Thursday, January 5, 2012

Top Ten Countdown for VBS 2012 - SonRise National Park from Gospel Light!

This year I had a two-way tie for sixth place in my Top Ten, so today and tomorrow I'll share the sixth place VBS resources! Today let's take a look at  SonRise National Park from Gospel Light!
SonRise National Park 
Gospel Light

  1. True Peace - Peace, be still - Mark 4:35-41 - Jesus gives us peace no matter what problems we face
  2. True Riches - Miraculous meal - Mark 6:30-44; John 6:1-14 - Jesus knows what we need and will provide what's best for us
  3. True Power - It is written - Matthew 4:1-11 - Jesus shows us how to depend on God's powerful Word when we are tempted to sin
  4. True Love - The Good Shepherd - Mark 15:1 - 16:20;John 10:1-18 - Jesus loves us so much He died and rose again so we can be members of His family
  5. True Hope - Praise in prison - Acts 16:16-40 - Jesus is with us so we can be fearless about our future
Setting – the wilderness of SonRise National Park 
Message – As kids explore SonRise National Park, they’ll discover the most important survival skill of all: they can always depend on Jesus and His promises of true peace, riches, power, love and hope!
Focus – Evangelism, Bible content, Serving and Application

Strengths –
  • I especially love the “Hands-on Nature projects at the beginning of each Bible lesson
  • I love the Missions station info and the Service project ideas – most certainly make this a station for your VBS so kids have the opportunity to learn how to live what they believe by serving others!
  • Solid Bible teaching with an strong evangelism focus – all lessons focus on Jesus and how we can depend on Him
  • I’m very happy to see teachers and children reading from the Bible during the Bible lessons!
  • Bible lessons are written much better this year – I’d like to see less “teacher talk” and more active engagement of the kids, but there is variety in the way the lessons are presented and overall, it is much, much better than last year
  • The “stunt” in the beginning of each day’s “Go Big! Assembly” opening is fantastic!
  •  As always, Gospel Light’s craft book is filled with a wide variety of crafts made from items you can collect/buy and each one ties in with the Bible lessons
  • Fun setting – easy to decorate for
  • I like the ideas for “Fun Days”, “Caught in the Act”, “Field Trips” and “Events at church”
  • Songs have lots of “pep” – many were written by Jamie Owens Collins . . . I didn’t however; enjoy the “metallic” sound of a couple of the songs.
Would like to see –
  • A stronger and more intentional focus on specific things for kids to go and “do” before they return the next day to live what they learned.
  • Music videos with preschool and elementary age children – NOT teens.
  • Information to help churches engage and involve Special Needs Kids in their VBS
  • Information to help churches select and stay focused on a goal for their VBS
  • Resources for churches which do not use the classroom model – Bible lessons in a book for a Bible lesson station and a station with their object lessons/hands-on nature projects/activities – this would provide more options and make the materials easier for churches to use
Gospel Light says, "As kids explore SonRise National Park, they’ll learn the most important survival skill of all: they can always depend on Jesus and His promises of true peace, true riches, true power, true love and true hope! At SonRise National Park, kids will learn to trust Jesus as their all-powerful guide and Savior!" Overall, SonRise National Park is a great option for a VBS with a strong focus on evangelism and serving. If you are looking for a resource to engage kids in these things, this one is well worth taking a serious look at to see if it is a good “fit” for your ministry. You could use this also during a week-long missions conference or for a month of missions focus – match the projects you have the kids work on to fit with your missions emphasis/missionaries. If my church used this VBS, we’d add in the daily “live-it” activity and would make the Bible lesson a station kids rotated through.

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