Friday, January 21, 2011

Let's Get More Out of Our Vacation Bible School Resources . . . Mid-Week Children's Ministry All Year Long!

When you evaluate Vacation Bible School curriculum, be sure to think about how VBS resources might give you the tools you need for your mid-week ministry to children! You won't necessarily need an entire kit, but if you have the Bible lesson, games and craft book as well as the music you'll be able to expand the lessons by using one lesson for two weeks and be able to have resources for ten weeks! Run your mid-week ministry similar to your VBS and the enthusiasm you have with your VBS can transfer to your mid-week ministry! Three resources will give you enough materials for one year of mid-week ministry so think about the curriculum scope and your vision/goals for your mid-week ministry and then see which VBS resources give you the tools you need.

For example, most mid-week ministries have a strong evangelism focus as children from the community attend, so take a good look at kits like Rev it Up from RBP, Kickin' it Old School from Go Fish Guys, Gold Rush from Answers in Genesis, SonSurf Beach Blast from Gospel Light, Mission to Mars from WordAction and Big Apple Adventure from LifeWay. Consider also kits that give you the opportunity to introduce children to Jesus - kits that do a good job of helping children understand Who Jesus is, such as Hometown Nazareth from Group, SonSurf Beach Blast from Gospel Light and Gold Rush from Answers in Genesis. If you had a difficult time deciding between two kits for your actual VBS, this is a good place to use the other kit - particularly if it had a strong application focus like Inside-out & Upside-down on Main Street from Standard, Shake it Up Cafe' from Cokesbury, and Pandamania from Group.

If there was a VBS kit that you really liked the content, but were not so thrilled with the music, this is a great place to use those resources - just replace the music with some from another resource! Add in weekly "live-it" activities, a service project for your community and one or two mission projects children can work on throughout the year. (See my "Put Feet to Their Faith" posts for mission project ideas)

Begin each evening with large group singing - add in some object lessons that relate to your theme and then have children rotate to three different stations - Bible lessons, games and crafts . . . like they do for VBS. Bring them back together for more singing and to reinforce the evening's point for an over-all focused and engaging evening where children will be able to understand their need for Jesus and then grow in their walk with Him!

VBS resources are great tools for your children's ministry and can be utilized in more ways than just the traditional week of VBS in the summer. As you evaluate kits this year, stop and think about if there is another part of your ministry where they would be a great "fit"!

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