Friday, January 22, 2016

VBS 2016 . . . Top Pick - Deep Sea Discovery from Christian Standard Media - formerly Standard Publishing!

I'm very happy to announce Christian Standard Media's Deep Sea Discovery is my Top Pick VBS for 2016! This year they invite you to take children on an adventure diving to the bottom of the sea where they will discover the truth in God's Word which will help them know, God is with them wherever they go! 

Once again this year, I LOVE how they have devoted one station to service projects, and the focus on evangelism is solidly woven into each and every Bible event; showing VBS can be both evangelistic and an opportunity for children who are already Christians, to grow in their understanding of God's Word and how to live it in their day-in-day-out lives. Christian Standard Media not only "hits the nail squarely on the head" again this year with Deep Sea Discovery, but they have shown they are able to write and design resources year after year which continue to reach and engage children! 

Deep Sea Discovery
Christian Standard Media (formerly Standard Publishing)
  1. God Knows Me! - Noah survives the flood - Genesis 6-9
  2. God Hears Me! - Jonah prays inside the fish - Jonah 1-3
  3. God Strengthens Me! - Peter walks on water - Matthew 14
  4. God Loves Me! - Jesus appears by the sea - John 21
  5. God Sends Me! - Peter sets sail - Acts 13 & 14
Setting – On an adventure diving to the bottom of the sea!
Message – Christian Standard Media says, "At Deep Sea Discovery, children dive into God's Word to see how He has been with His people every step of the way. Hands-on service projects and sea science will help children experience a VBS adventure like no other!" 
Focus - Evangelism, Application, Bible Content and Service
Strengths –
  • I'm very happy to see a strong focus on evangelism in each lesson - each lesson has a specific portion which points children to Jesus and explains the plan of salvation! Each teacher's resource includes information on how to lead children to Jesus!
  • The Bible adventures are very engaging - elementary lessons have children opening their Bibles, reading verses and looking in their Bibles to find out what happened - excellent! In addition, they engage children actively by having them help present portions of the Bible events. I love how creatively Christian Standard engages children in the Bible for each adventure!
  • I LOVE the daily "Service Challenge" which gives children several practical and do-able ways they can live what they learned. I also LOVE the student's book which gives children space to record what they did, when they did it, what happened and if they will do it again! EXCELLENT!
  • I'm very happy to see volunteers encouraged over and over to remember to pray for the children participating in their VBS!
  • Solid and well designed resources throughout for children with special needs. I LOVE the "Breakaway Bay" area where children who need a break are able to find a calm place.
  • Complete section in the Director's Guide on helping and involving children with special needs!
  • Lots of options for crafts - from supplies you gather or from kits you may purchase through S&S Worldwide.
  • Includes an abundance of snack ideas - many, many are healthy and tasty! - and lots of game ideas!
  • I especially love the “guided conversation” and “Crew Review” for the small group leaders and station leaders each day to help children focus on God’s Word and how it lives in their everyday lives!
  • I love the “Intro Activities” for each day’s Bible event – gets children engaged and thinking!
  • I LOVE the "Point to Jesus" at the end of each lesson - excellent!
  • Reproducible music from Yancy which engages children in praising God and worshiping Him! However; while I understand Standard does have VBS material for teens, I’d really like to see more children on the DVD rather than teens. 
  • Science project options in the Craft station - excellent and engaging.
  • NEW THIS YEAR - Daily Point Wrist Bands - children will love collecting these colorful wristbands.
  • I LOVE the Large Group Game played by all the children each day in the Opening! Starts the day on a fun note, builds enthusiasm and introduces the point for the day! 
  • I LOVE how children are encouraged in the Daily Closing to go home and serve others! If you didn't have time for the science projects in your craft station, this could be a fun place to add them.
  • Director's Guide is complete - excellent safety info - and I LOVE the info on involving families, reaching out to families and following up with families! Also has excellent tips for outreach and Spiritual growth!
Would like to see –
  • I really can not think of anything - other than fewer teens in the music video.
Christian Standard Media says, "Children will KNOW God is always with them! EXPLORE God's presence in their lives! SERVE God by serving others!"

I love the focus in each lesson and each station on pointing children to God and challenging them to take what they learned out the doors of the church to live it in their everyday lives, every day by serving others! I am delighted to see a strong Bible content and an intentional effort to help children not just walk away from VBS with more “head knowledge”, but rather a focus on helping children remember, understand and live God’s Word in their everyday lives! 

Deep Sea Discovery is an excellent option for a VBS with a strong focus on serving, evangelism, solid Bible content and application! It is not only an excellent choice for VBS, it would be an amazing resource to use on Sunday Mornings throughout the Summer as well! Be sure to take a serious look at Deep Sea Discovery and consider how you might use it at your church.


  1. The question we had about this kit is what version of scripture they are using?

    1. Since kids open their own is the Version that you're church uses!

  2. Great review, Lynda, and super helpful for anyone looking for a new/fresh VBS choice this year!