on VBS programs...

>> July 22, 2010

Last week our church held VBS. 

We had about 50 kids, ages 3-11, and another 15 teenagers as assistant staff. About half of the kids were from the community, and quite a few returned this year because they came last year. 

It was my first time doing VBS in this church district, since we moved here last winter. This was also my first time using a pre-packaged set of materials. In the past when I've done VBS, we've always done it the "hard" way - you know, where you make all your own crafts, come up with all your own decorations, and create all your own program elements. There's definitely something to be said about the ease of a fully packaged set, but I've enjoyed the uniqueness of having original material as well. 

Every church, in every country, has a different experience and unique ideas to offer. 

A friend of mine is a youth pastor in the UK. She does an adaptation of something called "Messy Church", a hands-on, whole-family church service once a month. She says it's kind of like VBS, but every month, all year long. 

So what does your church do? What's your favorite way to minister to children through VBS or something similar? How do you make it scriptural yet engaging?

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Penny July 20, 2010 at 7:36 PM  

We did Saddle Ridge Ranch from LifeWay. It was sooo awesome! We had a Youth Mission trip come in from Chicago (we're in New Orleans) and they did it up sooooo right! They wore cowboy hats and plaid shirts and jeans every day! They were very much in character. The cool thing... that was 3 weeks ago and my kids are STILL singing the VBS songs! Actually so am I!

Dana July 26, 2010 at 12:21 PM  

I am a VBS junkie! I think that it is the single largest opportunity to get children to hear the gospel that the church has, and cannot fathom ignoring that open door into our community! We are a very small church, but we still had about 40 kids at our VBS last year just through word of mouth in the community. I'm hoping for bigger and better this year! We use a prepackaged curriculum, and we adapt it to fit. Honestly, the theme idea and the music are two of the biggest factors when I pick. Whether the music is good or tacky can make or break a VBS. My kids STILL sing songs from three or four years ago. We usually go a bit deeper into the bible stories. The most important thing I would say, whether you do VBS or backyard bible camp or hands on church or whatever is -- BE GENUINE. Do not be hokey, do not talk down to the kids, and do not just put some crap out there so that you can say you did it. Do it right, or don't do it at all. Children are excellent detectors of fakeness!!

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