Monday, January 13, 2014

VBS 2014 - Workshop of Wonders from Cokesbury & a Give-Away!

 Today as I begin the second week of my 2014 VBS reviews, I'm happy to share with you Workshop of Wonders from Cokesbury. This is a VBS curriculum filled with resources which will help you engage the children in living what they learn by using the gifts God has given them. Workshop of Wonders is well worth taking a thorough look at to see if it might be a good "fit" for your ministry -

Workshop of Wonders

1. The Story of Esther - The Book of Esther - Imagine with God
2. Rebuilding the Lord's House - Ezra 3:8-13 - Build with God
3. Parable of the Mustard Seed - Matthew 13:1,2, 31,32 - Grow with God
4. Feeding the 5,000 - John 6:1-13 - Work with God
5. Walking to Emmanus - luke 24:13-32 - Walk with God

Setting – a workshop where children imagine and build projects
Message/Theme – "At WOW VBS, discover how the ordinary becomes extraordinary with God. Experience the love of Jesus. Start an adventure. Use your imagination and creativity to build your faith. Meet people from the Bible who used what they had to produce something amazing with God. Use your heart, mind, and imagination to participate in the creative life of God, the One Who works wonders."
Focus – Application, Service and Bible Content

  • Workshop of Wonders has strong Bible content with a focus on application; I LOVE how Cokesbury says, "Children and volunteers will leave VBS with a richer understanding of our call to serve God with all the creative gifts God has given us. Living a life like Christ involves thinking critically to help others and imagining new ways to help others through service."
  • Last year I said I'd like to see, "Children engaged in the teaching of the Bible lesson, involve the kids in the dramas, have them participate in the lesson – not just sit and watch a drama or listen to the teacher and get kids to open their Bibles during the lesson to find answers to questions and see what the Bible people said/did." This year Cokesbury did an excellent job of engaging children in the Bible lesson - there are two options for each lesson so you are able to chose the one which best "fits" your ministry. I would, however, like to see open Bibles. It would be very easy to have the teachers read the Bible lesson rather than paraphrase it for the teacher teaching and for the dramas as well.
  • The director’s book is pretty complete and provides most of the information you need to plan and present your VBS
  • I especially LOVE the "Science Station" – excellent science projects and activities to get kids thinking and talking.
  • Excellent information to help churches involve children with special needs
  • I'm VERY happy to see the price was kept down on this resource AND a kit for small churches is also available making it extremely affordable! I'd love to see all the publisher do this!
  • FREE app to bring "Rivet" to "life" from the daily Scripture Treasure Trading Cards
  • I found the options for crafts to be creative, varied, affordable and fun – options for crafts you can buy as kits and crafts you make from items you collect!
  • LOVE the abundance of mission ideas for each day which involve children in projects to help their community and/or world! Excellent!
  • LOVE "Reflection Time" and "Gear Up" activities at the close of each day to help children think and talk about what they can do the following day to live what they learned!
  • LOVE the reproducible Take-Home Pages with the "Be a Visioneer" activities for children and families to do together to live what the children are learning! Excellent!
  • Last year I said I'd like to see, "More enthusiasm in the open/closing – object lessons, science projects, stunts – something to capture the kid’s attention and get them thinking! I’d add some of the science projects from the Innovation Station which I didn’t use in the station to the close." This year the opening and closing are much better - I'd still like to see something which involves the children a bit more - this could be a great place to add one of the daily science projects, but overall, this year's opening and closing are much better!
Would like to see
  • Perhaps add some of the science projects from the "Science Station" which you didn’t use, to the closing to finish each day with a "WOW" moment.
  • As I already mentioned, I would like to see open Bibles. It would be very easy to have the teachers read the Bible lesson rather than paraphrase it for the teacher teaching and for the dramas as well.
Cokesbury says, “Sometimes, in the midst of the routine and the everyday, we suddenly experience the wonder of God. We're surprised. We're grateful. We say, 'WOW!' At the Workshop of Wonders VBS, your children will discover their own 'WOW!' moments as they explore how to imagine and build with God. Each activity is developed, tested and refined to be an engaging, age-appropriate experience which will bring the word of God alive to every participant and volunteer. Workshop of Wonders is based on the Bible and the gospel of the living Christ.” If you are looking for a VBS with a focus on living what you learn and a theme which is thoroughly woven through each part of the day, take a good look at Workshop of Wonders!

I am happy to say, Cokesbury is making available their large, creative and fun puppet, Rivet, for me to give away (USA only)! If you are over the age of 18 and would like to be included in the drawing for Rivet - which will be on January 27, 2014, please comment below to let me know how God has taken what you have and helped you imagine and build with Him; He has done this over and over again in children's ministry and in the many opportunities He has given me to write for Children's Ministry Magazine, Your Church Magazine, Big Idea VeggieConnections Preschool Curriculum SuperBook and Maralee McKee along with writing About the Children's Department and grandma's cookie jar! God not only takes our imagination and helps us build with Him, but He goes far, far beyond our imaginations!

In addition if you have followed on Google Friend Connect, followed by liking on facebook with the tab in the "Find us on Facebook" box ON THE BLOG or at this link (not just liking the post) and/or have followed About the Children's Department by email you will receive one entry for each of these which you have done. Plus, if you "share" this post, you'll receive another entry (please let me know if you share). This will help me be able to draw names from among people who would like to win Rivet and it gives you several ways to enter the give-away! Thank you for reading About the Children's Department and for sharing it with the people you know!


  1. Wow, good question. God has taken my non-creative mind, and He gives me ideas, and creative ideas, which I would have never come up with by myself. I have never been a public speaker. In school, I was even afraid to do a Oral Report in front of my 18 classmates. But now I am able to speak in front of kids, and the church. He gives me the words, and the knowledge, than I can do it in through Him, and in Him.

    I follow on Google Friend Connect, and like Facebook, and also follow by email. I also shared the post.

    1. Isn't it amazing how God does this?!!! Thank you for sharing, reading About the Children's Department and for sharing it with the people you know!

  2. God has taken the various jobs I have had in the past-working at camps, teaching music, working as a church secretary, homeschooling my kids-and used them to prepare me for my present coordinating my church's ministry to children! I guess I needed over 30 years of preparation! Thanks for the chance to win. I follow you on Feedly and Facebook.

    1. God uses everything . . . looking back it can be so easy to see His "fingerprints" on our lives! Thank you for sharing, reading About the Children's Department and for sharing it with the people you know!

  3. Hmmmm.... God has given me loads of ideas for kids min. I remember when we were planning for VBS, and one of the leaders was in a conundrum. She had to do two stations in one, and it was a lot for one person. God gave me the idea to have her do one part, and her helper do the other. I think that helped her a lot. I shared, and thanks for offering these giveaways.

  4. I have been trying all day to figure out how a lava lamp connects to the day 3 lessons. Does anybody know?