Discovering the Facts of Agency D3 Bible Content

wooley1 2013

So many of you got it right! The clock in Impossible Clue Number One was a small detail you quickly identified as a Scripture reference and it didn’t take you long to figure out the VBS 2014 verse is 1 Peter 3:15:

“But honor the Messiah as Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.”

And several of you also figured out at least two-thirds of the VBS 2014 motto:

Discover. Decide. Defend.

I am excited to announce the Bible content of Agency D3 is not only one of the strongest evangelistic studies we have ever offered, but is a study in apologetics at its best! Kids, teens, and adults will be challenged to discover for themselves the evidence that reveals who Jesus is, decide for themselves if this evidence can be trusted and accepted, and then given the tools to defend their decision. During each session, the agents of Agency D3 will investigate the truths of Scripture discovering that Jesus is truly the Son of God, is more than just a good man, died a real death, but is today alive!

While there will still be a specific day for presenting the ABCs of Becoming a Christian, the discussion becomes a response opportunity to the foundation that has already been created by daily evangelistic emphasis and statements.

And for those of you using The Gospel Project ongoing Bible study resources, you will be happy to see daily Christ Connection statements.

Children’s Bible Content

Day 1: Is Jesus Really God’s Son?

Evidence: An Eyewitness Report

Matthew 3:13-17; John 1:29-36

Kids can know that the evidence proves that Jesus is God’s Son.

 

Day 2: Was Jesus More Than Just a Good Man?

Evidence: Background Check

Mark 6:1-6, 30-56

Kids can know that the evidence proves that Jesus was more than just a good man.

 

Day 3: Was Jesus’ Death Real?

Evidence: Death Confirmed

Mark 14: 22-28; 15:22-47

Kids can know that the evidence proves that Jesus’ death was real.

 

Day 4: Is Jesus Alive?

Evidence: Physical Proof

Luke 24:1-48

Kids can know that the evidence proves that Jesus is alive.

 

Day 5: What Do I Do with the Evidence About Jesus?

Summing Up the Evidence

Acts 2:14-42; 1 Peter 3:15

Kids can use the evidence about Jesus to defend their faith.

 

Up next: Rotation Sites

 

And While We Wait…

wooley1 2013

Again this year we have had great fun watching you respond to our Impossible Clues. Thanks to our friend, the creative genius Steve Bussell at Seventh Story Productions in Franklin, Tennessee, for another great year of clues that even makes those of us who know the theme scratch our heads in wonder.

My favorite quote from this week was from co-worker Patrick Watts who said, “I know the theme and still can’t figure out the clues.” Steve, this indication that you out did yourself. You are truly the clue master and we are honored to have you on the team.

We are also honored to have each of you on the team as well. We affectionally refer to you as our VBS Groupies and we love you dearly. Thank you for making this week one of the true highlights of our work year – and for at least one week each year LifeWay’s highest rated blog!

While we all wait for the big reveal right here at 1:00 PM (CST), I want to ask you to join me in praying for the thousands of churches starting VBS today. Traditionally the first full week of June is the biggest VBS week of the year. Almost 50% of all Bible schools will be held in the next two weeks.

Statistics tells us that approximately 3,000,000 kids, tens, and adults will participate in one or more Bible schools this summer. Ten percent will tell us they are unchurched by leaving the church affiliation line on their registration card blank. This means that collectively we will discover 300,000 unchurched individuals this summer and this number does not include family members who didn’t participate in VBS. When parents and siblings are factored in, we will discover 1,050,000 people this summer who are spiritual orphans.

Join me in praying that not only will these spiritual orphans hear the Gospel proclaimed during VBS, but that they will be adopted into church families who do everything possible to build upon and continue the relationship connections made during VBS.

Some of the saddest conversations I have each year are with church leaders who say they no longer have VBS because it is no longer effective. When pressed what I typically learn is that the church accepted the gift of unchurch families attending VBS, but did nothing to build upon the relationship and continue the connections.

Throughout the afternoon we will be releasing additional theme and content information. I think you will be surprised by the many upgrades and improvement you will discover. You have spoken and we have listened!

One improvement I can tell about now is new terminology to replace follow-up and Family Nights.

We have decided to replace follow-up with continued connections. This is the result of multiple conversations with VBS leaders during of VBS 2013 Preview events in January and February. For many of us VBS follow-up has become nothing more than a “thanks for attending” postcard. Once the card is dropped in the mail we pat ourselves on the back and check follow-up off the list. While we need to express gratitude, to be effective we must go beyond a postcard and do the work of building upon and continuing the relationship connections made during VBS. You will hear more about this in the weeks to come.

Another term being upgraded due to these same conversations is family night. Beginning with VBS 2014 we will now call this celebration of the VBS week exactly that – VBS Celebration. You will hear more about this in the weeks to come as well.

I am truly excited to share the VBS 2014 theme, but even more excited  about the information I’ll be sharing later today. So stay tuned!

 

 

 

Ready to Give Up? Clue Number Six

wooley1 2013So what do you think about the information you have discovered so far? We know what the theme is not -  polar bears, cars, or pancakes. So let’s start with the information we have so far – a guitar man, a gorilla on a motor cycle that just happens to be a good basketball player as well, and a game of multiple choice. Easy to weave together isn’t it?

I’m thinking some of you have already figured out the theme and are just waiting for today’s clue in order to defend your suspicions.

Hmmmm, suspicions, the plural of suspicion, which just happens to mean a feeling that something is true. Could that be a clue? Possibly. Likely. But not necessarily.  But don’t forget, the details are everything, the details are everything, the details are everything, so in reality every word COULD be a clue. So, that is just something you will have to decide for yourself.

Don’t forget to check Facebook today… you might just discover something else that’s handy.

Ready or not, here is CLUE NUMBER SIX: Give Up Dorthy!

Clue #6 Cyper-Web from LifeWay VBS on Vimeo.

By the way, more churches will begin VBS tomorrow than any other day of the summer. Take a moment today to pray for the unchurched families attending VBS this year. Pray that we will not miss a single opportunity to build bridges to the spiritual orphans God puts in our paths this summer.
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A Basketball-Playing Gorilla – Clue Number Five

wooley1 2013Hey, did you notice I was included in Clue Number Four? I’m extremely honored to be on a short list of VBS guys (and one gal) that stretches all the way back to 1924. LifeWay has a long history of great VBS themes, and I’m thinking 2014 is going to be the best of them all!

I don’t know about you, but it seems a large number of people discovered a tremendous amount of information in Clue Number Two. The ship, plus Katie’s message in a bottle photo, has started a buzz that can be heard all the way to ITALY! Could a ship really be part of the theme or is it just leading you to shipwreck island? Hmmmmm, let me ponder that one for a few centuries and then get back to you.

And what can I say about Clue Number Four?  It was a no brainer.  Of course I have always preferred multiple choice exams. No matter which answer you choose there is a 25 percent chance of correctly guessing!  Given the tremendous way you all love guessing games, let’s hoist anchor and sail on to the next clue.

Grab your notepad and let’s watch IMPOSSIBLE CLUE NUMBER FIVE! Don’t forget to search for additional clues on Facebook today.

Clue #5 Title (Submarine)-Web from LifeWay VBS on Vimeo.

Before I close for the day I want to give a quick shout out to my Friendswood, Texas friends and travel buddies, Chris and Dinah, who as usual have left no stone unturned in their quest to determine what is meant by even the smallest detail of our Impossible Clues. Of course by now we all know “details are everything”!

Join me tomorrow for the final video clue, and don’t forget to join me Monday at 1:00 PM (CST) at lifeway.com/vbsthemerelease for the great reveal!

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It's Your Choice – Clue Number Four

wooley1 2013WOW! Melita is awesome at charades! She certainly deserves three cheers for that performance. Wait until you see her in tomorrow’s clue. She is one multi-talented young lady.

Speaking of things that come in multiples, let’s take a quick look at today’s CLUE NUMBER FOUR.

I love things that come in multiples! Things like ketchup, mustard, and mayo, or Mac Book, iPad, and iPhone, or Peter, Paul, and Mary (oops, I meant Peter, James, and John).

Join me Monday, June 3, 1:00 PM (CST) at www.lifeway.com/vbsthemerelease for the live reveal.

At 1:00 PM you will discover the theme, but all afternoon (about every 60 minutes) I will be releasing Bible content, theme background, decorating ideas, and helpful facts that I’m sure will lead you to the conclusion that LifeWay’s VBS 2014 is the perfect VBS for your church.

Well, got to travel! See you tomorrow – same time, same blog.

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Three Times a Charm – Impossible Clue #3

wooley1 2013How about a quick game of charades? OK, ready?

My head is slowly bobbing up and down. My arms are flapping wildly in the air while my upper body is leaning forward. My left foot is on the ground while my right foot is bent backwards and pointing towards the sky.

What am I? Figured it out?

Sure! You got it! Besides being a little off balanced, I’m a homing pigeon bringing you CLUE NUMBER THREE.


Now that was fun! Who knew Melita was so expressive. I want her on my team the next time we play office charades.

By now you have three video clues plus the great photo clues Katie has given you. You should be well on your way to discovering LifeWay’s theme for VBS 2014. I promise you are going to love it!

While I can’t reveal too much until Monday, June 3, 1:00 PM (CST), I can tell you that the Biblical content is awesome – and every day is going to be evangelism at its best!  Believe me when I say that during VBS 2014, kids of every age (which includes teens and adults) are going to be challenged to take their relationship with Jesus Christ far deeper than most have ever been challenged before.

See you tomorrow for Impossible Clue Number Four!  (And don’t forget to check back at 2 PM CST for another photo clue from Katie!)

Missed the other Impossible Clues?
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VBS 2014 Theme Reveal: Indice Numero Deux

wooley1 2013What a tremendously fun week! You guys and gals are the best! You jumped on yesterday’s clue like a flea on a dog and just hung on.

I’m thinking today’s clue is going to be a bit harder and may cause some of you to change directions. I showed the clue to several people in the office who know the clue and their response is that Clue Number Two is IMPOSSIBLE!!!

And now for your viewing pleasure – CLUE NUMBER TWO!

Looking forward to your guesses and comments. Leave a comment with your thoughts and don’t forget to enter your guess for a chance to win VBS 2014 materials for your church.

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Can’t get enough of the VBS 2014 Theme Release buzz? Make sure you’re friends with us on Facebook and following us on Twitter!

If you missed Impossible Clue #1, be sure to check it out now!  

 

VBS New Testaments

thomasLooking for a special gift for new Christians, a meaningful “souvenir” from VBS for kids, or something to take into the home of an unchurched family who visited your VBS? The VBS New Testaments with Psalms and Proverbs fit the bill perfectly! There are lots of things to love about these New Testaments, but my personal favorite feature is that the very first pages of these Bibles feature 30 days worth of kid-friendly, kid-centered devotions. So not only are you putting the Word of God in a child’s hands, you’re also helping him learn how to read the Bible and apply it to every day life.

devotions

 

Another nice feature is that the plan of salvation is clearly outlined throughout these Bible’s pages. Key verses are highlighted to make them easy for kids to spot and directions to “turn to page # and read ____ verse” make it easy for a child to use his own Bible to share the Gospel with a friend. There’s even a section that deals with questions kids have about what being a Christian means and what happens next.

 

The back of each Bible contains fun games and activities that encourage children to use their Bibles and reconnect with the things learned at VBS. These activities can even be used during VBS for those times when you need a little something extra to fill the time.

activities

 

The VBS New Testaments are available in HCSB and KJV to match the VBS curriculum. Take a look at them for yourself at your local LifeWay store or on the Web at www.lifeway.com. Got a great idea for using the VBS New Testaments? Feel free to share it with others by posting a comment here.

13 HCSB_COVER13 KJV_COVER

Discounted Shirts – Great Reason to Attend Preview!

There are many awesome reasons to attend one of the VBS Previews scheduled for January and February, but for many guests they find discounted VBS t-shirts and leaders a huge incentive! Everyone who attends will receive one free t-shirt of choice (choose from Colossal Coaster World, Thrill Seekers, or Club VBS Jungle Jaunt), but Previews make it possible to outfit your entire VBS team for a fraction of the costs you would spend otherwise.

One guest told me she saves enough each year on t-shirts to pay her Preview registration fee and travel expenses. Talk about making ever penny count!

Once again t-shirts – whether you need just one or multiple hundreds – will be available for $7.00 each and Colossal Coaster World leader shirts will be priced at $20.00. This is an event-only offer so don’t miss out!

Another great reason to attend this year is to see the many people who show up in amusement park costume. We are encouraging everyone to attend the first day dressed as an amusement park character or employee. Everyone wearing a costume will be entered in an opportunity to be chosen to participate in the VBS 2015 theme think tank. One person will be chosen from each location.

The Ridgecrest and Nashville 2 events are now closed, but there is still plenty of room at Nashville 1, Fort Worth, and Kissimmee. To learn more go lifeway.com/vbs.

Until then, I wish you the merriest Christmas ever and a blessed 2014!

Four Weeks and Counting…

Hopefully it is looking a lot like – and sounding a lot like – Christmas where you are today. It certainly is here in the VBS office! But it is also looking and sounding a lot like four weeks until the first national VBS Preview at Ridgecrest Conference Center in North Carolina.

We are in perpetual motion putting the finishing touches on a not-to-be-missed event! We have now hit capacity at Ridgecrest and the Nashville Friday/Saturday events, but there is still room at Fort Worth, Nashville Thursday/Friday, and Kissimmee.

A complete list of breakout sessions is now available at lifeway.com/vbs/events. Check it out today!

In addition to the basics for Colossal Coaster World and Club VBS: Jungle Jaunt, you will have the opportunity to explore decorating options with Mark Jones and the VBS Design Team, be introduced to LifeWay’s newest VBS resource Backyard Kids Club, be challenged by the preaching of Dr. Shane Garrison, and participate in worship with the Austin Adamec Band.

I’m looking forward to seeing you soon for the Colossal Coaster World Experience!