VBS 2014 Jump Start Kit Available Today!

Let the celebration begin!!!

LifeWay’s new VBS 2014 Jump Start Kit is available at LifeWay Christian Stores today!

jump start kit

Pre-orders started shipping last week so many of you have already had a chance to explore this great new resource.

We would love to hear your reaction to both the Jump Start Kit and the new Takin’ It Home CD.

VBS 2014 Tour Stop 6: Takin' It Home

wooley1 2013The newest addition to LifeWay’s family of VBS resources is the VBS 2014 Takin’ It Home CD. You may have read about it back in June.

Takin’ It Home is truly one of the most exciting aspects of VBS to come along in years. VBS leaders and pastors are constantly trying to figure out ways to connect with parents, and this is it!

Takin’ It Home CD is designed for families to listen to in the car on the way home from VBS. A segment for each day not only serves as a review for the the kids, but introduces the content, life application, and memory verse to the parents as well. Each day families will be challenged to have intentional conversations with each other. Families will also be challenged to pray together and return the following Sunday for Bible study and worship.

We tested Takin’ It Home with four churches this summer and have heard great stories such as the parents in Florida who made professions of faith as a result of interacting with their kids and the CD. Or the mom in Tennessee who rushed into the church office wanting to know where she could get a copy for a neighbor family. We also heard from a mom who said she had never had such meaningful conversations with her kids.

We believe so much in this resource that we have done everything we can to make it possible for every family to have a copy of their own. Every church will receive a copy in the Jump Start Kit, along with permission to make as many copies as needed. In a few weeks  there will also be free downloadable files at lifeway.com/vbs. Again, make as many copies as you wish.

If you do not have a way to make copies, or if you would just enjoy the convenience of having them made for you, we have taken care of that as well. You can choose to purchase Takin’ It Home CDs in 10 packs.

For a few extra dollars you can have the message of Takin’ It Home customized especially for your church. Our actors will record the segments specifically for your church, along with a message of invitation to attend future services and events. You will receive a master copy and permission to reproduce as many copies as you need.

VBS continues to be one of the very best ways to connect with unchurched families, and now Takin’ It Home makes it easier than ever to connect with parents.

 

 

Decorating Monday

thomasWho’s ready for another “Decorating Monday”? So far you’ve seen snippets of Worship Rally Headquarters, Bible Study at the Evidence Vault, Crafts at the Lab, and Snacks at the Break Room. Whew! That’s quite a workout!

Speaking of workouts, how about we take a look at the site for rec during Agency D3—the Training Grounds. Lots of people have told us that their decorating for recreation is minimal at best, but take a look at how easy it is this year to use rec equipment as decoration.

You’ll probably want to watch this video more than once to catch all the crazy antics going on in the background. Gotta love those crazy designers!

Agency D3 Decorating- Recreation from LifeWay VBS on Vimeo.

Foto Friday. . .What is It?

tyrrellOkay Agents, here’s your next Foto Friday assignment, “What is It?”. Here’s this week’s close-up. It’s 2 images! Muh ha ha ha! ! ! Can you DISCOVER what it is? Can you DECIDE if it’s a snack or a craft or Hulk hands or something else? Will you DEFEND your choice?

Give me your best, craziest, funniest responses!

 

photo3

 

Photo26-crop

Foto Friday. . . What is It? Revealed!

tyrrell“Candy sushi”

“hulk hands got carried away and squished some things together”

“Popcorn salad”

“fruit and puding mixed”

“something that was discovered growing in the evidence lab”

“The Hulk hands will be needed to make it!”

“fruit cake smash”

“cut up gummy bears”

“fur from the mad scientist’s puppy assistant”

Oh you people have some great comments! I love how you all are deducing what it is! You all are GREAT AGENTS!

What is it? It’s our “Sushi in Disquise!” This is a fun one to make! Rice Krispie Treats®, rolled fruit tape (Can you say Fruit Roll-ups®?! lol!), and jelly beans or gummy bears or worms. At times, agents need to go undercover or wear a disquise!

Stay tuned later today for your next assignment in . . .”What is it?”

 

Image3

 

sushi in disguise

VBS 2014 Tour Stop 5: 6 Step VBS Continued

wooley1 2013Last Tuesday I introduced you to the simplification and reorganization of the VBS 2014 Administrative Guide for Directors based on LifeWay’s 6 Step VBS. Age-group leader guides have also been simplified as well – you are going to love the cleaner look – beginning with Page 1 which includes a version of the 6 Step VBS designed specifically for teachers.

1. Prepare Your Heart

2. Get the Basic Facts from Your VBS Director

3. Plan

4. Gather and Prepare

5. Teach

6. Continue the Connection

Following is a brief explanation – at least in my words – of what each step means.

Prepare Your Heart: Great teachers are first great learners. Preparing our hearts to teach VBS means first allowing the message of each Bible story to speak to and transform us personally. The Bible content of Colossal Coaster World is a great example. Before I could teach others to face fear by trusting God, I had to first trust God with some of my own fears.

Get the Basic Facts from Your Director: Simple facts such as session time, room assignment, and a list of other activities and rotations planned for the day, are essential to the planning process. This may seem like a no-brainer, but regrettably I have been the teacher who was told, “Just show up a few minutes early and we’ll tell you what you need to know.” Can you say, “Mistake!”?

Plan: Take time to look over all five sessions to learn how each connects to the others. Once you have the big picture you can begin planning one session at a time, making lists of items to gather and prepare for each day.

Gather and Prepare: My favorite way to prepare for VBS is to create a master list of all the resources I need to gather, purchase, or prepare. With list in hand I like to make one raid on the church resource room, one shopping trip, and take one evening to put everything together. Then, using six boxes or bags, I separate everything by the day it will be used. The sixth box is for the resources that will be used every day. By taking time in advance to gather and organize I save tremendous time and anxiety the day of the session. Each morning I simply review the lesson, pick up the appropriate box, and head to church.

Teach: There is a little more involved here than just reading or telling a passage from the Bible. But with a little preparation and a little knowledge of why a variety of learning activities are important, transformational teaching will be much easier than you might imagine.

Continue the Connection: We spend all week getting to know and influence kids, and then on the last day of VBS we tear down the decorations, throw the resources in a closet, run to our cars, and consider the job done. VBS is one of the best opportunities the church has to connect with unchurched kids and their families, yet we so often cut the relationship off just as it is gaining momentum. Think of it as starting to build a bridge but then halting construction half way across the river. Continue the Connection (follow-up) is not the responsibility of the pastor, the VBS director, nor any one person or team. Continuing the connections started during VBS is the responsibility of every VBS worker and church member.

To learn more about these six simple steps check out Page 1 of a LifeWay’s VBS leader guide which will be available in December.

Next week, Tour Stop 6: Takin’ It Home

More Decor

thomasJudging by the comments on Keith’s most recent Foto Friday blog, it seems the consensus thus far is leaning toward some kind of snack. We’ll find out for sure this Friday. In the meantime, while we all have snacks on the brain, let’s take a closer look at some ideas for decorating the snacks area of Agency D3—the break room. This one’s a fun one!

Be sure to check out the tutorial at the 1:24 mark. I’ll walk you step-by-step through the process of making screw heads out of Styrofoam balls to give your Agency D3 decorations an industrial feel. They’re so easy, yet add so much (and are incredibly inexpensive). Now that’s my kind of decoration!

 

VBS 2014 Tour Stop 4: 6 Step VBS

wooley1 2013Is it really possible to boil VBS down to six simple steps? Well, maybe not, but you spoke and we listened! You said, “Make VBS simpler!” So LifeWay’s VBS team went back to the drawing board and looked for ways to make it happen.

The first thing we did was take a look at the way the Administrative Guide for Directors was organized. Actually the admin guide had already been reorganized for 2013 around six categories, and many of you enthusiastically responded that it was a great change. As we pondered (a favorite word and action of our VBS publishing team leader) these six categories, we realized they are the bases of six simple yet extremely necessary steps required for planning and conducting a successful VBS.

The Six Steps for VBS directors and pastors are:

1. Know Your Purpose and Theme

2. Start Planning

3. Enlist and Train Workers

4. Promote and Publicize

5. Register Participants

6. Continue the Connection

Like I said, simple!

Know Your Purpose and Theme: Most people assume they know why VBS is being conducted, but in reality there are typically as many different reasons as there are people on your team. Successful Bible schools are organized and conducted around a focused and unified purpose. I’m hoping the purpose of your VBS is evangelism!

Once you know your purpose you must know your theme, or better yet know the purpose of your curriculum. For example, is your curriculum and theme designed for evangelism or for something else? Look closely, you might be surprised!

Start Planning: Great planning follows a process that includes creating a calendar or work timeline, allocating dollars in a budget, and enlisting key leadership.

Enlist and Train Workers: An important aspect of enlisting workers is to outline expectations and responsibilities clearly and then turn the workers loose to do their jobs. A key expectation should be participation in training!

Promote and Publicize: Promotion, first to the congregation and then to the community, needs to begin early and reoccur often.

Register Participants: Registration seems like a no-brainer, yet many VBS leaders fail to capture accurate and adequate information for every participant. As a result, the ability to carry out the sixth step becomes limited.

Continue the Connection: For decades we have called it follow-up, but have come to realize that much more than mailing a thanks-for-attending postcard is needed if we are going to connect unchurched families to the Gospel and to the church.

Check out the VBS 2014 Administrative Guide for Directors for more detailed information on each of these six steps. This year you can implement these steps earlier than ever with the all-new VBS 2014 Jump Start Kit that will be available in October!

Next week, Tour Stop 5: 6 Step VBS Continued – introducing the six steps of the age-group leader guides.

 

Decorating for Bible Study

thomasHappy Monday! Let’s celebrate with another decorating demo!

Today’s decorating video features a sneak peek at the location for Bible Study at Agency D3—the Evidence Vault. And for all of you VBS DIYers out there, be sure to check out the technique demonstration around the 2 minute mark.

 

 

Foto Friday. . .What is it? Revealed!

tyrrellIn last week’s Foto Friday, I started a new feature titled, “What is It?”. We had some good guesses. Thank you to Ukulelegirl, Joyce and Sue for your guesses. You all were close. It’s a craft that you can eat! It’s one of our preschool crafts called, “Slice Specimens”. It’s vanilla pudding with food coloring made to look like a slide specimen! Stay tuned later today for your next assignment in. . .  ”What is it?”.

WHAT IS IT?

WHAT IS IT?

 

 

SLIDE SPECIMEN!

SLIDE SPECIMEN!