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! ! !

Get People Involved in VBS

VBS is a ministry for everyone in the church. While some people may not be able to help during the actual week of VBS, they can be great sources of help in the preparation stage! Many people that may not be able to take off and work during VBS are still willing to help in smaller ways. Plan a day a few weeks before VBS to have volunteers come and help cut and prepare the supplies to make the crafts. Having things precut and prepared helps the teacher during VBS week not be so overwhelmed when it’s time to help the kids.

Setting up and tearing down are other great times for extra help. Decorating the church and the rooms are great times to get people involved. By the end of VBS week the teachers are worn out, so having some extra hands come in and help them take down the decorations and return the rooms to their original order is always appreciated.

Another important area of preparation is prayer. VBS is an important ministry in the church, and to make it most successful it should be covered in prayer. Create a prayer team and have them do a prayer walk in the rooms that will be used during VBS. Send out prayer cards found on the Administrative Guide CD-ROM so that people will know what to pray for everyday of the VBS week.

Church members may not have a full week to devote to VBS, but many of them want to help and can be available for short-term projects. Take advantage of this and get as much done as you can before the week begins.

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?

When We Are Weak… He Is Strong!

Hey, this is Rhonda. My “day job” is serving as the Editorial Project Leader for VBS at LifeWay. But, in my “other life” I’m a pastor’s wife. God’s plan for our family for over 30 years has been ministering in small churches. (So when people ask if we consider the needs of small churches, my answer is a resounding, first-hand “Yes!”) 

I am happy to get to share our VBS story with you. A few weeks ago I didn’t know if there would be a story, but God knew what was coming!

We were cruising toward VBS time when the bottom seemed to drop out. With less than a month before VBS, two of our key VBS workers had major surgery, one other leader was put into the hospital, and the director came down with strep and mono! In the whirlwind that followed, God blessed in ways we couldn’t imagine. At less than a week before VBS, all the key teaching positions were filled, some by folks teaching a Bible study class for the first time. My “comfort zone” position has always been teaching one of the children’s Bible study classes, but I became fill-in director. And as God is so faithful to do when His children are willing and obedient, He blessed us over and over all through VBS.

In addition to helping direct, I also taught the preschool music rotation. It was a blast! They did great with “Good Things” and “Gonna Ask Jesus.” But the most requested was our “silly” time with “Stop and Go” (which they called Crazy Driver). I’m hoping all the videos never make it to face book. Apparently I really got into it!

I could write a whole blog about each person or teaching team who helped kids connect with the Good News about Jesus this week, but our recreation team were a prime example of how everyone at VBS is a Bible teacher. They first caught my eye during our church’s VBS training – big, burly guys huddled over a set of rec cards and talking about the daily Bible content cards first and ways to reinforce the daily Bible lesson.

During the week, these guys, who all work hard running their own businesses, arrived early and engaged the early arriving kids before time for the meal. (We started with supper every night instead of snacks.) As each group of kids arrived for their scheduled rec time, they were asked specific questions about their Bible story or Bible verse. They played the games with the older kids or the preschoolers. Their smiles, patience, and faithfulness were amazing examples of Godly men for the kids at our VBS.

I am thankful to God for our Rec crew, the Bible teachers who helped kids know how to become a Christian, the hard working kitchen crew who feed all of us all week, and those who taught in any capacity. But most of all, I am thankful to God. All of us at Rock Springs agreed, it was all God!

Oh, and for those who remember my post from a few weeks back, of course we ended the week with a little pool time!

She floats!

Foto Friday. . .Inflatables and more!

Hi everybody! ! ! What an exciting week this has been for me. . .I’ve been helping in my VBS, Big Apple Adventure (4th grade) and the new theme was released! I hope you all are excited about VBS 2012′s Amazing Wonders Aviation! Last week, I posted several “close-up” photos of a few of our VBS 2012 products plus a photo of me “working”! lol!

Those photos have garnered a few comments! :P (Susan, is REALLY wanting to see the inflatables!)

So Susan, since you asked, here are the photos!

What is it?

These are my AWA wings that I designed!

Close up from our VBS Facebook

Airplanes! ! ! !

I love this photo. . . so many airplanes! ! !

What is it?

Still not sure. . .what is it?

It's the large inflatable globe! ! !

I thought you all would like to see what all I had in my office in this “clue” photo from last Saturday! lol!

If there is one thing you all have learned about me is that I like to have fun! Here are a few fun photos of the large inflatables!

I'm bowled over! ! !

Look mom! I have the whole world on my shoulders!

Cindy has got the skills!

Now that you guys know the VBS 2012 themes, help us shape what VBS is for the future!! We want to hear from you! Help us make VBS exactly what you need, and you could win a VBS 2012 Super Sampler!
I’m so excited to be back on Foto Friday! ! ! (but to be honest, I kinda liked slipping a Saturday post in) :)



Saturday Surprise. . .Times Square Ball revisited!

UPDATE: Hi everyone, Keith here! I wanted to repost this blog since churches are getting ready for their VBS’s! I do want to add a little something extra. I found this website dedicated to the “Sparkleball”. Supposedly, this is what they are called! I hadn’t realized when I first made mine. Oops!

Now, for the original post!

The Times Square Ball we made for the VBS Previews has taken on a life of it’s own. Originally, I wanted to create a “Times Square Ball” that we could use in the Preview events and “drop” (just like the real Times Square Ball) at the end of each day but little did I know that it was going to be a big decoration hit!

Here’s the story. The ball was not developed as we were creating the curriculum. . .that’s why it’s not in theDecorating Made Easy book. I kinda thought of it as we were driving to our first event in Ridgecrest. Carol (my editor) and I were talking about it. . .trying to figure out how to make it. When we arrived in Ridgecrest, a group of us ran to Wal-Mart for supplies. We picked up what we thought would work, including their last box of Christmas lights! An hour before EXPO was to open, we finally started to work on the ball. . . we really didn’t know if it would work or not but it did!

Here are the supplies that I used.

  • 50-100 count Christmas tree lights
  • 55 9oz. Solo clear plastic cups
  • glue gun
  • drill (I used a 3/16″ drill bit because that is the size my lights would fit in)

If you use LED lights, it should lessen the chance of melting. I actually poked the entire casing through the hole.

I wanted to do another Foto Friday today and show how to make the Time Square Ball with photos but I think it might be easier to do it with a video! Enjoy!


You can change this up by using white lights or lights that sparkle (which might look really cool!) or even add some taller plastic cups to the ball to add some depth to the ball.

Just remember to have fun!

Update: I’ve been asked how I would drop the ball.

Honestly, we ran out of time after it was created, to figure out how best to drop the ball! The Preview event was about to start. I was determined to “drop” the ball at that first event, even though I didn’t have the right materials to do it. It was a funny, funny sight. . .me on a ladder behind the Times Square set, trying not to fall off the ladder (don’t tell my boss!), and slowly lowering it by hand!

I’ve given some suggestions in the comments field but after thinking about it, I think I’ve figured out a solution. If you have a piece of PVC pipe (I used a 1 inch in diameter piece), inserted that through the ball, in between the cups. (see photo).

Now, you should be able to pull the ball down using the extension cord. Or attach some fishing line to the ball and pull it down with that!

Here’s a bit of an extra for you. . .2 close-ups of  some of the VBS 2012 products!



Foto Friday. . ."VBS Cash Cab"

This week’s Foto Friday is actually another video. . .not a decorating video but a guest video! Jonathan of First Baptist Church Jacksonville posted a great VBS recruitment video on our Facebook page. I really wanted to share it with everyone!

Unfortunately I couldn’t get it loaded on the page, so if you don’t mind, I’ve provided the link below to it on our Facebook page.

Check out the video here.

Now that the VBS season is about to start, we would LOVE to see your photos and videos and LOVE to post them on the blog for Foto Friday! ! ! So, post them to our Facebook page or our Community!

BTW, be sure to check the blog next week! ! ! Exciting time! ;)

Lookie lookie what I just posted! Another VBS 2012 Close-up photo! ! !

Foto Friday. . .Decorating Missions Central

Earlier this week, a young lady posted on the VBS Facebook page a question about how to decorate for Missions Central. She was having a “major creativity block” (if it’s okay to quote her).

This Foto Friday, I decided to post the “Decorating Missions Central” video, in hopes that this will help her!

So, Kylie, here’s the video for the Decorating Missions Central!


We do have a few areas on our VBS Community pages where you can post your ideas. The Idea Bank is a great resources. . .check it out!  We also have an area on the Communtiy where you can load your own Missions photos or look at the photos that have been posted.

I do want to give a shout-out to one of the people who commented to Kylie’s post. Katrina said, “You could also think of doing your missions room as Times Square.” I love that idea!

Thanks everyone!