Easy Peasy 2012 VBS Director's Evaluations

I know you’ve just seen months of planning come to fruition and all you really want to to is sit back and relax. But if you could, do one more thing. Just one and I promise to make it as easy as possible.

We want to hear from you. Please fill out the VBS Director’s Evaluations online here or you can complete a paper copy from the 2012 Administrative Guide and mail it in to the address on the form. That’s it! Easy peasy, right? And I promise I will read every one and pass along all your comments, thoughts, and suggestions to the VBS team to help us evaluate what you need for VBS to be easy for you.

Now Back to 2012!

Yesterday we had great fun revealing Colossal Coaster World, the hair raising theme for VBS 2013. I heard from many of you who are already planning “research” trips (a.k.a. family adventures) to amusement parks to prep. I have visited a couple myself in the past few months – purely for “research” mind you – and hope to visit one or two more by the time we introduce the theme for VBS 2014! So little time, so many roller coasters to ride!

But before we get too carried away with VBS 2013 we need to fly back to VBS 2012. More Bible schools will be held this week than any other week of the year. This means in the next few days I will start receiving thousands of VBS Reports. Actually, I have already received a few from churches holding VBS during Spring break.

Each year we mail a personalized VBS Report form to every church in the Southern Baptist Convention – some 46,000 plus. The 2012 Report Form was mailed out last week and should be arriving at your church any day now. WATCH FOR IT!

This form will already have your church name, address, and Southern Baptist Directory Services (SBDS) identification number and password. Using the ID and password you can enter your VBS information directly into the SBDS reporting system. You can also use the provided contact information to mail or FAX your completed report form.

This report is a Southern Baptist Convention report and not a LifeWay report. We encourage you to report your VBS whether you use curriculum from LifeWay, another publisher, or create your own. We also encourage you to report your VBS even if you call it something other than VBS.

In the event you can not locate the personalized report form you can always use the one provided in the Administrative Guide for Directors.

The data from this report helps us evaluate the effectiveness of the VBS ministry. Did you know VBS has been around for over 100 years and is still the largest outreach ministry conducted by most churches.

Thanks for all you do to promote the life changing ministry of VBS, and I look forward to reading your report!

Appreciate Your Leaders

You’ve enlisted them, you’ve trained them, and they’ve done their jobs! Now it’s time to show them a little appreciation for all those long hours, last minute errands, and loving’ on the kids.

No matter who you are or how long you’ve invested in the lives of kids, it never gets old to be appreciated, so we’ve complied some clever ways to say, “Thank you for all you do.”  Check out our “Teacher Appreciation Board” on the LifeWay Kids Pintrest site.  Some of my favorites include:

 

Or check out specific VBS theme appreciation ideas on the enhanced CD in the front of the VBS 2013 Administrative Guide for Directors.

What are some ways you’ve thanked your teachers?

More VBS Decorating Ideas Coming Your Way

With VBS and camps just weeks away, we have some great tips and ideas to share on tomorrow’s Kids Ministry 101 Show.

Ann Oliver, preschool ministry leader from Paris, Tennessee, will share great preschool decorating ideas and fun extras for Amazing Wonders Aviation. Mark Jones, decorator extraordinaire from Oklahoma City, has AWA site ideas for even the most artistically challenged (which includes me).

CentriKid Camp specialists Jeremy Echols and Mary Carlisle will be on hand to help you get yourself and your kids ready for camp.

Also on the show will be Brian Haynes, author of Shift: What it Takes to Finally Reach Families Today, and Scott Kindig who will present three basic strategies parents and the church need to raise radical kids.

Join us tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. Central at lifeway.com/kidsministry101show.

We’ll be looking for you.

Pilot Monologue

So many people have asked for a copy of the pilot monologue that was presented during Worship Rally at the VBS Preview events that we decided to post it here on our blog. The monologue gives a brief overview of the Bible content for each day of Amazing Wonders Aviation. Feel free to use it during your associational or church VBS training or in promotion of VBS in your own church!

Interesting fact: The “flight log entries” were taken from actual entries in a real pilot’s flight log from the 1960s.

[[Costume: aviator goggles, cap, scarf, and bomber jacket. Pilot enters, carrying flight log.]]

Ever since I was a little girl I knew I wanted to be a pilot. My granddaddy was a pilot, so I guess it’s just in my blood. I can remember listening to him tell stories of the incredible places he’d been and thinking, “one day I’m gonna see those things for myself.” I have all of his old flight logs and I love flipping through them and reading the little notes he wrote next to each trip. Sometimes the notes are just the name of a person he ferried from one place to another. Sometimes they detail damage to the plane or repairs that were needed. But sometimes the notes seem to capture the moment of what he was experiencing from the cockpit.

Take this one… September 9th, 1932… “Rainbow & rain over Grand Canyon. Awesome sight. Awesome Creator.” Then later “Extreme turbulence & blowing dust to see Cedar Breaks & Bryce Canyons. Safely through by His hand.” Those few simple words are a reminder to me of an amazing God who has awesome power over nature. [[Day 1]] When the Israelites were preparing to enter the promised land, one thing stood between where they were and where they wanted to be… a wildly rushing river at flood stage. But the God of all creation stopped the water from flowing and the people crossed safely on dry ground. Amazing!

Let’s look at another one. April 22, 1934… “Heavy fog & limited visibility. Sudden hail storm & extensive damage to No. 2 engine forces emergency landing. God protected.” You can check and recheck every piece of equipment and weather conditions and sometimes circumstances are just out of your control. [[Day 2]] But I know there is a God who has power over circumstances! Daniel found himself in a situation out of his control. He landed himself in a lion’s den by praying to God instead of the king. But God closed the mouths of the lions and protected Daniel. Amazing!

But you know, the most amazing thing to me is that God has power over sin and over death. [[Day 3]] Remember that rainbow my grandfather saw over the Grand Canyon? Well it is a reminder of a promise God once made. But you know, God made an even more important promise to mankind. He promised to send a Savior. It was His own Son, Jesus. Can’t you just imagine the looks on Simeon and Anna’s faces when they saw Baby Jesus in the temple that day? They recognized Jesus as the fulfillment of God’s promise! Now that’s amazing!

But the story didn’t end there. [[Day 4]] Jesus grew from a baby, to a boy, to a man. He lived a life without sin and yet was willing to pay the penalty for your sin and mine by dying on a cross. Then God, who has power over death, raised Jesus from the dead! Jesus died and rose again to be the Savior of the world. Nothing is more amazing than that!

[[Thumbs through log]] I’m glad my grandfather was a pilot. He instilled in me a love of adventure and a love of flying. But I’m especially glad that he was a man of great faith. [[Day 5]] He truly believed that God had power over his life and his circumstances. He met a lot of interesting people as a pilot, and he never shied away from telling them about our amazing God. In Acts 5, the apostles were being persecuted for performing miraculous healings and other signs and wonders. The high priest and the Sadducees arrested them and threw them in jail. But during the night an angel broke them out of prison and told them to go into the temple courts and tell people about their new life in Christ. Even when they were told to be quiet, they continued to boldly tell others about Jesus. God gave them power to be witnesses in difficult circumstances.

No matter what turbulence you encounter in life, remember the words of Psalm 147:5: “The Lord is great, vast in power; His understanding is infinite.”

Foto Friday…Preview/Expo fun photos

Well the Preview/EXPO season has ended for us on the VBS team and it’s time to get back  to working on VBS 2013. It has been SO fun meeting and talking with everyone! This last VBS Preview (at FBC Kissimmee) was especially fun for me because my daughter, Sadie, gave me one of her stuff animals (a stuff kangaroo named, Kanga) to take with me. So, I decided to take photos of Kanga on this trip and text them to her.

She THOROUGHLY enjoyed the photos! While I was down at Kissimmee, I was able to go to Downtown Disney, which was especially fun for her because my wife and I are taking her next month (Sadie’s 1st time)!

Kanga and Sadie

So, here’s Kanga’s adventures!

[slideshow]

VBS 2012 is ready for TAKEOFF!

Happy New Year!

As you read this post the first Amazing Wonders Aviation flight of 2012 is winging its way to Ridgecrest, North Carolina for the first of five national Preview events. Over 1,000 of the most enthusiastic VBS geeks in the nation are packing their bags for two exciting days and one sleepless night where they will discover that “Awesome God! Amazing Power!” is more than a motto. As Psalm 147:5 proclaims, “Our Lord is great, vast in power; His understanding is infinite.” What a great verse to start 2012!

While it might be too late for you to join us at Ridgecrest, there is still time and space for you to join the fun at one of the following sites:

Travis Avenue Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas, January 13-14
LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville, Tennessee, January 26-27
First Baptist Church, Kissimmee, Florida, February 17-18

To learn more go to lifeway.com/vbspreview or call 1.800.254.2022.

A new conference being offered at Preview this year is “VBS Community Online Live.” We’re taking one of the wealthiest sources of creativity – LifeWay’s VBS Community Idea Banks – and turning it into a live idea generating machine! Ideas generated during the Ridgecrest Preview will be posted right here next Tuesday. So get ready to be inspired!

By the way, if you have not joined the Community do so today at www.lifeway.com/vbs2012/yourvbs. Click on the “Community” tab at the top of the page.

Foto Friday. . .Flash Mob!

Hi everyone! As I was pondering what to do for today’s Foto Friday blog post, I read an email from my pastor, Dr Bruce Chesser (First Baptist Church Hendersonville). Bruce always sends out an email everyday letting us know what’s going on, what’s on his heart, upcoming events, etc. Well, the one I just read had me laughing so hard!

You see, on Wednesday nights, Bruce teaches his Pastor’s Bible Study” in the Fellowship Hall. Well, the youth decided to spread a little Christmas joy and excitement by flash mobbing his Pastor’s Bible Study!

The best part is toward the end of the video when the adults decide to flash mob the youth back! :D

Here is an excerpt from his email:

Here is how it happened. I had gone through my regular Wednesday night routine. I had gone by Children’s choirs and listened to them a little while. I had gone down to the Student Ministry Café and volunteered in the Snack Shop to make milk shakes and spend time with the teenagers. I had stopped by the gym where a huge group of teens were doing something (I didn’t know what at the time, I just saw kids and went in to see rub shoulders with them). Then I went into the Fellowship Hall to lead the Pastor’s Bible Study. Just as I was saying hello to the crowd and getting started it happened!

This hip-hop kind of music started blaring from the sound system and kids started coming into the room from everywhere. I mean everywhere. The curtain behind me opened and the stage was packed with teenagers. There were hundreds of teenagers in the front of the room, the aisles, the back of the room. They were everywhere. And then they started this weird dance (oops, it’s a Baptist church….I mean this weird creative movement display) to the music. Everyone in the room (adults, I mean) were all shocked by what was happening but thoroughly enjoying it. This went on for several minutes and then the kids finished by singing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas!”

So, you know what we (the adults) did? I invited the kids to sit down and I said to my compatriots, “they think you are old foggies. So, stand up and show ‘em what you’ve got!” Jeff Henry, the Middle School Minister jumped up on the stage. They cranked back up the music (did I mention it was LOUD) and the adults begin doing this same flash mob dance routine for the kids!

 

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/33720620]

Have you ever flash mob your pastor or VBS director?

Join Us Tomorrow for "The Show"


Tomorrow – November 9 – begins a new chapter in LifeWay’s Kids Ministry 101 with the introduction of our first web show. Each monthly installment, hosted by Bill Emeott, Klista Storts, Andy Dukes, and me!, is designed to educate, encourage, and engage by providing bite-sized training segments, nationally recognized guests such as Jon Acuff and Jim Wideman, and great tips on everything from preparing parents for camp to creating VBS decorations.

Join us tomorrow, 10:00 a.m., at lifeway.com/kidsministry101show. We’ll be watching for you!

On another note, we’re looking for a few awesome, amazing, and wonderful volunteers to help with our January VBS 2012 Previews at Ridgecrest, Fort Worth, and Nashville. You’ll have the opportunity to work in our amazing VBS EXPO, serve as a greeter, help out at the registration desk, and just be part of the team! I promise you’ll have fun.

In exchange for volunteering you will receive free registration for the event, meals, and an arm load of VBS shirts. Sorry, but we are unable to provide transportation or housing. For more information contact me at jerry.wooley@lifeway.com. If interested reply by noon, Thursday, November 10.

VBS Turned Their Church Around

One of the most rewarding aspects of providing resources for churches is hearing stories. God continues to bless through the ministry of VBS. A good friend sent in the following story written by Kiely Young of the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board. Enjoy and dream big! VBS does turn churches (and communities) around!

Pastor Bob Hill has been at Roundaway Baptist Church “out from” Indianola, Mississippi about three years. He came out of retirement to be the Interim Pastor of this church. The Pastor Search Committee stopped looking and just asked Bro. Bob to stay a while. He has.

He looked at the church calendar and noticed they did not have Vacation Bible School on the summer calendar. When he asked why, the response was, “We don’t have any children, so we don’t need to have VBS.” They had not had VBS in twenty-three years. Bro. Bob reminded them there were still strong elementary schools in the area and they were full, so there must be children in the area. He asked them to consider VBS again. They reluctantly agreed.

Bro. Bob enlisted two people, a VBS Director and a VBS Prayer Leader. He wanted to meet with them and ask God what to do. The church averaged about 40 in Sunday School. He wanted them praying for VBS. They determined they needed to do three things: Pray, Prepare, and Promote. Their story is amazing.

As they prayed they were impressed to enlist workers for at least fifty children, maybe more. They needed to contact every family in a five mile radius of the church and estimate how many children to expect. They did. They enlisted more workers. They promoted in the elementary schools, in grocery stores, convenience stores, everywhere they thought they might get the attention of children and parents of children.

They were not disappointed. They had 80 children for their first VBS in 23 years. Ten of those children were led to Christ and their families began coming to church and Sunday School. They grew from 40 to 60 in Sunday School! VBS worked. They followed up with every family who visited their VBS within the next week.

I asked Bro. Bob what he considered to be the more important thing they are doing. He said Vacation Bible School turned their church around. This year he brought twenty new leaders to our VBS training. They went back and trained the other leaders in their church. He said we keep VBS before our people year round. Oh yes…They had 80 children the second year and twenty came to Christ.

______________

Kiely Young is the Director of the Sunday School Department for the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board.