Thursday, January 12, 2017

VBS 2017 - Concordia - Mighty Fortress

I am still waiting for some of the 2017 VBS kits to arrive so I can review them, but I do not want to wait any longer to begin releasing my reviews; so today I'm starting with Mighty Fortress from Concordia Publishing House. While I do not know yet which VBS is my Top Pick, I'm quite sure this VBS will at least be in my Top Five for sure - it could end up higher. I'm very happy to see such a well written curriculum, filled with solid Bible learning and the features I look for in a VBS resource!

So let's take a look at Mighty Fortress from Concordia Publishing House where they call upon children to discover how, "In Jesus the Victory is Won!"

Mighty Fortress
Concordia Publishing House

  1. God's might tumbles Jericho's walls - Joshua 6 - Shout! God is mighty! The victory is won!
  2. God delivers King Hezekiah's kingdom - 2 Kings 18 & 19 - Fear not! The victory is won!
  3. God's Word reforms King Josiah - 2 Kings 22 & 23 - God's Word is true and powerful! The victory is won!
  4. King Jesus enters Jerusalem - Luke 19 - Jesus comes to save! The victory is won!
  5. Jesus wins the victory - Luke 23 & 24 - Jesus is our Savior King! The victory is won!
Setting – Castle and medieval setting
Message – "In Jesus, the victory is won!"

Strengths –
  • Mighty Fortress has a strong evangelistic emphasis
  • Excellent, creative and engaging lessons which do a tremendous job of engaging children in the Bible adventures.
  • I especially love the second part of each Bible lesson where children talk in teams about the lesson, what it means and how they live it - excellent!
  • I LOVE the "Bible Challenge" station – LOVE how children focus on God's saving Word, learning it, understanding it and living it in their everyday lives!
  • Strong focus on the Bible and getting the kids into it!
  • Director’s book is easy to understand and covers almost everything you need to know as you plan, prepare and present your VBS
  • Great "budget stretching ideas"
  • Love the "Daily Encouragement" ideas which connect with each day's point . . . you can use these with your volunteers during VBS!
  • Excellent and complete safety info - all publishers should include the info Concordia does!
  • I LOVE the focus on helping children think of how they can serve God in many ways!
  • One of the best - most complete - director's books!
  • LOVE the focus on caring for and encouraging volunteers - excellent!
  • I am glad the student CD also includes a DVD of the songs - I'd still like to see more children of different races on the DVD and NO teens.
Would like to see –

  • More craft ideas - especially inexpensive ideas which do not require craft kits.
  • Information on how to involve special needs children in the VBS - I'd like to see ideas spread throughout the curriculum.
Concordia says, "His kingdom endures forever! At Mighty Fortress, children learn God is their refuge and strength. Friends mail fail them. They may not ace their next test of make the team, but God promises to be their rock and their salvation - their fortress and sure defense. So raise your banner! Hold it hight. The battle is done. In Jesus, the victory is won!

If you are looking for a VBS with a strong evangelistic focus and a focus on challenging children who are believers; all with a theme which is thoroughly woven through each part of the day, take a good look at Mighty Fortress! Concordia did an excellent job with Mighty Fortress.

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