Thursday, January 14, 2016

VBS 2016 - Egypt, Joseph's Journey by Group Publishing!

Egypt Vbs Ultimate Starter Kit
For quite a few years now, Group Publishing has released four VBS resources; today we are going to take a look at the Bible-times resource for this year; Egypt - Joseph's Journey from Prison to Palace, which tied for seventh with Group's Cave Quest in this year's VBS review - I'm posting both of them for you to see today! 

With this resource you get to take children and families from your church and community back to Bible times where they may "experience" life in ancient Egypt, as they discover what happened with Joseph, and how he chose to trust God!

Egypt, Joseph's Journey from Prison to Palace
Group Publishing

  1. God gives us hope – Genesis 40:1-23 – Joseph interprets dreams in prison
  2. God gives us special abilities – Genesis 41:1-40 – Pharaoh puts Joseph in charge
  3. God gives us wisdom – Genesis 41:41-42:5 – Joseph leads Egypt through famine
  4. God gives us forgiveness – Genesis 42:6-45:15 – Joseph forgives his brothers
  5. God gives us a family – Genesis 45:16-47:27 – Joseph settles his family in Egypt
Setting – Ancient Egypt
Message – "Children are transported to ancient Egypt where they'll meet Bible-times heroes, visit the Egyptian marketplace and spend time exploring firsthand the unique culture of Joseph's world." 
Focus – Evangelism, Application, Content
Strengths –
  • My favorite part of this VBS is the “Tribe Time"– particularly at the close. I really love the activities which engage everyone to help them focus all they did on the point and God’s Word! Solid, memorable Bible learning!
  • I love the focus on trusting God!
  • I'm very happy to see the Bible lesson portion was significantly more engaging this year - great ideas children and parents will enjoy and remember! Excellent!
  • I am really happy to see Group included "Huddle & Prayer" time again this year for the leaders before they begin the activities with their small groups. It is powerful for children and families to see their leaders pray for them before they begin!
  • As I would expect, Egypt Joseph's Journey from Group has a strong emphasis on intentionally engaging the entire family in creative ways and focusing them on how they can trust God!
  • I found the options for crafts to be unique, interesting and fun - I LOVE the bell craft!
  • I especially like the "Read the Passage with This in Mind" info for volunteers each day - excellent!
  • I found the "Historical Background" for the Shopkeepers to be informative and interesting
  • Preschool-friendly Options throughout to help teachers better engage the little ones!
  • I'm very happy to see Group including "God Sightings" in Egypt, Joseph's Journey
Would like to see –
  • Ideas to help kids serve in their own communities.
  • I was hoping I'd see teachers and children reading from the Bible during the Bible lessons and would love to see this next year
  • There are far, far, far too many gadgets and items in this VBS which were made in China. I have significant concerns about child/slave labor for anything made in China and would like to see Group source these items from other places.
  • Previous years had more music videos with families singing; which, considering how this VBS resource is a family resource, it is appropriate. While I'm happy to see more songs with families and on a whole there were more children singing in the DVD, there are still way too many teens and adults outside a "family look" on the DVD. These older singers tend to "over-exaggerate" their smiles and motions and end up looking out of place and "fake". I'd like to see Group just have children and/or families on the DVD and stop using older singers.
Group says, "Join Joseph as he swats away scorpions in a dark prison cell . . . stroll through the golden splendor of Pharaoh's palace . . . experience exotic sights and smells in an Egyptian bazaar . . . be carried away by music wafting through the enticing desert air. What a week of fun - and lasting Bible learning!"  

Group did a great job with this VBS resource; it is definitely worth taking a good look at it to see how it might "fit" your children's ministry as it provides a unique learning opportunity for entire families – or for just children and will challenge them to trust God! Great for VBS, a summer family event, mid-week ministry or for a special event during the year, but if you plan to use it after the summer, be sure to order enough of the student/family items – especially for Tribe Time – so you have them when you need them.

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