As I get closer to being finished, I’ll upload some screenshots! Exciting!
Most of you reading this title for this blog post are probably thinking, “Wait a minute, where’s the Agency in D3?” No, I have not forgotten or even misprinted this title. D3 is the title for Student VBS in 2014. Yes, you read that correctly. LifeWay does have Student VBS curriculum, and in fact we have Adult VBS curriculum as well. That’s right, when we say we have you covered from birth to death, that includes VBS. We not only want kids to know how to discover, decide, and defend their faith, we want to equip students and adults to do the same.
Students are pressured on all sides to accept what teachers, professors, peers, and sometimes even family tell them about Jesus. It’s time for them to discover the facts about who Jesus is, decide what they will do with the evidence they’ve gathered, and step out in faith to defend what they believe.
Student VBS can be held at the same time as your children’s VBS, as camp curriculum for Student Camp, Bible study for Sunday or Wednesday nights, or as a weekend retreat.
And if you are looking for a way to get Students excited about defending their faith, consider taking your students to see the movie God’s Not Dead that is releasing in the Spring of 2014. Watching the movie would be a great kickoff or follow-up to D3.
For those of you out there who already use Student VBS, we would love for you to share your advice, experiences, and ideas.
Hello 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?
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!
The 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.
Okay Agents, here’s your next Foto Friday assignment, “What is It?”. Here’s this week’s close-up. Can you DISCOVER what it is? Can you DECIDE if it’s a snack or a craft or Hulk hands? Will you DEFEND your choice?
Give me your best, craziest, funniest responses!
Ready for some more decorating ideas? The VBS 2014 Decorating Made Easy book (available Oct. 1 in the Jump Start Kit) is packed with ideas from the basic to the elaborate, but today I wanted to give you something you won’t find in the book. Just for you, faithful blog readers… here and nowhere else. Are you ready?
This is the art created for the giant screen in our Worship Rally set. It’s designed to look like a bank of monitors for a high tech workstation suitable for the Agency D3 HQ. One simple way to decorate is to project this image on a free-standing screen, with a banquet table (or 3) positioned in front. Raise the back legs of the table(s) and cover the tabletop(s) with old joysticks, keyboards, calculators, buttons, gears, etc. like a giant control panel.
Want to see more? Check out this video tour through Agency D3 Headquarters and get your creative juices flowing. How will you decorate for Worship Rally?
How are you doing on your National Thrift Store Day challenge? Check out Friday’s post from Courtney to find out the details of the challenge and how you could win a VBS 2014 Starter Kit of your choice! To kick-start your creativity and maybe give you a few ideas, let me show you what we did with a few thrift store finds of our own.
This “cone of silence”/domed fixture was a prominent feature of our decorations for The Lab (crafts rotation). Check out this video walk-thru and see how many more “thrift store finds” you can spot! Come on, super sleuths, you can do this!
As part of the VBS team, I love hearing about everyone’s VBS. I thought you might like a glimpse into mine. I serve as the volunteer VBS director at our small church. (I really wish there was another “label” for the amazing, God-given ministry that gets the “small church” label, but that would be a whole other blog post!)
Like a lot of churches, our VBS is in the evening after most people have put in a full day’s work at their jobs. Because of that, we start with supper (or for my friends who live elsewhere, dinner). The bonus is that we pretty much have everyone there when we are ready to start Worship Rally.
One evening I was eating my meal with one of our second graders and her Bible study teacher. This little girl was new to our church and had really connected with her teacher. As we chatted over corn dogs and chips, the little girl looked at me and blurted out, “I know what your job is!” Amused, I smiled and asked, “Really? What is it?” With a big smile she replied, “You line people up!”
I start grinning every time I think about her comment. I loved it! VBS at my church, your church, and churches everywhere are filled with people who do so much to make VBS happen and reach out to kids who might not otherwise connect with our churches, even if no one notices.
So to all of you who share my job of “lining people up,” and the thousand and one things that go with being a volunteer VBS director, thanks for all that you do for the Kingdom.
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!