This summer I did something I never thought I would or could do. I’ve had many opportunities to be involved in youth, college, and women’s ministry, but there is one big area of church life I’ve never ventured into – Vacation Bible School! The thought of working with kids has always made me really nervous. Last summer I was asked to help, but Annabeth was only four months old and I wasn’t ready to be a part of something so involved. God gave me a passion to pray for my friends who were teaching and I realized what an incredible mission field we had inside our own church. I secretly hoped I would have another chance to say yes.Β Sure enough, this year I was asked to help in the kindergarten classroom that several of my close friends were helping in. It was a definite yes!

As soon as I said yes, the insecurities and worry set in. Do I really know how to relate to school age children? How am I going to get myself and the kids ready and make it to the church on time five days in a row? What is my role going to be? What if I’m terrible at it? My fleshly mind and the mind of Christ were at war in my head. I resolved that it was going to be an incredible lesson in living beyond myself! Amen?

It ended up being a great week. Praise the Lord! I did not know how we were going to get everything accomplished, but we saw Him do it! Our kids were wonderful and the other teachers amazed me. I’m so thankful God made me get out of my comfort zone and serve at VBS. Our church did LifeWay’s “Saddle Ridge Ranch” and it was great. Being a horse girl at heart, the theme wasn’t that much of a stretch for me. I was in charge of the “dramatic play” rotation, so I got to pretend to camp out and roast marshmallows, paint “gold nuggets,” act out a Bible story, and decorate post cards. It really was a lot of fun. Although I want to give every school teacher a big hug and say God bless you!

These are my Top 10 VBS Memories:
1. My friend My-An wearing a costume to teach about the feeding of the 5,000.
2. When the kids took a package of dried fish from My-An’s lesson and made it our class mascot. They insisted on carrying it to recreation, music, and crafts that day.
3. Being the Minister of Squeeze Cheese during snack time.
4. Feeling like it was 5 p.m. every day when I got in my car.
5. Walking 21 six-year-olds from the gym up to the third floor. C-R-A-Z-Y!
6. Trying to make myself do the motions during music. Ha! That was so hard for me! Also, hearing from the music teachers how enthusiastic Jackson was when his class was in there.
7. Enjoying the relative independence of kids a little older than my own.
8. Sneaking off to the break room for a Dr. Pepper.
9. Sweet little snaggletooth mouths saying their memory verses.
10. Seeing the body of Christ work together to create an amazing week for these kids. I was in awe of what God can do with all of our different spiritual gifts and talents.

Were you and/or your kids involved in VBS this summer? If you have a story or a Top 10 list to share, please do!

We proclaimed him, admonishing and teaching our kids with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end we labored, struggling with all His energy, which so powerfully worked in us! (From Col. 1:28-29.)


204 Responses to “VBS!”

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  1. 101
    Ruth says:

    Our VBS starts Monday, so please say an extra prayer for us! We’re doing the “High Seas Expedition” from Group Publishing, and I’ll be doing the Bible lessons for the elementary kids. (We’ll have two big groups come through each night and then tear down our room to build a different scene for the next day!) I love VBS and am at that excited & overwhelmed point at the same time. Lots to do but so worthwhile!

    Our Bible points this year are all about God’s Word, so I’m praying that the kids will be able to see that His Word truly is living and active, for them and in them! As I opened my Bible and my “Ruth” study the other day and prayed that God would speak to me through His Word, I was all of a sudden overcome by the huge thought of somehow allowing the truth to come across to the kids that God really does speak to us through His Word today, that the “Ancient Words” (one of the songs we’ll be singing this week) really do apply specifically to them in their daily lives here and now. Praying they’ll see those truths come alive this week. . .

    Yikes, I better stop typing on here now, though, and get back to working on VBS stuff! πŸ™‚ What an awesome privilege God gives us to share in His work with His children!

  2. 102
    Dolly King says:

    We finished up our VBS last night with a Block Party for kids and parents.

    It has been a blessing for me to see people draw closer in different ways.

    1. A sweet couple committed to head up games for the block party for the coming years….stepped into their own ministry.

    2. Another couple have committed to come to our church Sunday as they are looking for a home church.

    3. Forty children at our VBS gave their heart to Jesus this week. One Jr. High young man wept as they shared his decision with the crowd. After she prayed, the little girl that I was talking to wasn’t sure if she could really go to heaven because of ALL her sin. After a couple more verses and a little more explanation and assurance, and her saying “that’s a tough one”, when I asked her where she would go if she died right now, she was finally able to be sure that she would go to heaven.

    What a blessing this week has been!

  3. 103
    Redeemed says:

    Our teens do a VBS of sorts. Every year they travel to a small town in Colorado and host a sports camp for the local area youth. They play soccer and basketball and just love on these kids, teaching them and showing them the love of Jesus.

    My favorite, #1 thing about this year’s camp is this: one of our teen guys noticed a boy who showed up at camp and he didn’t have shoes to play soccer. So he gave up his chance to whitewater raft on the last day on the last day of the trip, so he could go into town and purchase a new pair of soccer shoes and a new soccer ball for this boy.

    That made a big impact on everybody. My favorite VBS moment!

  4. 104
    Sarah M says:

    Can I just say that snaggletooth kids saying their memory verses is one of my favorite things about working with kids?! It just doesn’t get any more precious than those munch-kins hiding God’s Word in their hearts – except for them accepting Him into their hearts!

    I didn’t actually “teach” VBS, but rather was the director of the High Seas Expedition. I wrote a couple of brief blogs (with pics)this week. I’ll post the links below.

    I will say this much, your VBS Director appreciates your help more than you will ever know! VBS is impossible without willing workers/teachers. You folks are the ones that make it possible!


    Top 3 favorite VBS stories:
    3. A pre-schooler (with a lisp) who stopped me in the hallway to say “Ms Sarah (Sawah) is the bestest!”
    2. Seeing the workers having as much fun as the kids.
    1. Seeing the reaction to the “God’s Word is Surprising Butterflies” fluttering out of the Bibles when they opened it.
    (And of course decisions made and lives changed!)

  5. 105
    Mary Ann says:

    FAmily night was last night. There were several kids who confessed Jesus as their Lord this week and several others who recommitted their lives to Christ. It was one of the best we have ever had. I am so thankful for the team at lifeway who reinforces the Gospel through the music, stories, crafts, rec and mission.s WE had a great turn out of parents and I could see God’s hand all over many lives. He has challenged me in some exciting ways this past week. I thank Him for all He does to care for His children and for allowing me to be a part!

  6. 106
    Cindy Moses says:

    Okay. I have a confession to make. I love Jesus and I willingly serve Him in anyway He might allow me. But VBS- NO. I MEAN REALLY – NNNNOOOOO!!!! See, I love kids, but not so much in large groups. As a special educator starting her 24th year in public education, I am constantly reminded of why I chose to teach high school kids when I started out and why I married a YOUTH minister and not a children’s minister!!

    But our church just finished Saddle Ridge Ranch – huge success as always. Especially due to the hard work of my precious friend, and your fellow siesta, Casey! She does phenomenal things! My sweet darlin’ youngest child, McKenna, who is 13 helped with the 1st graders. All 16-18 of them… mostly boys! She loved it!

  7. 107
    Holly Bauer says:

    We just finished our VBS week…we did Group’s Egypt theme..so our church was full of pyramids, mummies, & sarcaphagus…sp?(coffins) The kids made bricks in the mud pits of Egypt with their feet & hands…and sampled unusual Egyptian food…Our new pastor was Joseph & he did a great job.The kids made fleece tie blankets to send to orphans in Africa, & brought in canned goods for our local food pantry..which we stacked into pyramids. It was great to see so many come together & serve at VBS. Our program will be Sunday during our morning worship service followed with a family potluck to celebrate Joseph’s reunion with his family! We’re already thinking about next year!:)

  8. 108
    Christy says:

    We just wrapped up our week of Bible School last night! Our church did High Seas Expedition. It was alot of fun! I was in charge of the music and was also a crew leader. It was a week full of learning about the Bible in a fun way & the kids loved it! We had an alter service on Thursday & was blessed to have many come to know Christ! What a beautiful blessing and joy that was! God is so AWESOME!
    Thank you Amanda for sharing your experience with us, I so enjoy this blog! You and your family are such a blessing to me! I pray for you all and ask God’s blessings upon you. It’s so nice to know that you also go through some of the same things I do(I have four small children at home and I can relate to you alot)! Have a blessed day!

    Summit, MS

  9. 109
    Kathy Funk says:

    Amanda, I know what you mean about not knowing what to expect and being nervous about VBS. At Second Baptist, here in Katy, we just finished up with VBS. However, instead of the Saddle Ridge Ranch theme which I thought they would do since we all live in Texas. They did POWER-UP. Being new to this area, I have to tell you, I wasn’t quite sure of what to make of the Super Hero’s. Well I have to tell you, I was impressed, they were awesome. My kids had a great time at VBS and so did I. I was a classroom Director for 4th grade and I had great kids plus great helpers. ALl of the kids that were part of the Jump team were amazing. God has certainly given those kids a gift of dance. I have never seen anything like it. I was totally in awe of what God can do with the fellow teachers and kids.

    Second Baptist had over 3,574 kids and on decision day, 380 kids came forward to ask God to come into their heart. That is so amazing. It brings tears to my eyes to see God working in those kids.

    I pray I get to be part of VBS again next year and years to come. I had a great time.

    Have a great day Amanda!

  10. 110
    Luanne says:

    we also did saddle ridge ranch, just finished last night. i helped with the first graders and we had a blast! most of the kids in our class knew the stories we told and it was great having them finish our sentences as we told the stories each night. and i just love watching them work to memorize the Bible verses. how i pray they’ll continue to make God’s Word something they learn and turn to always!

  11. 111
    Forever His says:

    Amanda, Wanted to leave a response yesterday but I was on my ipod and it is not so easy to type! I usually take my grandkids to VBS but this year we missed it. I can honestly say that I believe between VBS and Sunday School I learned so much about Jesus and all the stories of the Old Testament. I remember flannel graph (which you may not know but Im sure you mom does) with such fondness. I praise God for the teachers and volunteers who took the time to serve in VBS and Sunday School. It made a huge difference in my life.

    Phil 4:8

  12. 112
    Sandy says:

    We enjoyed Saddle Ridge Ranch very much, too! This year, it happened that I had my 2 year old niece ALL week while her Mommy and Daddy were at youth camp, and then my 3 year old granddaughter spent one night and one day of VBS with us. I was praying that I still had in me to get the girls ready and get there. We had no problems getting up and getting ready for VBS.
    1. My niece would say, “Bible School, Bible School, Bible School!” all the way there.
    2. Just the joy of taking those little girls to VBS!
    3. Every day in elementary crafts was a new day!
    4. Working together with others!
    5. Watching my 17 year old son teach the children what
    Missions means.

  13. 113
    Tracy says:

    I didn’t get to help with VBS this year, but I teach first and second grades during our Wednesday night youth lineup, and I can’t say that I have ever been more blessed! I’ve almost given up even trying to prepare for a lesson, because God usually has other plans in store with these little guys! I never am ceased to be amazed at the direction He takes us when we allow these kids to share their thoughts!

  14. 114
    Northern Lights says:

    My kids are doing VBS next week. It’s called the Hero Challenge.
    It was running this week as well – saw some cute little kids in superhero costumes and capes as I drove past the church!

  15. 115
    Carrie says:

    We start VBS on Monday. We are doing the High Seas Expedition. This is my first year volunteering and I’m really excited πŸ™‚ Have a great weekend!

  16. 116
    Texas in the Mountains says:

    My very favorite memory from 15 years of VBS is when my then 4 year old saw the video presentation of the playground in Russia that our VBS was taking an offering for. He decided that he wanted to give money to it. ALL the money in his little bank. He even gave the bank. I’m not talking nickels and dimes, I’m talking bills. Birthday money. Helping daddy w/ chores money. ALL of it. I wanted to say, “no honey, you don’t need to give it all…”. But then I realized the importance of him listening to the Holy Spirit in him. Blessed my heart!
    It also made quite an impression on the teen helpers. I kept overhearing them talk about the little boy who gave it all.
    Sweet Jesus, that it would be me. Giving it all.

  17. 117
    Kelley says:

    I LOVE VBS!!! I, like you, was SO nervous my first year (3 years ago). I had a 2 yr old and an 8 month old! How in the world could I relate to 4-6th graders! It was all God! I love them so much- I helped in games. I felt like I didn’t get to spend much time with them because we only had each grade for about 25 minutes a day. Well, God took care of it. I have parents I don’t know come up to me all the time telling me how much there children love me and how they had such a good time at VBS! The best part is that my hubby is a teacher so we get to do games together!! So fun- the kids adore him!

  18. 118
    Sheila says:

    Your blog entry brought back so many wonderful VBS memories for me. I can SO relate to feeling inadequate to teach or lead in VBS. I did it one year when I was very pregnant! WOW! Was that exhausting! Most of my favorite memories from my church time in childhood are of the weeks of VBS.. When I was little we went TWO WEEKS in a row! What a commitment for those ladies in leadership. That was in the sixties when most moms “worked at home”.
    May God bless you and all of your friends for their willingness to be available for God to use them as vessels for those sweet children. Can’t you just see God smiling on all of those sweet, litle faces lifted up to heaven and singing those wonderful praise tunes? Gotta love it! Thank you for sharing with us!

  19. 119
    Lin says:

    I don’t usually post here, rather I am a reader and viewer but I wanted to post my personal perspective on VBS, as it was different this year than any other.

    For the past few years I have always found myself serving in our church Camp week which is a combination of traditional VBS (Saddle Ridge Ranch this year) in the morning and afternoon activities as well effectively making our VBS a one week day camp for our little town in Alabama. I am not called to children’s ministry, and do not have that sense of excitement waiting for next VBS to roll around again, but in the midst of it I always find it rewarding, and pray that the children I love on for that week are just as blessed as I am.

    This past Camp was a rollercoaster for me. My husband died the week before VBS. I could not do what I was scheduled to do in my grief, nor, do I realize, was it expected of me. I did, however arrive each morning with my own children, and I did fill in where I was able. My moments in VBS were much more of a blessing to me this year than a service to my God, my church, or my community. I was wrapped in hugs by that 7 year old who didn’t know me from anything, he just wanted to hug me and sit with me. The same with the 3 year old who had strayed from her class line going to “music time”. I tried to herd her back, but she just lifted her arms with that “carry me” look in her eyes, and I melted. She rode my hip for the rest of the afternoon, telling me all she’d learned from her teachers about my Jesus.

    And then there was Shane. Maybe the most special child in my week. Shane is pre-k. I guess 4 or 5. The same size as my youngest daughter, but not in her class. One of our regular teachers had to leave a little early, and I was asked if I could be extra hands in that class on our last day of camp. Shane speaks no English at all. I speak only a few words in Spanish, yet we connected. He brought his craft items over to me, I thought for my help. Instead he shook his head as I reached for the supplies. He very gently removed “peel and stick” stars from a page and placed them on my shoulders and across the front of my shirt. One by one his little fingers would peel, reach, and gently press on to my shirt. Then he’d smile, both front teeth missing, and point to me, and he would repeat the process until the page was empty, and my shirt was most properly decorated. Then he held my hand as we went to lunch and wanted nothing more than to sit beside me. I couldn’t take my eyes of of that little man for the rest of the day until he was taken to the bus that returned him to his home.

    So those are my memorable moments of Camp Troy July 2010. Moments that God gave me as a gift in this most saddening time. Where serving was a service to me. Memories that make it easy to say Lord, I trust You. Period.

  20. 120
    Kristin says:

    Oh my goodness, what a VBS week I had! I usually handle registration, but have come to understand that it is NOT my gift to do so. I very publicly told our VBS director that I would not be helping this year, and I meant it! Until he came to me, nearly begging for workers. Specifically, he needed a fifth grade teacher. Are you kidding me?! My heart is really much more with teaching adults than it is with children–honestly, they scare me a bit (even though I have three of my own–19, 13 and 7, for heaven’s sake!). But what could I say to my director friend, except yes?

    When I arrived that first night and discovered a large group of 5th graders, most of them boys, I nearly cried. What had I gotten myself into?! If I hadn’t felt so obligated, I would have run…fast, and in the other direction.

    But wouldn’t you know it, after the first night I fell in love with those kids! And strangely, even though I teach an adult Sunday School class every week and am well-acquainted with my Lord and His Word, I fell in love with Him all over again as well. No original languages, no commentaries or Bible dictionaries. Just Jesus and His Word. All by itself. Fully sufficient. Oh, my word. I wouldn’t trade a thing for the experience I had. Praise the Lord, indeed!

  21. 121
    HeleddNest says:

    Hi, haven’t been involved in any holiday bible clubs this year but just had to smile at the ‘hand motions’ comment! I’ve decided, you either have to throw caution to the wind and join in or decide to opt out completely. There can be no half hearted attempt πŸ™‚

    Glad the week went well, sounds like loads of fun!

  22. 122
    Sarah says:

    I remember being in VBS when I was a young child and we always use to do either veggie tales or something silly. My most fondest memory was the puppet shows. In those pupet shows they would always act silly and a lady who I was very fond of as a child, always was in charge. She would explain the story we would learn about,then the puppets would become comical beings and almost real. I also really enjoy painting the woodwork an elder of the church did for us. I still have some of those artworks.

    When I was 13 I became a volunteer for VBS, i was a Mentor and an Open Session leader, it was now MY TIME to lead worship with the kids. The joy on the kids faces I see, I continued with volunteering until I was 18.

    I am now 21 and still look back on those special memories and smile, for they were so much fun and the science experiements that they showed were not that bad and now I use them on my Sunday School kids every now and then. VBS has inspired me to teach youth and children of God’s merciful love, has made me want to become more invovled in the for ministry via the arts.

  23. 123
    T_Marie says:

    10. God’s Word-focused theme for our VBS – every part of the week pointed to God’s True Word.

    9. The cross-generational approach we are using that puts 10-year-olds with 6- and 8-year olds and 35- and 72-year olds. Awesome picture of the church.

    8. Singing and doing the hand-motions in the large group, cross-generational setting (and, I didn’t do the motions until the 3rd day for “embarassment” but then we bought the CD so we can all do them at home now!) Had to get over myself.

    7. Being a part of VBS with my own children. Only did it once as a child.

    6. Making these amazing flying birds from paper and feathers and using pennies to balance them on our fingertips. God gace me freedom to get out of my comfort-zone in many ways by Day 3, and I balanced my bird on my nose, launching a whole group of nose-birds who giggled and played along with me. So fun!

    5. Chatting with my dear friends when the kids were occupied with rec time or art/craft time. We never get to chat b/c we’re so busy with our families/work. It was a blessing to steal some conversation along the way.

    4. Matching t-shirts. Since our whole family participated, we all got the church-issue t-shirts. Just made me happy to all match. Loved it.

    3. Hearing my children’s responses in the Bible study time and getting to have a tiny glimpse of the fruit of sewing God’s Word into their hearts. My husband and I were thinking, “They are getting it. They are really, really getting it!!”

    2. Getting to experience reaffirmation of those truths in my own life.

    1. The two children who decided to make professions of faith. Praise Jesus!!! VBS is important!!

  24. 124
    Tina says:

    I love that you have gotten that first VBS experience under your belt. Each year there are new memories! We will have ours next week, and being in the evenings, I’m thinking we will all sleep well around here after all the activity. I like your list, I may have to steal that idea!

    Glad you enjoyed your week! Thanks, as always, for sharing!!!

  25. 125
    Casey says:

    We just finished our VBS and I am so tired. I am the VBS Director at our church. I have been the director for 6 years!! I honestly love it! I have never felt more in God’s Will than during the planning and week of Vacation Bible School! On Sunday night before it starts I am always so tired from all the prep that I say this is it. But every year after family night I am ready for the next year! Now if I can just stop singing the Tumbleweed song!

    Glad you had a great time.

  26. 126
    Donna says:

    I’m so thankful you had a good week. I worked with VBS one year… I was amazed at how sacared I was in a room of first graders… After much prayer I realized that VBS was the calling of other folks in the church. The Lord lead me to help in the church library. I was thankful that for the learning experience… I think it’s the only way God can show you His will… to be willing!

  27. 127
    Georgia Boone says:

    Wow Amanda, I cannot believe you doubted yourself. You are raising two amazing children and VBS children are just more of the same…..I do agree with you about the exhaustion though!! If God called you to do it, and I’m sure He did then you were certainly in your element!!

    Our VBS hasn’t started yet…..mid August. AND we are closing on Fri evening with “Go Fish”. I think it will be terrific.

    Enjoy your weekend……
    Bible Bunny in NO MI

  28. 128
    k&c's mom says:

    I had a former kindergarten student of mine (who will be a senior in high school this year!) ask me if I’d be her assistant at VBS this summer. Well? YES! Her church was doing Saddle Back Ranch, too. They did 2 one-week sessions of 500 kids each from 8:30am-5:00pm Monday through Friday. This is not a large town, but the church sees it as a ministry to reach 1,000 kids each summer. (This is their 15th year, and it fills up in like 23 minutes the first day of open registration!) We worked with first and second graders and it was a blast. The best part? Seeing what a wonderful young lady my former student has become. We ended the week as friends, and I cannot wait to see the plans God has for her in the years ahead!

  29. 129
    Kiki says:

    We just finished Saddle Ridge Ranch at our church too!! I was the assistant to the music person…since I cannot hit a note to save my life, I really just helped with the motions:) The kids are singing “Tumbleweed” tomorrow in church! I bet you were great with the kids.

  30. 130
    patty says:

    Oh, I love VBS!!! We are already looking forward to next year’s theme, BIG Apple Adventure. I participated in VBS this summer. We did Saddle Ridge. My list.

    1. Watching my great nephew(23 months old) marching in with his class while carrying his bottle. πŸ™‚

    2. Watching him sing and do the motions to the songs

    3. Watching him sit with his class during snack time and share his food. Precious

    4. Helping in crafts. So fun to watch the children make their crafts. The girls were so detailed and the boys, not so much. lol

    5. Decorating the craft room for VBS

    6. Being a counselor on Tuesday night and watching 2 boys give their hearts to Christ.

    7. Along with #6….one of the boys, Alex talked about Jesus living in his heart the rest of the week. He told everyone about Jesus and watching him grin from ear to ear.

    8. Adult snack time
    9. Water night. Watching all the kids swim or go down the slip and slide was so much fun

    10. The boys and girls competition in who can give the most offering the whole week, which goes to mission trips. The combined total was 798.00 and that was with an average attendance of 60 kids!!! SO proud of them!!! OH, the boys won! The winners get to throw a pie in the preacher’s face!!!

  31. 131
    Angie says:

    We’re doing a summer-long VBS this year which is every Wednesday evening for an hour. We’re doing Saddle Ridge Ranch. One of the lessons was on Jesus feeding the five thousand with 5 loaves and 2 fish. Since we’re blessed to have our church less than a mile from the City Park and the lake, we took the kiddos fishing last week. They had a blast! I really expected the preschoolers to quickly get bored and head to the playground but they kept right on fishing. One of them asked me (after catching his 6th fish!), “Ms. Angie, am I a fisher-man?” I’ve been thinking just now that I need to tell him next week that some of Jesus’ best friends were fisher-men. VBS can present some awesome opportunities, even to preschoolers, to not only teach Bible stories but to just talk about Jesus.

  32. 132
    Deb Weaver says:

    At our VBS, Hero Headquarters, a five year old boy (who is a recently added foster child to a member’s family) excitedly told Captain VBS (me), “This is my first time!” It was so precious and reminded us all how important this ministry is to children!

  33. 133
    Olivia S. says:

    Our VBS was Answers in Gensis’ “The Egypt File” it was a great bible school, talking about ancient Egypt- and why evolution is wrong, and not the way we were created!
    But at my churches Kids Camp our theme was “Saddle Ridge Ranch” πŸ˜‰
    10 Favorite Memories were…

    • 133.1
      Olivia S. says:

      Ooops ……
      1. I loved the look on my (male) teachers face when he saw he had 12 5th grade girls and only 2 boys!(he later told me that he was told the class would mostly be boys!)
      2. That my mom did the music πŸ™‚
      3. The lessons were great!
      4. Meeting a new friend
      5. Seeing the LORD work through my church!

      (only have time for 5 sorry!)

      With many mistakes πŸ˜‰

  34. 134
    Linda R. says:

    I had the privilege of being a part of Saddle Ridge Ranch at our church this year, but I just returned from a mission trip to Romania. Sharing VBS with those sweet little ones was so precious to me. I will NEVER forget their little faces and getting up in the mornings and seeing a child or two with their badge and bandana on waiting for us to open the doors….that’s what it’s all about!

  35. 135
    Leanne Eldridge says:

    I am so amazed at how far VBS has come in the last couple of years. Man, when we were kids we were really something to have a flannel board story, a craft made from popsicle sticks, and a Little Debbie cake…now there are choreographed songs with snacks to match each days theme! Wow.

  36. 136
    Susan Gough says:

    We did the same Saddle Ridge Ranch VBS at our church. Mountain Life……in Park City Utah. It was a blast for the kids. You should check out my blog and see the picture of the miniture horse that was brought to our VBS.
    So cute! I did the snacks in the kitchen….:o)

  37. 137
    Susan says:

    We did High Seas Expedition at our church and finished last Friday. It was a great week. Two of my daughters and I were on the team. I did High Seas Cinema where we watched a video and told about our God Sightings. I love working with children and had an amazing week. The multi generational team is one of my favourite things, from 11 to we’re not going to tell you, everyone works together and listens to each other. God in action.

  38. 138
    Becky says:

    My six year old daughter just finished Camp Zoom where she learned about Esther. And in a couple weeks her and her brother will be doing a VBS with a mystery/detective theme. There are several good ones in the area here in Waukesha.

  39. 139
    Christine says:

    Oh, Amanda, I just finished a week of VBS (High Seas Expedition) in Robie Creek, ID. I’m so energized and my heart so full from the experience I could explode into a million little stars.

    The only gift God has given me is to lead VBS. I’m the one who gets the kids pumped to be there during the large group times, sing and teach the songs, teach the Bible points, that sorta stuff. And what a gift it is! Not that I can pull it off (’cause I only can through the spirits help), but the gift is all that God gives to me and my soul in serving him. I throw myself into this role each summer, full tilt. And this past week, I received twice the blessings from our Heavenly Father. Amen.

    This past week was a really different VBS than others I’ve done. Usually VBS is big, lots of kids, lots of bells and whistles. Typically, we create this huge, entertaining, and somewhat expensive and “slick” experience for the kids. Last week, VBS was on a shoe string budget. It wasn’t sponsored by a church, it wasn’t at a church (it was in a tiny park in the hills of Boise, ID), it didn’t have any of the bells and whistles. It was just 30 kids, 12 adults having a blast, learning about God, experience God, working hard, playing hard, and praising God. There were children who didn’t have shoes. Children who don’t (or won’t) go to school. None of the kids who do go to school go to the same school. There is no such thing as “image” in these hills. Oh, what an experience, and what a blessing to serve God here. It washed over a my soul like a thousand foot waterfall.

    This week, I’m MCing for Saddle Ridge Ranch at another church. (Like I said, I’ve only got one gift, that I’m aware of, so I use it all over town, everywhere I can, so it’s multiple VBSes for me!) And off to another church in August to do High Seas again. Oh, I just pray for these weeks to be real, authentic, and nourishing for all involved. My heart aches just thinking about the bells and whistles, the entertainment value of it all, what some call Vacation Baby Sitting. Pray for the children’s experience to transcend all of that, pray for God to reach right into their precious little hearts to dwell, to grow big and strong in each and everyone of these mighty children.

    Matthew 18 shows us Jesus saying that the greatest in God’s kingdom are the children. The children! They bear the image of God in the most pure and wonderful way of anyone or anything on this green Earth. They show us the image of God. They just are. Just like “I AM”. They just are. They just are. There is no separation of heart, mind, and soul. They just are. And until sin enters their life, they just are. Oh, to break a child’s soul is to shatter the image of God. Jesus has harsh words for those who shatter a child. Because to break a child is one less image of God in the world.

    I look at the sea of children’s faces when I do VBS and I see God smiling right back at me. Some kids are still so pure, so innocent, they can still say, “I AM.” They just are. And my heart knows that someday that innocence will be gone. They will sin, and worse, sins will be committed upon them. I could burst in tears as I think of my 6 and 3 year olds and how sin will make their hearts, minds, and souls disagree with each other, make them struggle, and make them make hard choices. But that’s the world we live in. We broke it, we have to live in it.

    But praise God we have a God that loves us, and wants to restore us, wants to transform us once we make a mess of our lives. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    Despite the “production” qualities of VBS, we have an opportunity to be shining lights for these children, to welcome them into God’s Kingdom, to celebrate them in God’s Kingdom, and receive smiles from God along the way.

    Bless your heart Amanda!

  40. 140
    michele says:

    my 14 year old volunteered in the vbs here in our town with kindergarten also-she loved it . iam so proud of her. she is leaving today for a youth mission work camp in panama city, fl- go christina! our vbs was also saddle ridge ranch -it was great

  41. 141
    Amy says:

    I love VBS!!! It’s really the only time during the church year that I get to act like my true self (a 10 y/o in a 44 y/o body ;0)) that both the adults and kids don’t get that “what is wrong with her look” like is common the rest of the year. I am so glad you had a blast. My guess is you are now adicted to working VBS.

    Have a blessed day,

  42. 142
    Heather says:

    Can I just say “Ye-ye-ye-ye- Yes to V-V-VBS!” I LOVE the VBS music! I participated in and have helped in Lifeway VBS for as long as I can remember. This year I was so excited that my 4 year old little girl could participate. Sadly the church in our town doing Saddle Ridge Ranch was for 5 and up, but we got to do Sonquest Rainforest. They had a fantastic set of songs and we have been singing these songs for weeks!
    My mom, however, sent us the Saddle Ridge Ranch cd and we have added that onto our ipod “VBS” Playlist! (We have Boomerang Express from last year on there too…so good.) So creative, so catchy and such true, true lyrics! My favorite this year was “God Cares.” Everytime I hear my 4 year old singing out in the back seat…” I will cast my cares on the Lord…because he cares for me…” me…bawling…
    I still remember so many songs I sang in Sunday School growing up and I just LOVE that the different VBS material takes the time to really make the songs fun and meaningful…chock full of scripture. LOVE IT!
    My daughters favorite song of course is “Tumbleweed!” Hard to get tired of that one…

  43. 143
    Keysham says:

    We did the same VBS at our church in Roanoke, VA. This was my first VBS at this church. First Baptist of Roanoke is a very large church and we are new there. Actually been attending a year now, but it is so large it’s hard to get involved. I felt the Lord leading me to VBS and it was terrific. I helped with 2nd grade. Wow was I tired each day. Not only did my kids love it, but so did I. I made some wonderful friends and for the first time in a year felt like this is my home church. I must say, though, I have never had to learn a musical in a week with actual choreography for the VBS prgram at the end of the week. Oh my….We learned a new song each day with choreography to most of them. Hard Choreography. AND… to make matters worse we were in the choir loft performing it which is huge and very high up. It has many levels with chairs side by side for the choir members. Problem is, it only givea you about 12 inches for your feet, which is fine if you are in the choir just standing and singing. We were not just singing, we were turning and dancing and doing western dance moves in that 12 inch space. I was scared to death. I was not only praying that our program would lead to someone’s salvation in the audience, but that the musical would not lead to one of our deaths. That said….we had a blast. My 9 year old and 2 year old wanted VBS to continue all year round. They loved it and that says a lot for my 2 year old who cannot be away from mommy for very long. When we would get there each day he wouldn’t even say “goodbye”. Thanks God for a wonderful blessing.

  44. 144
    Sarah says:

    Oh yes! VBS! I’ve been helping off & on for a few yrs at our church. I am always w/the preschoolers or the kindergarten class. And I agree, it does feel like 5pm when you are done…even if it’s only noon! Lets see if I can come up w/a top 10 list:

    10. The freedom to jam out to the songs, until your oldest walks in, totally embarrassed.
    9. When one has to go potty, they all have to go potty, so you better ask before you go onto the next activity.
    8. The adults learning something new from the kindergarten lessons. πŸ™‚
    7. Snack time! Why is something as simple as a rice krispie treat SO much better when it comes from a grandma’s kitchen?
    6. Wondering how these little brains come up w/such wonderful, insightful questions?!
    5. Being astounded when Ethan knew so many bible stories, down to every last detail!
    4. Wondering…if Ethan knows those bible studies so well, why is he SO naughty during VBS?
    3. Getting together to worship in church in a more laid back & fun mannor.
    2. Sitting on our back patio making some decorations for VBS w/my girls.
    1. Praising Jesus & catching the excitment among the kids! Renews my excitement every year!

  45. 145
    Bethany says:

    I finished up with our church’s version of VBS last week. It was called Kids Campus and the idea was to provide the children with the “camp” experience. We had chapel, recreation, mess hall eating, and arts and crafts. It was an experience! I had 13 2nd graders who I just fell in love with over the course of the week.
    God used the week as a balm to my soul as I’ve not been involved with leading or teaching children in any way since the end of the school year and with Andrew’s passing, the first day was harder than I expected. But true to our God’s form, He used the week to bless me πŸ™‚

    My top 10 favorites of Kids Campus at Big Valley Grace:

    1. Hearing the angelic voices of over 350 children singing praises to God.

    2. My kiddos wanting to sit next to me during chapel, lunch, quiet time, craft time, etc…

    3. Freeness of spirit that you see in children.

    4. How they worship without any thought to how they appear…true worship from the heart.

    5. The servant hearts of the junior high and high school students who helped out.

    6. My two eighth graders who assisted me with my group. They learned too!

    7. Recreation time!!!! It was CRAZY FUN!

    8. Being able to serve my little ones in a tangible way such as making sure they had enough food during lunch. We got to eat family style with me being responsible for serving them.

    9. Hearing my 2nd graders pray to our God.

    10. Closing chapel when the sanctuary was quiet, low lit, and the cross was in the center of the stage…sitting next to Cauvion (say-v-on) and him asking who the man on the screen was. When I said “Jesus”, he got excited and said, “that’s Jesus?!”. Sweet to see this very distractable little boy quiet himself long enough to think about Jesus!

  46. 146
    Beth Moss says:

    Hi Amanda ~ I was just in New Orleans for a mission trip this last week and worked with inner city kids @ a VBS church plant…wow what a challenging surprise. God stretched me in ways I didn’t know were possible!
    A second fun surprise was sitting on the plane by a gentleman who was going to be working in VBS for your church there in Houston. We (the mission group) flew down to Houston as a team last Sunday and then drove from there to New Orleans. He (the gentleman I sat by) told me he was headed home to work in VBS for Houston’s First Baptist and would be making shaved ice cones or snow cones (can you tell I’m not up to speed on all things southern?:) I just learned of snowballs this week…the kind you don’t throw πŸ™‚
    Thanks for sharing your week…God is ministering to children everywhere and I was so thankful to be a part of it!

  47. 147
    angincanada says:

    Just finished helping at our church’s VBS ! We had 85 – 90 kids and everything was themed to the importance of God’s Word. It was powerful! and FUN! Our snack on Monday was Peter’s Jail Mix (aka Trail Mix) The pretzels symbolized the bars of the jail. The marshmallows represented the angel that released Peter…and the cheerios were for the handcuffs. The m and m’s represented the “sweet” prayers of the believers for Peter’s release! On Friday, a six year old boy came and reviewed the meaning of that snack with me. They learned a whole lot more than that and 5 sweet ones gave their hearts to Jesus! It was rich!

  48. 148
    Crissy says:

    We went to Brentwood Baptist, Brentwood TN!!! They did Saddle Ridge Ranch! Awesome! They had over 1200 kids enrolled and 500 volunteers! One of our most favorite things was the Celebration Night on Friday night. All the kids singing and worshiping and the baptisms. Also, my little girl saying that she was practicing her song in her room Friday afternoon and listening to the CD for the thousandth time! Just awesome!! I give a big shout to BB you rock! Five loaves two fish Five loaves two fish!!
    Nashville, TN

  49. 149
    LindaWD says:

    We’re doing Gospel Light’s SonQuest Rainforest Adventure -our church has done Gospel Light’s VBS for a number of years – my friend Maxine and I participate on the Drama Team every year (the only year I missed was when my daughter was due on the Thursday – if I had known she would be late, I would have volunteered still!) We’re always blessed by the enthusiasm and joy displayed by the kids, and we have a lot of fun!
    Love VBS – I’m always exhausted by the end, but I’m still always looking forward to next year.

  50. 150
    Sharon says:

    I have the very special privilege of teaching a class of older “special needs” students each year in VBS. Nothing on earth gets my blood pumping like learning about Jesus with this group. I totally love it when they memorize their verses and ask questions and grasp Jesus concepts!

    This year, on Wednesday, we were talking about sin and how Jesus is faithful to forgive us of our sins. If we will just ask Him, He will wash them away and make our hearts white as snow. To illustrate this, I had everyone gather around in a circle. As each student named a sin that they wanted Jesus to forgive them of, I dropped a drop of blue food coloring into a jar of water. After everyone had had a chance to “confess” their sins, I then poured some bleach into the jar. After a few minutes, the water returned to its original clear color. The students were amazed!

    In order to reinforce this, we went outside and with colored chalk, drew pictures of our sins, or wrote the words on the bricks of the building. One of our male youth helpers dressed up as Jesus and came along behind us with a bucket and paint brush and washed our sins away!

    The students were amazed and I believe that they truly “got it.” How sweet that the simple message of the Gospel is something that even these students can understand!

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