Thursday, January 12, 2012

Top Three VBS Countdown 2012 - Sky from Group Publishing

Sky - 2012 Easy VBSI'm delighted to announce today the runner-up VBS in my Top Ten VBS reviews for 2012 - Sky from Group Publishing! Sky placed second this year, but placed first in my Top Pick for VBS Setting 2012! Sky is great fun, but most importantly, has solid Bible teaching and learning!

Group Publishing

  1. No Matter Who You Are . . . Trust God! – Matthew 8:5-13 – A Roman officer has faith in Jesus
  2. No Matter How You Feel . . . Trust God! – John 11 – Jesus brings Lazarus back to life
  3. No Matter What People Do . . . Trust God! – Matthew 26:36-27:31 – Jesus is arrested and put on trial
  4. No Matter What Happens . . . Trust God! – Matthew 27:32-28:20 – Jesus dies and comes back to life
  5. No Matter Where You Are . . . Trust God! – John 21:1-14 – Jesus makes a beachside breakfast for His friends
Setting – Up in the “wild, blue yonder” . . . in the boundless blue sky!
Message – Kids will explore God’s boundless love for them while they learn everything is possible with God and they can trust Him! As Group says, “You’re in for a high-flying and unforgettable time!”
Focus – Evangelism, Application, Content

 Strengths –
  • As I would expect, Sky has amazing, creative and engaging Bible lessons! I’m so glad to see stronger Bible content in the Bible lessons this year and during lessons station leaders are encouraged to open and read from their Bible – this helps children make the visual connection the lesson they are hearing/experiencing is from the Bible!
  • I love the new Imagination Station!!! Kids will LOVE the “Sciency-Fun Gizmos”! Another huge “plus” for this is how affordable the gizmos are!!! Thank you Group for keeping it affordable!!!
  • Love the “Why it Matters” portion of the volunteer’s daily devotions!
  • Love the “God Sightings” – great way to get kids to focus on noticing how God works in their lives!
  •  This is my Top Pick for VBS Setting for 2012! I love the unique setting and I love all the creative resources to help churches decorate! Group makes decorating for a sky theme look easy and fun!
  • I really like the iOpeners – but if money is tight a church could buy one per family instead of one per child
  • “Huddle and a Prayer” time is great – love the way it helps kids see their crew leaders are praying for them!
  • Group once again has the best Opening and Finale – with lots of energy and an abundance of creative ways to engage kids! Love it!
  • Operation Kid 2 Kid is an excellent mission project again this year
  • So glad to see a variety of children – boys and girls of different races – in the video this year . . . and particularly glad to see elementary age children and fewer teens
Would like to see –
  • ideas to help kids serve in their own communities – maybe Group could completely eliminate Chadder and in the Missions station also have a portion of it focused on the kids doing things to serve their own communities! I believe this local service component would be an amazing addition to Group VBS!
  • a more affordable “basic” kit option for churches on a very tight budget
  • As just mentioned, eliminate Chadder . . . particularly this year I was concerned about the video showing a girl making unwise/dangerous decisions because she was going to trust God to help her. Yes, I realize it is an animated cartoon, but I don’t believe we want to give children the message they can choose to do unwise, dangerous things because they can trust God to give them courage and keep them safe. Group is known for their innovation and creativity in engaging children so they experience active learning; a Chadder video seems to not match up with Group’s philosophy. I’d much rather see an active, engaging station focused on helping children learn to serve at home, in their communities and around the world.
Group says, "Imagine kids trusting God forever . . . the sky's the limit! Every kid wishes they could fly, so imagine transforming your church into the boundless blue sky! At Sky VBS, kids discover by trusting God, everything is possible." I love the focus in each lesson; each station on the “no matter what’s” children CAN trust God! Certainly this is a message children – and adults - need to hear. Sky is a great option for a VBS with a strong focus on creatively engaging children in every learning station, solid evangelism, strong Bible content and application! If you are looking for a VBS with a focus on engaging children and a strong message about trusting God, most certainly take a look at Sky from Group!

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