)

Be sure to check back on August 29th for a list of craft supplies to start saving!

From the Archives: Questions To Ask About Your VBS Promotion

wooley1 2013LifeWay’s VBS team is Celebrating 90! That’s 90 years of providing VBS curriculum, training, and administrative helps that have been used by thousands of churches to reach millions of unchurched kids, teens, and adults. I’ve been combing the archives for advice from the past that is just as relevant today.

This list of questions will be a valuable resource as you begin planning printed promotions (flyers, newspaper and web advertisements, and bulletin inserts) for VBS 2015.

1. Does the message focus on how VBS will benefit the family?

 

2. Is the copy exciting, compelling, easy to read, quickly understood, and directed to one person (written as if you are telling one friend)?

 

3. Are all the essential details included (church name, location, dates, times, ages, cost, and contact information)?

 

4. Does the copy end with a call to action (enroll now, phone for additional information)?

 

5. Are the graphics appropriate and related to the VBS theme?

 

6. Does the appearance and message project quality and create a positive first impression of the Bible school and church?

Celebrating 90: LifeWay Christian Resources began publishing VBS resources in 1925 under the leadership of Dr. Homer Grice.

From the Archives: Telling Your Church About VBS Part 2

wooley1 2013

Enlisting congregational support for VBS is a continuous process that must begin early and build momentum. As you continue evaluating VBS 2014 and begin planning for VBS 2015, here are six ways to insure every member of the church is on the team.

1. Enlist a phone team to call every member.

2. Conduct a Pep Rally two or three weeks before VBS to teach the theme song, motto, and Scripture.

3. Sponsor a coloring contest for children to promote VBS. Display the finished artwork throughout the church building.

4. Begin decorating sections of the building several weeks in advance. Add something new each week.

5. Hold a VBS Preview Day several weeks in advance. Display crafts, sample refreshments, demonstrate games, and preview Bible study and music.

6. Ask the Pastor to preach on the importance of using VBS to reach the community with the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Check out additional ideas by reading From the Archives: Telling Your Church About VBS Part 1.

Celebrating 90: LifeWay Christian Resources began publishing VBS resources in 1925 under the leadership of Drs. Marion Frost and Homer Grice.

 

From the Archives: Telling Your Church About VBS Part 1

wooley1 2013

VBS 2014 may be behind you, but it’s never too early to begin spreading the word about VBS 2015.

As LifeWay’s VBS team celebrates 90 years of providing trustworthy curriculum and training, I have been searching the archives for wisdom and tips that are as relevant today as when first published. Here are six ways to insure every member of your congregation is aware, energized, and on the team for VBS 2015.

1. Display photos from VBS 2014 to remind everyone of the fun and life-changing impact of VBS.

2. Make bulletin and newsletter announcements exciting and creative. Build expectation!

3. Conduct a Worker Enlistment Sunday complete with banners, displays, buttons, and prizes.

4. Give every volunteer an “I’m On the Team!” button, and ask that it be worn for three or four weeks before VBS.

5. Create eye-catching displays throughout the building.

6. Enlist volunteers to give VBS testimonies in every Sunday School class.

Celebrating 90: LifeWay Christian Resources began publishing VBS resources in 1925 under the leadership of Drs. Marion Frost and Homer Grice.

Let the VBS 2015 Shopping Begin!

wooley1 2013A group of enthusiastic VBS Groupies recently asked me what they should be shopping for now that will be useful for Journey Off the Map™. If you are thinking ahead and have storage room, Summer clearance sales can be a great opportunity to purchase decorations for pennies on the dollar.

In addition to discount and hobby stores, be sure to check out hardware and garden centers, toy stores, the seasonal section of your grocery store, and party stores. I have also captured good finds at Bed Bath & Beyond and Target.

Here are a few bargains I have found in recent weeks that will make great additions to VBS 2015 decorations:

  • Butterfly kites (2 sizes)
  • Bamboo poles used for staking plants
  • Bamboo fencing (also found at the garden center)
  • Woven mats (both table mats as well as floor mats)
  • Botanical place mats
  • Botanical yard banners
  • Botanical serving bowls
  • Mosquito netting
  • Yard (tiki-style) torches
  • Wood crates and boxes

Let the shopping begin!

From the Archives: “Preparing for VBS” Part 3

wooley1 2013As we continue to Celebrate 90, today’s archives wisdom comes from a 1997 training outline titled: 62 Ways to Prepare Yourself for A Galactic Good News Adventure. While some of the ideas were specific to the theme, here are six more reminders that apply every year. Check out Part 1 and Part 2 for additional ways to prepare yourself for VBS.

1. Visit lifeway.com/vbs for additional ideas and suggestions. (And don’t forget PINTEREST and FACEBOOK, which are now two of our most popular sources for sharing ideas.)

2. Write your personal VBS Purpose Statement.

3. Delegate as much responsibility (at home and church) as possible so you will have time to enjoy the excitement of the VBS week.

4. Make a VBS preparation checklist.

5. Call or send a note to a VBS worker from your past and tell him/her how their ministry impacted your life.

6. Enlist adults (and teens) who will not be able to attend VBS to help you with preparations.

 

 

From the Archives: “Preparing for VBS” Part 2

wooley1 2013We’re Celebrating 90! That’s 90 years of publishing VBS curriculum, and I’ve been digging through the archives.

Today’s wisdom is obviously a continuation of Part 1, and comes from a 1997 training outline titled: 62 Ways to Prepare Yourself for A Galactic Good News Adventure. While some of the ideas were specific to the theme, here are six reminders that apply every year.

1. Conduct a prayer walk around the church campus.

2. Prepare meals for the week of VBS ahead of time and freeze them (double your recipe and share with another VBS worker).

3. Pray that other churches in your community will catch a vision for the evangelistic opportunities provided by VBS.

4. Make sure you know how to lead children to Christ by studying the inside cover of your VBS leader guide.

5. Enlist a homebound member of your church to be your personal VBS prayer warrior.

6. Search your closet, garage, and second-hand stores for your theme-related costume.

Today’s Trivia: LifeWay Christian Resources began publishing VBS resources in 1925 under the leadership of Dr. Homer Grice, a pastor from Dallas, Georgia.