Thursday, January 13, 2011

Second Place in my Vacation Bible School Countdown for 2011 . . . Thursday, January 13th - "Hometown Nazareth'" by Group Publishing!

Welcome to the ninth day of my Top Ten Countdown for Vacation Bible School 2011 - I'll announce my Top Pick for VBS 2011 tomorrow, January 14th, but today we are looking at "Hometown Nazareth" from Group Publishing - it came in 2nd place in my review! This year Group invites you to take your children to Jesus' hometown, Nazareth, where they will experience village life as Jesus might have lived it when He was a boy!

Scope and Sequence -

  1. Jesus had a Family - We do, Too! - Luke 1:26-38 - Mary is chosen to be Jesus' mother!
  2. Jesus had a Name - We do, Too! - Luke 2:1-40 - Jesus is born and gets His name!
  3. Jesus had a Home - We do, Too! - Matthew 2:13, 14, 19-23 - Jesus' Family Escapes to Egypt!
  4. Jesus went to Church - We do, Too! - Luke 2:41-52 - Jesus went to the Temple!
  5. Jesus served Others - We do, Too! - John 2:1-12 - Jesus does a Miracle in Cana!
Theme - Children will "visit" Jesus' boyhood town and hear "Mary" tell about Jesus' boyhood and how they can stand up for their faith even when others doubt Jesus really is God's Son!

Strong Points -

  1. Solid Bible Lessons - strong salvation emphasis and application for children who already know Jesus! 
  2. I'm very happy to see a specific station for the Bible lesson this year with extremely creative and engaging lessons - they are solidly grounded in God's Word and intentionally designed to engage children in the teaching of the lessons! Tremendously well done, Group!
  3. I love the "God Sightings"
  4. I love the "Notes from Nazareth" and the Historical Background - very interesting and useful!
  5. Fun songs reinforce the points - good mix of boys, girls and children of different races on the dvd - I'd like to see more elementary age children on the dvd, but since "Hometown Nazareth" is for the entire family I do like to see all ages - and adults on this dvd. Hear a sample of the music here.
  6. I love the "i-Grow Chart" - this is a unique, fun and engaging resource for the family . . . I'd like the price point to be lower, but one per family it isn't too bad!
  7. I love the "Bringing it Home" family faith builders!
  8. Excellent info on decorating - Group will help you transform your church into a Bible-times village!
  9. Mission project - Operation Kid2Kid - Kits for Kids - children will decorate backpacks and bookmarks for children in Latin America - each child will also receive a Spanish New Testament.
  10. Mostly complete director's information - excellent volunteer training
  11. All stations reinforce and teach the daily Bible points
Would Like to See - 
  1. I'd like to see information in the Director's book about how to screen volunteers, and develop a goal for your VBS
  2. I'd like a basic kit option for churches on a very tight budget
  3. Activities for children to involve them in serving their own communities
For the past few years Group has consistently improved their Holy Land VBS resource . . . this year they did a tremendous job on it! I really love this VBS resource . . .  the lessons are engaging and the focus is clearly on intentionally helping children and families understand how to live what they learn by giving them opportunity to do so! If your primary goal for VBS is to help children and families understand God's Word can be understood and lived or if you are looking for a resource you can involve entire families in this summer, be sure to take a serious look at "Hometown Nazareth". If you do not select this for your VBS, look for another opportunity to utilize it as your families will not be the same after experiencing "Hometown Nazareth" together - they will absolutely be strengthened through this experience! Since the setting is a Bible times village, this VBS should be easy to set up in an outdoor venue'! Group utilizes the NLT Bible.  Tremendously well done Group - thank-you for sending "Hometown Nazareth" for my review.

"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the products of services mentioned above for free in the hopes I would mention them on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: 'Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.'"

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