Melita Thomas, LifeWay Christian Resources
Greetings, friends! I hope you saw the Facebook Live video yesterday where we unveiled some brand new resources for churches planning a VIRTUAL VBS this summer. All of these resources are in the final stage of production and will be available very soon. But I wanted to give you a heads up (and a quick reference) of exactly what will be available for virtual VBSs in 2021.
1. Virtual VBS Directors Guide—This free eBook is an addendum to the VBS 2021 Administrative Guide. Most of the timeline, forms, and strategies in the Admin Guide are applicable no matter what kind of VBS a church chooses. But this new, short guide will help with those things that are unique to a virtual (or hybrid in-person and virtual) VBS. This guide is applicable regardless of theme.
2. Kids Crafts Bundle (available for Destination Dig only)—Includes five crafts (1 for each day), individually packaged per child. Everything is already pre-sorted and pre-cut, making it easy to deliver a daily craft to each child. The five crafts are:
- Isaiah Scroll Ornament (ages 6–12)
- Jesus Heals Eyeglass Case (ages 3–12)
- Magnetic Cross Bookmark (ages 6–12)
- Pottery Shard Frame (ages 3–12)
- Chariot Craft (ages 3–12)
3. Family Connection Bundle (available for Destination Dig only)—The perfect “at home kit” for a virtual VBS. Deliver one to each family registered for your VBS. Contains:
- One Gospel Guide (plan of salvation)
- One Parent Guide (daily family devotions and activities for each day)
- One Music for Kids CD (to enjoy the VBS songs)
- One Worship Rally Booklet (contains the motto, scripture, and lyrics to the VBS songs)
- One Dig Site Tools Set (a set of 3 archaeology tools for kids to use in VBS activities)
- One Folding Magnifier (to use with activities)
NOTE: Churches can customize the Family Activity Bundle by dropping in additional things like one Kids Craft Pack for each child in the family, a beanbag or bandana for games, prepackaged snacks, etc.
4. Kids Fun Bundle—This is not a new product, but it may have a new life this year as it is perfect to include (per child) in the Family Connection Bundle. It includes one each of the Kids Memory Maker, Kids Activity Book, Name Tag, Kids Wrap, and a themed backpack (which can be used to collect all of the “per child” items for delivery).
5. Daily Bible Story Videos (available for Destination Dig only)—Families can watch these videos of a storyteller telling the Bible story each day (optional). Join the free VBS Directors Club at lifeway.com/vbsdirectorsclub to download.
6. “VBS at Home” on Ministry Grid (available for Destination Dig only)—Free “family VBS” resources for families to view and complete at home. Simply send the access link to families each day of VBS. Access to “VBS at Home” resources will be emailed to those who purchase any one of the Destination Dig Starter Kits with Digital Leader Guides Add-on.
And just so you’ll know, we are recommending the following three resources as the ESSENTIAL resources for virtual VBS:
- Directors Kit—Full of resources to help you begin planning. This includes samples of the music and the “activity books” for every age so that you can decide if you want to include one for each child in whatever you send home with families for the week of VBS.
- Multi-age Starter Kit with Digital Leader Guides Add-on—The digital add-on is an extra $30, but is essential for a virtual VBS. The Starter Kit includes everything you’ll need for Bible study and rotations. The digital add-on gives you the video files for music rotation and missions rotation so you can share them easily during a Virtual VBS. It also gives you a PDF of every leader guide so that you can share them easily (via email) with the people who will be on camera leading a Bible study or a rotation time. With a virtual VBS, you’ll have a wide age-range in the audience so you won’t need to break it down any further than all preschoolers and all kids (if you break it down by ages at all).
- Digital Worship Rally Pack—This includes everything you’ll need for a virtual worship rally such as choreography videos to learn the motions ahead of time, lyrics and motions videos to show on the screen to help the kids at home, presentation files (for ProPresenter® or PowerPoint®) so that you can show the verse, motto, pledges, and Bible story pictures on the screen, a free font to use in all of your graphics, and more. This will be your go-to resource for making your virtual VBS look and feel like Destination Dig in an all-virtual environment. (Also available as a physical guide and CDs/DVDs.)
I’m excited about this great combination of new and existing resources to help better equip churches to have a successful VBS in 2021. I think they will be helpful for many churches in many contexts. We want every church to be able to say YES to VBS this summer!
VBS & Kids Ministry Specialist | LifeWay Kids
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