Tuesday, January 17, 2017

VBS 2017 - Hero Central - Cokesbury - I'm Giving a VBS Starter Kit Away!

Today I'm happy to share with you Hero Central from Cokesbury. This is a VBS curriculum filled with resources which will help you engage the children in your ministry with God's Word, science, games, activities, service projects and more. Hero Central is absolutely at the top of my list for 2017 VBS (I'll be announcing my Top Pick after I am able to review all the kits . . . I have a couple more for which I'm waiting) - it is truly excellent and is well worth taking a thorough look at to see if it might be a good "fit" for your ministry -

Hero Central
  1. Samuel anoints David - 1 Samuel 16 - God's heroes have heart!
  2. Abigail saves the day - 1 Samuel 25 - God's heroes have courage!
  3. Jesus goes to the temple - Luke 2 - God's heroes have wisdom!
  4. Beatitudes - Matthew 4 & 5 - God's heroes have hope!
  5. Pentecost - Acts 2 - God's heroes have power!
    Setting – Hero Central
    Message/Theme – "Through this program children will be introduced to their Hero Jesus - and how to know Him themselves and learn to find their strength in God."
    Focus – Application, Service and Bible Content

    Strengths –
    • Hero Central has strong Bible content with a focus on application
    • There are two options for each lesson - a Drama option and a Single Storyteller option - so you are able to chose the one which best "fits" your ministry. I would, however, like to see open Bibles and lessons which engage the children more. The Single Storyteller option 2 does engage the children more than the drama option 1 (I would choose this option), but I'd like to see more engagement.
    • I LOVE the "Science Station" with Steve Spangler!!! I am truly impressed; well done again, Cokesbury – excellent science projects and activities to get kids thinking and talking.
    • I LOVE "Active Learning Options" - focus on helping children understand what they have learned and how it lives in their lives!
    • I LOVE the daily Closing Prayer Experience - excellent!
    • 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!
    • I absolutely LOVE "Reflection Time" and "Ride the Waves" 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!
    • I'm very happy to see information is available this year to help you serve children with special needs!
    • Cokesbury's Director's books is one of the most complete - excellent.
    Would like to see –
    • More excitement and engagement of the children in the opening and close - 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 and more engagement of the children in the Bible lesson. It would be very easy to have the teachers read the Bible lesson rather than paraphrase it for the Bible dramas - both options - as well.
    • Information about how to keep your VBS safe with volunteer screening, severe weather/fire, etc.
    Cokesbury says, "Take children on awesome adventures alongside some of their favorite Bible heroes and discover the qualities which make us truly heroic in God. VBS Hero Central uses epic music, spectacular science, crafty crafts, heroic recreation, and fantastic Bible stories to help children (and leaders) discover their strength in God!

    I really love how Hero Central focuses on helping children learn about God's strength in their lives. My three and five year old grandsons LOVED the theme - heroes! If you are looking for a solid 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 Hero Central!

    I'm very happy to say, not only did Cokesbury send me one complete starter kit to review, but they sent an additional kit for me to give away - USA only! If you live in the USA, are over the age of 18 and would like to be in the drawing for the Hero Central VBS Starter Kit, which will be on January 31, 2017, please comment below to let me know what you think is one of the most amazing things about knowing God gives you strength - for me it is because God is unlimited, so having Him on my side encourages me to know He will give me the strength/power to do what He wants me to do.

    In addition, you will receive additional entries if you have followed on Google+, Google Friend Connect, followed by liking on facebook with the tab at this link (not just liking the post) and/or have followed About the Children's Department by email. For each of these which you have done you will receive one entry. In addition, if you "share" this post, you'll receive an additional 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 the Hero Central Starter Kit and it gives you several ways to enter this giveaway!


    1. As a non-traditional college student, I have relied heavily on God's strength to get me through the semesters - balancing schoolwork, family, home, church ... He carries me through when I don't seem to have any strength left :)

      I follow (like) you on facebook :)

    2. That I don't have to rely on mine, because apart from him I have none!

    3. It,s amazing that God has chosen to use us as flawed as we are and gives us all we need to do it. I follow you on Facebook, Google +, and get your emails though my Feedly app. Hanks for all you do to help us see the pluses and minuses of each of these programs.

    4. It is knowing that I don't have to rely on self, that even though I'm not perfect that he can use me.

    5. Greetings. Thank you for the chance to win the VBS. I would say that knowing God gives strength in many ways, a couple of which are: He promised to help us and answer our prayers, thus He makes Himself available to us. There is no more or better strength than that! Secondly, when you know Who God is, from Scripture, and all the things He has done, and that He is the same forever, it gives your heart strength to keep on in His service.

    6. Knowing God gives me the strength to overcome. He is always faithful--whenever I am faced with a new crisis, challenge, or just blindsided by life, I can know that God is always faithful. He has always been faithful. He is always present and available. It is amazing how quickly things change when I pray, and how often I forget! God redeems, turning bad things to His ultimate good. Bad things happen, bad people profit, but God's plans are unstoppable! He always brings good, even out of evil! He changes evil hearts and shows Himself in even the darkest situation.

    7. On the days I wake up feeling lost in my thoughts I know that all I have to do is ask in Jesus name and he gives me the strength I need.

    8. As an ordinand my family and I constantly look towards God for our strength, courage and wisdom. With out Him we would not be where we are now.

    9. With out the constant love, wisdom and stregnth my family and I would not have the courage to be where we are now. Completely relying on God as an ordinand.

    10. Knowing God through Jesus gives me the strength I need to face life's hard trials. It's enough to know that He's taking care of me even when I cannot see. Bless the Lord, O my soul!

    11. Now that I'm a widow, I've learned that God is my kinsman redeemer. When my emotions shatter into a million pieces, God gently picks them up and puts me back together again.