Your Chance to be Part of VBS Think Tank 2015

This past weekend I completed my Fall VBS 2013 Jump Start traveling schedule. The past few weeks have found me in Arizona, Illinois, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Alabama, and Michigan helping church, associational, and state VBS leaders prepare for a Colossal Coaster World experience.

It is always fun to see how people (VBS Groupies) across the U.S. interpret a theme. Each location plays host to a variety of theme-related food, decorations, and costumes – which I think add the most unexpected touch of all.  It started me thinking – what if people wore theme-related costumes to VBS Previews? Talk about creating a fun atmosphere!

With just 39 days until the first Preview at Ridgecrest, North Carolina, I’m challenging all of you to make this the most entertaining Preview ever by showing up in a costume that shouts Colossal Coaster World!

Jerry and Roberta dressed as tacky tourists for our CCW theme release party.

Each event guest wearing a costume will receive a chance to be selected as a member of the VBS 2015 Think Tank team. This is the team that will create the 2015 theme! One Think Tank member and one alternate will be chosen from each of the five Previews. (An alternate is being chosen in case the team member is unavailable to attend Think Tank.)

Looking for costume ideas to get you started? Check out these great photos from our 2013 Theme Release party in June.

Click here to register for a Preview. Several locations are just about full so register today! You definitely want to be part of the fun! It just might be the most exciting ride of your life!

 Click here for official LifeWay Sweepstakes rules.

Happy Birthday & Thanks for the Props

A birthday shout out goes out to my sweet son who is turning 13 today! Not only is today his birthday, but we are giving him a “thank you” shout out for helping with two of the props for the video drama for Colossal Coaster World. Yep, his dear ole mom roped him into putting together two roller coasters for the video this summer. Now in my defense when I volunteered him, I hadn’t seen the roller coasters, the 5,000 pieces that would need to go together, or the instruction books with no words just pictures. I just thought, “Hey, he likes to build things with legos this should be a piece of cake.” Well, two eight hour days and 5, 000 (or more) pieces later we had the finished products ready for the video shoot. Take a look at the following behind the scenes pictures of the work in progress.

Just the beginning!


Did I mention that I also wrangled his dad into helping?


Adding the finishing touches.


Final inspection.


Look for these “colossal” coasters in the video drama next summer.

Sneak Peek: Coming Attractions

You will not want to miss out on VBS Preview events this year! The team has been hard at work planning new “rides” and “attractions” for Colossal Coaster World that are sure to delight the young and the young at heart. And let me tell you, from what I’ve seen so far, these coming attractions will definitely be worth the price of admission! Today I’m going to give you an exclusive behind the scenes look at two of our newest attractions… the Design Lab and the Creative Zone.


The Design Lab will take you inside the heart of Colossal Coaster World for hands-on training and personal consultation with our VBS design team. Mini workshops are available to allow you to hone your skills and learn techniques to take back to your church. Don’t forget your camera as part of your Design Lab experience includes an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at ALL of the VBS sets created for Colossal Coaster World. Be sure to grab your tickets early, as they will go quickly!


Learn how to bring the magic of Colossal Coaster World to life in The Creative Zone! This interactive area showcases the best Colossal Coaster World has to offer such as games, crafts, and snacks. Here you’ll find exclusive bonus ideas that can only be found at LifeWay Preview events. The Creative Zone is also the home to the world’s largest (and only) VBS snack contest. Create the best delectable, edible treat and you could be a big WINNER! Be sure to drop by early and often to catch all the excitement! Who knows, you might even catch a balloon animal demonstration or two.


So what are you waiting for? Book your tickets today for this once in a lifetime experience. We’ll see you at Ridgecrest, Ft Worth, Nashville, or Kissimmee!

VBS & Fall Fest

Could there be a more perfect way to reuse VBS decorations than at your church’s fall festival? LifeWay Kids had our own fall festival last week… complete with food, candy, and games. Candace & I put our own spin on the classic “fish for a prize” game and totally decked out Candace’s office door with decorations from the Great Barrier Reef (Amazing Wonders Aviation).

You can check out more of the great games, booths, and decorations from our fall office party on the Kids Ministry 101 blog all this week!

We want to hear from you… Does your church do any kind of fall festival? How have you reused VBS decorations for other church/community events? Give us all some inspiration!

VBS 2013 on Pinterest!

It’s never too early to start planning, right? If you’re itching to get a jump on VBS 2013, check out our Colossal Coaster World board on the LifeWay Kids Pinterest site. There are already lots of great ideas. Here are some of my favorites…

What a cute hot dog cart! I wish I’d had this for Big Apple Advenure!Source: via LifeWayKids on Pinterest

This is the same technique we used to create an “Enter” sign for Coaster Alley (Bible study) in our decorations. Fun!

Source: via LifeWayKids on Pinterest

A perfect roller coaster experience for younger preschoolers!

Source: via LifeWayKids on Pinterest

What ideas have you come up with?  If you’re on Pinterest, leave us a link to your VBS 2013 board in the comment section!

Foto Friday…I'm here!

Where’s Keith? Here I am! Hi everyone! Sorry I haven’t blogged for a while but it’s been a bit crazy, busy and hairy with the deadlines.

Okay, maybe all the hairiness is from the gorilla suit I’ve been wearing! :D

But honestly, I have been working!

So what have I been working on? I’m glad you asked!

This week, I’ve been working on the VBX 2013 Preteen Leader Pack. I love working on the VBX material! It’s always jammed packed with visuals. Here’s shot of the cover.

One of the other items I have been working on is the VBS 2013 Supersized Coaster Backdrop. This backdrop really excites me! Take a look at it and see if you can see why I love this one SO much.

Bucket rides? Nope, that’s not it! But I do love the bucket rides. Such a fun way to get from one side of the park to the other side and relax while you are doing it.

Roller coasters? Getting closer! It does have something to do with the roller coasters! Take a look at the next photo.

Check it out! You can connect multiple Supersized Coaster Backdrops and make one COLOSSAL Coaster backdrop! :D

It’s back to work now! Have a great weekend and God bless!

Get Your Way Paid to ALL 4 VBS Previews

Love to travel with all expenses paid by someone else? Love to teach VBS music and motions? Ever think about being on LifeWay’s VBS Preview team? Think you just might enjoy spending a month with some of the most fun people on the face of the earth, AND traveling to cool places like North Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, and Florida?

Well, have I got an opportunity for you!

We are looking for an awesome person with the following qualifications:

  • A dynamic relationship with Christ and a desire to worship Him!
  • A servant’s heart!
  • A passion for VBS!
  • An ability to sing!
  • An ability to get others to sing!
  • An ability to perform song motions!
  • An ability to teach others to perform song motions!
  • An ability to sing AND perform song motions at the same time!
  • An ability to get others to sing AND do song motions at the same time!
  • The ability to travel for four weeks/weekends in January/February 2013!

If these qualifications sound like you then you just might be the person we are looking for to teach the music and motions to our great VBS songs to the 5,000 or so people who will be attending VBS Preview.

Still interested?

Here is what you need to do:

  • Be available to travel on the following dates: January 9-12, January 16-19, January 30-February 1, February 7-9.**********
  • Learn the music and motions to Amazing Wonders Aviation.
  • Lead a group of kids and adults to do the same.
  • Have a friend video you doing the above.
  • Send the video to me (Jerry Wooley, MSN 182, One LifeWay Plaza, Nashville, Tennessee, 37234) by Monday, July 2, 2012.

Then what happens?

  • I, and some of my most trusted friends, will watch each and every video submitted.
  • We will choose our favorites.
  • A few more trusted friends will be asked to watch the favorites.
  • They will choose the cream of the crop.
  • The cream of the crop will be posted on this blog.
  • Blog viewers will be asked to vote for their favorite.
  • Votes will be counted.
  • The winner will be announced in August.

Still interested? Start learning those motions!

**********Please do not submit a video if you will not be available to travel all four weeks.

VBS 2013: Facing Fear, Trusting God

Colossal Coaster World

Facing Fear, Trusting God

Not many things are more exciting for kids than a day at a favorite theme park. The excitement accelerates as kids approach the main gate and the adventure begins. Hearts pound as they wait in line to ride the park’s premier roller coaster!

LifeWay’s VBS 2013 will use this setting to challenge kids, teens, and adults to tap into God’s promise to give them the courage to face their fears by trusting Him. Whether the sense of fearfulness comes from changing the familiar for the unfamiliar, speaking up when it’s right to do so, or making the ultimate decision to believe in Jesus and trust Him as Savior, they can trust God for the spirit of power, love, and sound judgment.

VBS Scripture: 2 Timothy 1:7

For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness,

but one of power, love, and sound judgment.

YOU ASKED FOR IT! WE DELIVERED! We are extremely excited to announce that the Bible study for the week centers around the Apostle Paul. This is only the second time we have spent an entire week of VBS encountering Jesus through the eyes, words, and experiences of just one person from Scripture.

Day 1 – Dare to Change

Bible Story: Acts 9:1-18 (Paul’s conversion.)

Life Application Direction: This study is designed to help kids, teens, and adults know that God can change their lives by replacing fear with courage and hope.

Day 2 – Dare to Speak Up

Bible Story: Acts 9:20-30 (Paul speaks up in Damascus, experiences a basket escape, and returns to Jerusalem where Barnabas speaks up for him.)

Life Application Direction: This study teaches us that God can help us speak up boldly against wrong doings.

Day 3 – Dare to Believe

Bible Story: Acts 16:16-34 (Paul and Silas in prison, jailer’s conversion.)

Life Application Direction: The study this day teaches us we can recognize God’s love, and we express our love to others when we share about Jesus.

Day 4 – Dare to Stand Strong

Bible Story: Acts 21:27-23:11 (Paul before the Sanhedrin – vision of Jesus and promise to speak in Rome.)

Life Application Direction: This day we learn that God gives us courage to stand strong for God’s Truth with gentleness and respect.

Day 5 – Dare to Trust

Bible Story: Acts 27 (The shipwreck.)

Life Application Direction: On this day we learn that we can trust God with whatever comes next.


Theme Bible Verse: Hebrews 13:6

God helps me. I will not be afraid.

Day 1: Acts 9:1-21 – Paul Learned to Love Jesus

Day 2: Acts 9:20-31 – Barnabas Was a Friend to Paul

Day 3: Acts 16:22-34 – Paul and Silas in Jail

Day 4: Acts 21:37-2:11 – Paul Talked to the People

Day 5: Acts 27 – God Took Care of Paul