Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Two Down, Three to Go!

We had another great day at VBS! Some of the highlights were:
-About half of our volunteers showed up 15-20 minutes early (mostly so they could get in the food line early). Many of them were quick to help set up the breakfast.
-We have more breakfast foods than we're able to put out each day!
-The day started and finished smoothly, oh, and was smooth in the middle too!
-I was standing in the lobby about 3 minutes before I needed to be on stage to start worship when suddenly I noticed all the kids were standing near the stage, just waiting for the band to begin. The band, thinking it'd be good to be ready on time, had simply gotten into place and were going to wait a little while. All the kid saw them and couldn't wait to get started!
-We have three guys from the Surge Soccer Team (a semi-pro team that plays in Salem in the summers--they're a Christian team that does great outreach) leading our games and they're doing an incredible job. It brought me so much joy to listen to one of the guys talk to the kids as they played their game, "Remember, you need to have patience for this to work. Just like David showed patience in waiting all those years to become king, you can show patience too!"
-Our guy leaders have been great! Usually, there are a few we need to talk to for improved behavior. This year they're all outstanding. Such a blessing!
-Lucy was sick today and had to go home early, but the preschool department continued to run smoothly.
-We increased by 12 kids today! And most of those were from our kids bringing friends.
-Once again, I can't wait to see how the rest of the week goes!

Monday, June 22, 2009

One Day Down, Four to Go!

Day one of VBS was great! We had a few glitches to work out at the beginning with getting the all the volunteers in their places, but once that was in place, it was smooth sailing! Here are some of the highlights:
-We had about 125 volunteers for our 231 kids. What an incredible ratio!
-Those volunteers showed up on time if not early! (Which I credit to the fact that we provide breakfast for our volunteers each morning.)
-Ladies in the church have helped out in a wonderful way by bringing in baked goods each morning--egg dishes, home made muffins, and one lady even came with a waffle iron and waffle batter to make waffles to order! That, added to the muffins and pastries and fruit we provide, provides a wonderful spread for everyone!
-The kids showed up with excitement, and the enthusiasm only grew as the day went on.
-We had to do some shuffling thanks to an unusually high attendance with our fourth graders. Usually, fourth and fifth grades are our smallest groups. This year, fourth grade is the largest!
-Lucy, my Early Childhood Director, is experiencing VBS for the first time and is doing a great job.
-One first time volunteer told me she's so impressed by how organized things are. I see it as we've figured out a great system, and organization comes naturally with that.
-My niece, Madison, is staying with me for the week so she can come to VBS. This is her first church experience. Her high school counselor is doing a great job with her! We worked on memorizing her verse tonight, and she had fun searching through our house for coins to take for offering. We're planting seeds!
-The week can only get better from here!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Vacation Bible School 2009

Wow! VBS stars Monday! I feel like I've been either so busy getting it ready, or knowing I need to work on it and feeling guilty about doing other things instead (blogging). I am really excited for VBS this year!

This is our fourth year of writing our own program. When I took over our Children's Ministries program, I wasn't too impressed by what our church had been buying. It wasn't that the published curriculum wasn't creative or well done--we just needed something different. I'm curious what the average size of a Vacation Bible School is. We see about 225 kids, and all the material and supplies that a published curriculum required got really expensive really quickly (not to mention took forever to prep!). Beyond that, we never actually used the songs or skits recommended by the curriculum--one of our pastors always leads worship and the skits and he has an amazing creative mind and is a phenomenal actor! I had also observed that the boys never seemed to really enjoy crafts--which was our biggest time and money consumer. And along with all of that, every other church in our town did the same thing. We wanted to stand out with something different.

So after evaluating all of those factors, and knowing what a wonderfully creative team we have, we began writing our own program. The first year I was so excited to see it all work out, but also very nervous that what I was so confident in wouldn't actually work. But it did! It was great! Our first year's theme was "Galaxy Quest" where the kids went on a space adventure to learn about the Armor of God. The skit was something like Star Trek meets Star Wars meets Space Balls. We did away with crafts for the elementary kids and replaced them with activity stations--legos, beads, clay, craft items, and taking apart electronics. The kids got to pick what table they wanted to participate in each day. Games were a lot of fun, snack was simple, and the week went great!

The next year we looked at the Fruit of the Spirit with a theme of "Willie Wantcha and the Character Factory." Once again, we had an amazing week! Last year we went on a great journey in learning all about the Bible in our "Follow the Golden Road" week. Each year I've felt was our best program and this year is no different. I can't wait to have kids to be inspired to think of all the places God will take them! We're learning about how God used kids in the Bible to do great things--how Samuel was used for great things because he listened to God, David was used for great things because he was patient in waiting for God's timing, Josiah was used for great things because he honored God, Jesus was used for great things because He obeyed God, and the boy with the loaves and fishes was used for great things because he was available to God. It's going to be great!

God has blessed us so much through giving us ideas and bringing it to life. And it all just excites me even more for what we'll do next year!

Sony Style USA