Agency D3 Worship Rally Live Stream

Friends, we have some exciting news.  You can be among the first to preview the all-new Agency D3 Worship Rally videos!  On Tuesday, November 12 at 1:00PM CST, we will live stream all of the videos for the 2014 Worship Rally.  Be sure to save the date, bookmark this page, and share your thoughts with us on Twitter using hashtag #AgencyD3 while you watch!

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Unpacking the Jump Start Kit!

The Agency D3 Jump Start Kit is now shipping! Want to know what all the fuss is about? You came to the right place. Today, we’re going to unpack the kit to show you everything that is included and why it is a must-have for VBS directors.

You’ll remember from this post that Starter Kits have now replaced samplers. The Jump Start Kit is designed to give VBS directors a jump start in planning, promoting, choosing dates, and enlisting volunteers.

The Agency D3 Jump Start Kit includes an Administrative Guide for Directors, a copy of Decorating Made Easy, Music for Kids CD, a sample of the Kids Evidence Kit for Grades 1-6, Special Agent Carabiner, Special Agent Rearview Sunglasses, Catalog, Jump Start Poster, Promotional DVD, a master of the new Takin’ It Home CD, and an exclusive Director’s Badge, all packaged in an official Agency D3 metal attache case.

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Let’s take a look at each piece:

  • Administrative Guide for Directors- This guide contains everything a VBS director needs to plan, conduct, evaluate, and follow up on VBS. You’ll find schedules, organizational charts, reproducible items, PowerPoint presentations, handouts, and more!
  •  Decorating Made Easy – This guide gives step-by-step instructions for creating both large and small scale decorations and it includes a CD full of colorful clip art.
  • Music for Kids CD – Be one of the first to hear the Agency D3 music for kids!
  • Kids Evidence Kit – The number one item each kid needs! It includes everything kids need to collect and examine the evidence presented in Bible Study: an Evidence Log, D3 Decoder, five Daily Evidence Cards, one Special Agent ID card, one invisible ink pen.
  • Special Agent Carabiner and Special Agent Rearview Sunglasses- Here are two fun accessories that kids of all ages will want! The Special Agent Carabiner is a clip, flashlight and pen in one. The Special Agent Rearview Glasses have a mirror on the edge of the lens that allows agents to catch action from all angles!
  • Jump Start Poster – Help promote your VBS with the double-sided Agency D3 poster.
  • Promotional DVD – This Agency D3 Promotional CD is filled with promotional clips to use for teacher training, promoting VBS, and recruiting leaders.
  • Takin’ It Home CD – The all-new Takin’ it Home CD. Each day when kids leave your VBS, place the CD in their hands with instructions to play it in the car. It helps kids follow-up on what they just learned and helps engage families in spiritual conversations. The CD included in your Jump Start Kit can be reproduced as many times as you need! It can also be customized to be specific to your church.
  • Director’s Badge – Your very own Agency D3 Director’s Badge!

So there you have the Agency D3 Jump Start Kit! You can pick one up at any LifeWay Store or order here today!

Foto Friday…What is It?

tyrrellHello Agents! It’s time for this week’s “What is It?“! I gave you a break last week. Actually I gave myself a break to find something really good. . .because you are TOO smart and keep guessing what it is! LOL!

Here we go. What is it?

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What do you think? Can you DISCOVER what it is? Can you DECIDE if it’s a VBS craft or snack? Will you DEFEND your choice?

Give me your best, craziest, funniest responses!

 

New Testaments – Life after VBS!

brown2Hey guys. After loading the 25 boxes of VBS New Testaments into the trunk of this lady’s car, I asked, “So what are you going to do with all these New Testaments?”

“We put them in treat bags at our church’s Fall Festival!” she said brightly. “We invite lots of folks from the community. Many don’t attend church, so it’s a great way to introduce kids and their parents to the Word of God!”

She went on to explain how excited she was about the activity pages and 30 days of devotionals included in the NTs. “They’re so fun and colorful, too!” she added.

Another church drops a New Testament into food bags that they put together for folks in their community. “Its a great way to ‘spread the Word’ to folks who may not even own a Bible!”

Let us know how you and your church use the VBS New Testaments during VBS – and after! We’d love to hear!

Guest Post: Apologetics in Agency D3

The following post is written by Dr. Shane Garrison. Dr. Garrison has served as assistant professor of Educational Ministries in the Campbellsville University School of Theology for the past five years. He additionally serves as president and lead consultant of Maple Trail Ministry Consultants.

I can’t wait for LifeWay’s VBS Agency D3 – Discover Decide Defend.  This year is going to be unlike any previous year in that we encourage our kids to take a hard look at the truths of the Bible and then learn how to defend what they believe in an ever-changing world.

The pattern and sequence is intentional.  We start by helping kids DISCOVER the truths of Scripture.  Then we ask them to DECIDE if they really believe what the Bible says about God, Jesus, and the way to be saved.  If so, then we help them DEFEND these truths in a world that is hostile, even angry, at such beliefs.  Discover Decide Defend makes perfect sense to me.

I can assure you as a parent of two elementary-age kids, the Christian worldview is under intense attack in our schools, communities, and country as our culture becomes far more religiously pluralistic and secular.  Anybody, including our kids, who takes a stand for biblical convictions and truth are seen as intolerant and out of line.  Our culture has determined we Christians can hold to our faith privately, but should never proclaim that faith publicly.

This is the world our kids live in and will continue to live in as they grow older.  So giving our children the tools to discover, decide, and defend their beliefs is vitally important.

It might be asked, however, “How is this VBS evangelistic?  How does Agency D3 share the Gospel of Jesus with unbelieving children and students?”

The answer lies in the power of apologetics.  Apologetics is simply defending the faith.  It is being able to stand for what you believe in and clearly explain how your faith is not built upon shifting sand, but on the rock solid Word of God.  We must be able to defend the reality of Jesus and his death on the cross as the only means of salvation.  “Our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.

Apologetics is being able to say, “I believe this truth because…”  It is simply always being “ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.” (1 Peter 3:15)  And our kids desperately need this – both believing children and unbelieving children.

For believing children, being able to discover decide defend will help them shore up any questions or doubts they might be facing.  It will provide for them a stronger foundation to stand upon.

For unbelieving children, we get the opportunity to teach them the essential truths of the Bible that will hopefully lead them to believe, not in some fairy tale, myth, or legend, but in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  We are showing (and hopefully proving) to these children that Jesus is real and He really died for their sin and if they really trust in Him, He will really save them.  Discover DECIDE Defend.

I believe apologetics is a powerful evangelistic tool.  One that has been in use by Christian pastors, teachers and leaders for more than 1000 years.

Foto Friday… What is It? Revealed!

tyrrellWell, it has been a light week on the comments, but Kimberly nailed it! “SNACK!! Cookie mustache, peanut butter nose with chocolate chip nostrils!”
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You are correct Kimberly, it is a snack and it is a cookie mustache, peanut butter nose with chocolate chip nostrils! Do you have hidden cameras in my office and can see what I’m going to do for “What is It?” Quick! How many fingers am I holding up!?!?! :P

This week’s photo is one of our snacks called, “Disguise on a Stick” and it looks yummy!

 

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Apologetics 101

thomasThe day we announced our VBS 2014 theme, one well-known apologist tweeted: “FANTASTIC! 2014 VBS curriculum from @Lifeway focuses on apologetics for kids. Excellent!” Since then we’ve heard many of you express the same kind of excitement about this Bible content designed to help kids discover the truth about who Jesus is and defend their faith in a culture that is often hostile toward Christianity. But we also know that “apologetics” is an unfamiliar word to some. Consider this your crash course. Are you ready?

 

What is apologetics?
Simply put, apologetics is the defense of the faith. It comes from the Greek word apologia, which means “a reasoned defense.” Just like attorneys use evidence and reasoning to defend their clients in court, Christian apologists point to concrete evidence and give well-reasoned answers to defend the truth of Christianity.

The purpose of apologetics is not winning an argument. The purpose is to draw people into a loving relationship with Jesus Christ, the cornerstone and foundation of our faith.

What about evangelism?
Apologetics goes hand-in-hand with evangelism. In fact, apologetics could even be described as pre–evangelism. For those who question the Christian faith, apologetics uses logical answers as springboards for sharing the gospel. Ours is not a blind faith; it is a faith firmly rooted in history and evidence.

Apologetics can also be described as post–evangelism. At some point, everyone will have his beliefs directly challenged, whether by a friend, teacher, family member, or the ever-pervasive media. When those “points of crisis” come along, we must be able to fall back on those foundational pillars of our faith and be assured not only of what we believe, but also why we believe it. Matthew 22:37 commands us to love God not only with our hearts and souls, but also with our minds.

Why are so many young people growing up and leaving their faith behind? It’s because the Christian community is failing to engage their minds as well as their hearts. As kids ministry leaders, we can give children a priceless gift by helping them to think biblically and to defend their faith before they leave our sphere of influence.

Can’t we hold off until they get to the youth group?
Let me answer this question with another question. Can we really afford to wait?

While teaching in VBS two summers ago, a kindergartner said to me, “My daddy says God isn’t real, so His Son isn’t real either.” What this 6-year-old was really saying was: “Tell me why what you’re saying is true.”

We must give kids reasons why Christianity is objectively true, why the Bible is God’s inspired and infallible Word, why we can know that Jesus was more than just a good man and that His resurrection is not a myth or elaborate hoax. If not, we risk losing our children and generations to follow.

As kids ministry leaders, we don’t have to have all the answers… and we don’t even have to pretend to. But we do need to be available to kids and help them work through their questions, doubts, and uncertainties honestly. This will become very important as they enter the teenage years and young adulthood… but it begins now. It begins in VBS. It begins with leaders who will not only help kids discover the truth, and introduce them to a Savior who died for them, and build a foundation for life-long faith in them, but who will show them by example how to live it out.

 

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Foto Friday…What is It?

tyrrellHello Agents!  Are you ready for this week’s “What is It?”? This week is actually VBS related. lol! I guess I have given you all a few curveballs lately but, I promise, this week is either a VBS craft or snack.

Okay, are you ready? Here it is!

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What do you think? Can you DISCOVER what it is? Can you DECIDE if it’s a VBS craft or snack? Will you DEFEND your choice?

Remember, give me your funniest, craziest comments.

Get the Communication Hub Humming

thomasIt’s time for another Decorating Monday feature! Today we’ll take a look at the site for music rotation during Agency D3… the Communication Hub. Because it’s Monday and because we like you, our faithful blog readers, so much, I’ll give you a piece of art to download that will make your decorating even easier.

 

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Here you go! We used keyboards all over the place in our Agency D3 decorations, but nowhere is it more critical than here in the center of communications for the entire Agency. All you need to do is mount these to foam board scraps and voila—a perfectly easy wireless keyboard!

Stay tuned for more quick tips and easy tricks to bring Agency D3 to life in your church this summer!

Agency D3 Decorating- Music from LifeWay VBS on Vimeo.

Foto Friday. . .What is It?

tyrrellAhh! I bet you thought I forgot our next assignment? Nope, I’m trying to keep you on  your toes! Here’s your next Foto Friday assignment.

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What do you think? Can you DISCOVER what it is? Can you DECIDE if it’s a VBS item or am I trying to throw you a curveball? Will you DEFEND your choice?

Give me your best, craziest, funniest responses!