It's Time for VBS!

It’s been an exciting week starting with the VBS 2012 theme release, but there’s also something else exciting happening. Can you guess what it is? It’s VBS 2011 Big Apple Adventure! Many churches began VBS this week, and we are hearing great reports from those of you who are experiencing it firsthand. I am one of those who is living and breathing VBS this week as I teach preteens in VBX. The kids at my church are loving Big Apple adventure. I am thankful to be able to take time each summer and teach VBS. As production editor on the VBS team, I spend a whole year reading and editing the products, and now I finally get to see them in action! It’s great to watch the kids play the games, make the crafts, and learn all the movements to the songs. My kids keep asking me which song is my favorite this year, and I have to say it’s been “Love You More.” I sing it in my car all the time. They were also impressed when I told them that I got to meet Proof, the missionary dog!

VBX has been great for my church. If you don’t use this format for your preteens, you should check it out. It’s so nice to have a curriculum that is especially for preteens. They are at that hard age between children’s ministry and youth ministry, so it’s a way to let them have their own VBS experience. I have taught VBX different ways each year. You can use as few or as many of the elements as you need. This year our preteens have gone to the music and missions rotation, but we have done our own crafts and recreation. The kids like having rotations that are just for them.

I can’t believe the week is almost over. Friday is Family Night complete with the VBS Musical. Our kids have been practicing their parts and singing their hearts out. I can’t wait to see them perform for their families. Whether you are in the middle of VBS or are planning for it in the coming weeks, I pray that you have a great week sharing the good news of Jesus with the kids you in your community.

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!

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/17602693]

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!

Foto Friday. . .Decorating Music Backstage

Hello! ! ! It’s Friday, Friday. . .  :D

Today on Foto Friday, I wanted to focus on another one of our decorating videos that we have on our VBS website!

This week, I want to focus in on Music Backstage. Melita did a fantastic job of creating the Music Backstage for the video.

Remember, we would love to see your photos and you can post them here on the community! And don’t forget, we have an Idea Bank, where you can post your ideas or read about other people’s ideas!

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/17602944]

Foto Friday. . .Creativity

“Hello Margaret, it’s me again. . .it’s been a long time. . . . .” about a week since last Foto Friday! :D

Sorry, I couldn’t resist!

It’s been real busy here lately! We are currently working on VBS 2012 here at LifeWay (I think we are releasing the theme in about a month!) and currently having preliminary discussions on VBS 2013! Can you believe it! I get so confused at times. . .sometimes I write the wrong year on checks!

While we are in brainstorming meetings, we always have some toys that we play with that helps us to think creatively. You know toys, like Play-Doh®, Legos®, etc. These toys are not meant to distract, but to help engage our brains.

So, this week’s Foto Friday is dedicated to some of our creations we made this last week! Enjoy!

My Star Wars Speeder!

My Speeder with Tron-like walker!

Okay, can you tell that I’m the geek on the team! lol!

Melita and Gordon's HUGE truck!

Landry's battleship (USS Landry?) lol!

It's a snail! ! !

Bill's Tower!

A rose from Cindy!

Pizza face man


Okay, this last one was not from one of our meeting but something my daughter made. . .so naturally, I had to throw this one in! Pizza face man!

Have a great weekend!

Five Favorites

Hey y’all! As you get ready for a super Big Apple VBS, don’t forget to plan ways to encourage and thank your teachers! We all know that what we do is our gift to the Lord, but it helps to get affirmation from others! Here are some of my favorite ways. Go to the VBS 2011 Administrative Guide to see others!

1. Provide childcare 20 minutes before and after VBS. It always helps to have a few minutes to pray, handle last-minute things, and take a few deep breaths!

2. Make several prayer tokens (use the VBS 2011 Subway Tokens or create your own) to pass among teachers during VBS. Share this prayer plan with teachers before VBS begins. When a teacher receives a token, it means that the person passing it has just prayed for her. Encourage teachers to keep prayer going as they pass the prayer tokens!

3. Set up a teacher snack area. Ask senior adults who aren’t teaching in VBS to provide homemade goodies for teachers and workers.

4. Print daily appreciation cards and attach candies and treats. We’ve made it easy for you—check out the great cards already prepared for you! Look in the Director’s Helps section on the CD that comes with the VBS 2011 Administrative Guide.

5. Give each teacher a VBS 2011 Adult Apron. The gift becomes more special when kids sign it or add their handprints.

So what’s your favorite way to encourage leaders? Share it here!

Found It on the Forum

Need Big Apple or Beach Blast clip art, e-cards, additional  snack or craft ideas? You can find all that and more on the VBS Forum.

Who knew everything you need is available with the click of a mouse? As I was scrolling through the VBS Web site a few days ago, I realized what a wealth of information is out there waiting to be discovered!

There is something for everyone involved in VBS, from the director to the Worship Rally leader. Here are just a few examples of what you can discover on the forum:

Decorating Ideas 

Teacher Appreciation Tips

Worship Rally Drama Skits

Puppet Skits

VBS 2011 Helpful Facts

Teacher Devotions

So as you can tell, there really is something for everyone. Head on over to the VBS Forum and check it out. Let us know what you find!

Your Most Important VBS Tool!

 When you think of VBS, what do you consider “must haves” in order to prepare. I’m sure the list would be as varied as our personalities. I wish we could compare notes over a cup of coffee! Regardless of the things that make up our individual lists, I hope that we would all list the same thing first… the Bible!

Your Bible isn’t just something you put in the stack of stuff to take to VBS. It’s the most powerful tool you have. More than that, it is the most powerful weapon in your arsenal (Hebrews 4:12).

What kind of spiritual impact would our VBS efforts have if we prepared our hearts and spirits first? Regardless of the curriculum you or your church have chosen, pick up your Bible and the Bible content outline and invest time reading the passages directly from God’s Word. Ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten your heart to the truth God has just for you in those passages. Ponder the daily Bible verse. Here’s a radical idea – memorize the daily Bible verses! Let them mingle with your thoughts as you go about your daily routine.

After you spend time with the Scripture and prayer, the leader devotions can help you focus on key elements in the Bible background. If you are using LifeWay’s VBS 2011 Big Apple Adventure™, these devotions are available in many of the leader guides and also online in both printable and audio versions!

My church’s VBS is just a few short weeks away! I think a cup of coffee and some quiet time sound great right about now. Care to join me?

T-shirt Giveaway

You might have noticed that the typical button-up leader shirt is nowhere to be found this year. But never fear… in its place is a fantastic Big Apple Adventure Leader T-shirt! It’s a ¾-length sleeve baseball style t-shirt, which I love because it’s not nearly as hot as a heavy button-up in the summer sun. Plus it’s distinct from the blue “I heart VBS” shirt, making it the perfect choice for teachers, leaders, youth workers, or even as a special shirt just for preteens! We get a lot of requests for a VBX t-shirt. So try this one out with your kids this summer and let us know what you think.

Excited yet? Well you should be, because we’re giving away a FREE leader t-shirt to five lucky VBS fans! To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post with a valid email address (so we can contact you for your t-shirt size). Tell us which is your oldest VBS shirt or which VBS shirt is your favorite and why.

You have one week to enter. Winners will be chosen randomly and we’ll announce the results here on the blog next Friday, April 22. So be sure to check back!

And even though I’m not eligible to win, I’ll get the comments started… my oldest VBS shirt is from Amazon Outfitters (HUH!), but my favorite is this year’s “I heart VBS” shirt. Every time I wear it I have people asking me what it means. Then I get
the chance to tell them about VBS and, most importantly, the reason for VBS—Jesus!

THIS CONTEST HAS ENDED.

Those Unsung Heroes…

They work hard. They serve faithfully. They assist in multiple VBS’s and go on mission trips. It’s a roller coaster summer. Inflated one day. Deflated the next. On a bad day they are more holey than righteous. But, on a good day, they are hugged by every kid in VBS. Yes, I’m talking about those unsung heroes, the VBS inflatables! What happens to them after the crafts go home, the music fades, and the decorations are passed along or packed away? Well, I’m pleased to report that a few fortunate ones are adopted by folks who care. My family is happy to be part of “VBS Inflatable Rescue” providing a home for some of those inflatables who have served faithfully but have nowhere else to go.

They joined us for our family reunion!!

The pony was especially fond of swimming pool leapfrog.

These faithful animals even walk on water!

They’re not forgotten in the winter either! Can you name this inflatable?

Not sure she managed to stay on for eight seconds.   I wonder if sledding ponies might be a new rodeo event?

Some of our pony's relatives at their new retirement home.

We’re already looking forward to adopting a VBS Taxicab Inflatable and a Giant Statue of Liberty Inflatable.

Our inflatables like to keep up with their families! Do you have stories or pictures of other inflatables who are still alive and well? Please share!

Foto Friday. . .Decorating Midtown Snacks

Hi everybody! I hope everyone is having a great day! This week’s Foto Friday is actually another decorating video I found on our VBS website. I actually has a lot of fun working on this set! This one is about the Midtown Snacks set. Melita, once again does a great job! Please pardon me. . .I get a little tongue-tied! lol!

When I built the hot dog cart, I initially was trying to figure out how to build the cart from the axle up! Luckly one of my co-workers mentioned my garden cart I have. It worked perfectly!

Here are some “in-progress” photos of the hot dog cart. The video is at the bottom of page.

Oh, remember, we would love to see your photos of the sets and decorations you build! You can post them on the VBS community.

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/17603305]

Don’t forget to check out Rhonda’s blog post this coming Monday. . .I got a sneak-peek and it’s good! ! !