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.”

EXPO Foam Plane

It has definitely been busy here lately. The VBS team has just finished our 4th event (Nashville Previews)! We have met a lot of fun people and taken a lot of photos!

Our airplane photos have been a LOT of fun! You can see them at our VBS Facebook page. Below are the specific links to each event:

1. Ridgecrest Preview

2. Ft. Worth Preview

3. Nashville’s 2 Previews

[Read more...]

Foto Friday. . .Clip Art revisited!

Hi everyone! I was trying to get the foam plane from EXPO posted today but I don’t think it will go out today. The Nashville Preview is going on right now, so I don’t want to rush the instructions. The instructions and the template will go out this weekend, so keep an eye out for it! I promise!  But I did want to repost this blog post (below). I’ve had several people ask me this week about the airplane with the 2 punch out faces, so I wanted to make it easier to find!

Clip art, clip art clip art. . . that’s the world I live in right now! I’m currently pulling all of our clip art together to be used in different locations. So, when I sat down to write my blog post for Foto Friday, I didn’t have a clue as to what to write. Then it hit me! Clip Art! I wanted to give you all some clip art that you might be able to use. I know our website is still being worked on, files being loaded. . .clip art included but they are not available yet, so here’s some!

Update: Be sure to check out the VBS Logos post!

I’m going to do 2 batches. . .JPG and PNG files. So here are the JPGs!

Here’s a fun one! You can print this one out, cut out the faces and then paste your pastor’s face, VBS director’s face, etc. into it! Here’s Gordon and me “flying” the plane! ! !

Now for the PNG files!


I hope you all like what I posted! Sorry for the number of them but I got excited thinking about all the possibilities! ! !

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.

A Picture's Worth……..

LifeWay employees took a break Friday morning for an impromptu adaptation of Four Square using the VBS 2012 Amazing Wonders Aviation Giant Inflatable Globe. While designed for decoration and promotion the globe (approximately 44 inches) obviously makes a fun addition to recreation as well. The globe ($29.99) will available October 1 through LifeWay’s Customer Service – 1.800.458.2772.

Enjoy!

Reserve These Dates Now!


Last week I encouraged you to begin working on your VBS 2012 budget now – using 2011 records and projecting forward for anticipated growth.

The second thing you need to do now is get all of your dates on the church calendar. Schools seem to be starting the first week of August – at least here in Middle Tennessee – and calendar planning has become a competition won by the dog that barks first and loudest! I’m not calling anyone a dog, but you get the idea – you snooze, you lose.

Obviously you need to schedule the week of VBS, but what other activities need to be on the calendar now?

How about the following:
**Enlistment (beginning and completion target dates)
**Training (both church and associational sponsored opportunities)
**Promotion activities such as flyer distribution, parades, registration events
**Family Night
**Follow-up events
**Worker appreciation event

Can you think of others?

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! ! !

Help! I Need Volunteers!

If you had to pick, what would go on the top of  your VBS checklist as a director? I would say that recruiting volunteers would be at the top of mine. Anybody who has ever worked at VBS knows that it is impossible to pull it off without people who are willing to give their time and volunteer! We need people who are willing to teach, make crafts, help with registration, organize the classes, and so forth. So, how do you get people to volunteer?

  • Pray. Prayer is so important. Ask God to help you to find the right people to volunteer for the positions you need, and for you to recognize those people.
  •  Ask People Personally. Making announcements is a great way to let people know the need for volunteers, but it is also important to take the time to ask people personally. Some people may think the announcement is for everyone but them, so personally seeking them out helps them know that you really value them and want their help.
  • Recruit in Pairs. Some people may be new to VBS or may not feel confident in teaching, so recruit them and a friend. This gives you two volunteers and helps them be able to work with someone they know.
  • Provide a Job Description. People want to know what they are volunteering for, so make sure that you are able to provide a true job description so that they know what they are getting into!
  • Provide Training and Resources. Volunteers need to feel confident. Therefore it is important to let them know that training will be provided and that you will make sure that they will have all the resources they need.
  • Be Organized. Nothing can frustrate someone more than volunteering to help and then finding that the leader is unorganized and cannot tell them what needs to be done.
  • Show Appreciation. Many people are taking time off from work or giving up something else to help in VBS. Let them know that you appreciate them and all their hard work.

Making the VBS Connection

Last Tuesday I wrote about the five essentials of VBS follow-up: 1. Start with a plan; 2. Put someone in charge; 3. Know your audience; 4. Use a variety of methods; and 5. Be creative.

The ultimate goal of each of these essential elements is to help you and your church make connections with the people you want to attend your VBS.

Here are five essential (again with the word “essential”) ways to connect:

1. Make COMMUNITY connections. Since I know the purpose of my church, where it is located, and what happens inside the walls, I just assume everyone else in the community knows as well. Wrong! The majority of people who drive by the church each day are not even aware the church or the church building exist. Before we can have great success inviting people to VBS we must first introduce ourselves to them and help them know who and what we are.

This doesn’t happen just because we leave brochures at each house or place a large banner in front of the church building. Well in advance of VBS we must, as a church, become involved in the community. We must participate in parades, community festivals, community organizations and schools, and be actively involved in meeting needs of individuals and the community.

2. Make NEIGHBORHOOD connections. Many church members today have little connection with their neighbors. They may wave as they are headed to the car, but have not invested the time to build relationships. Yet these are the people we are going to hand a stack of VBS brochures and ask them to invite their neighbors.

If we are going to depend on church members to be the primary promoters for VBS we may need to invest time helping church members meet their neighbors. This can be accomplished through block parties, frontyard Bible clubs, and service projects.

3. Make KID connections. If we want to invite kids to VBS we have to first find them. We have to go where the kids go: little league ball fields, schools, parks and swimming pools, the library (do kids go to libraries anymore?). You get the idea. Discover where the kids congregate and take your information to them – especially at the time parents are picking them up.

4. Make SERENDIPITOUS connections. That is a big word that simply means connect with people in unexpected ways. If ever church in town is delivering brochures door-to-door you are going to have to do something that stands out, that is unexpected, that is memorable! My favorite idea to date is a church that put their invitation on a frisbee, waited until the middle of the night, and placed a frisbee on each driveway. The next morning as people went out to pick up the paper or leave for work they found a frisbee not only on their own drive but every driveway in the neighborhood. Not only was it unexpected, but who throws away a frisbee?

5. Make PERSONAL connections. The very best way to publicize VBS is still the old fashioned way – one person telling/inviting another person. Instead of just making a pulpit plea to invite friends and neighbors, offer a brief training session on what to say. Arm members of the congregation with all the facts so they will be able to not only invite but to answer questions kids and parents might have. Share testimonies from people who are currently attending church because a friend or neighbor extended an invitation.

Another aspect of personal connections is training church members how to connect with people once they walk in the door of the church. Connection points 1 – 4 may get someone to attend, but unless personal connections are made the person/family is not likely to return. For many church members making this type of personal connection does not come easily – especially for members who have been involved in the church for a long period of time or who have a large family or many friends already attending the church.

By now (if you are still reading this post) you should be thinking, “Wow, making connections takes a lot of work,” and your are absolutely correct. But if VBS is one of the largest outreach events on the church calendar it requires work. It requires making the connection.

Coming next Tuesday: Big Apple Adventure theme-related promotion ideas.

I Was Framed!

Hey! Pam here. I’m so excited to be a part of the VBS blog team. I’ve been very blessed to work on the creative side of VBS for several years now and it’s always fun and challenging. So, let’s get started!

If you haven’t had your picture taken at a photo booth lately, then boy are you missing out. Who knew wrapping up in a green sheet with a crown and a pair of sunglasses would be so much fun?  We had a blast shooting so many of you this year at our VBS Preview Events. This would be a perfect activity for VBS Family Night. After all, who doesn’t LOVE fun, adorable, or crazy photos of their kids? What a great keepsake! Plus, it’s super easy to pull together.

First, I started by purchasing several cheap frames at a local thrift store. Sometimes you have to dig around a little to find the good ones. Really, even the gaudy or ugly ones look good with a little spray paint. After removing the glass and cardboard backing, they were spray painted with a variety of bright colors. I used orange, royal blue, and green.

You can create a large oversized frame that’s perfect for group shots or individuals. I used a 4-foot x 8-foot sheet of blue insulation board that was cut into two strips of 48 inches x 8 inches and two more strips of 36 inches x 8 inches.  Paint all 4 strips with any craft water-based paint.  Do not use spray paint. It works great with a foam brush or roller. I used red paint and while it was still wet, added black streaks to create a fake-looking wood grain. Once it’s dry, use wide tape for assembly. This is perfect because it’s lightweight and easy to hold for photos.

 

 

You can create a cityscape or any New York scene for a background. I used the New York Harbor Supersized Backdrop. Drape green King-size flat sheets around your models and clip with binder clips. Add Statue of Liberty Foam Crowns and Big Apple Adventure Sunglasses and now you’re ready to shoot. You may want to print your own photos and place into VBS Picture Frames or create a gallery like we did on http://lifewayvbs.smugmug.com/

Doesn’t that sound like fun?  Here’s our VBS team plus a few of our favorites!

[slideshow]