Tuesday, January 9, 2018

VBS 2018 - Splash Canyon from Concordia Publishing House

Today we're looking at Splash Canyon from Concordia Publishing House. Concordia calls on children to discover how, "Jesus is at work through us!"

Splash Canyon
Concordia Publishing House
  1. God is with baby Moses in the river - Exodus 2:1-10 - God is with us! Yes, He is! 
  2. God's people enter the Promised Land - Joshua 3 - 4 - God gives us life! Yes, He does!
  3. God heals Naaman in the Jordan River - 2 Kings 5:1-14 - God is faithful! Yes, He is!
  4. God saves Paul from the Sea - Acts 27:13-44 - God gives hope! Yes, He does!
  5. God's Yes is Jesus; Jesus is baptized - Matthew 3:13-17 - Jesus is our Savior! Yes, He is!

Setting – Canyons, wild rivers, blue sky, camping and fun!
Message – "At Splash Canyon children will confidently celebrate our faithful God is with us on life's wild ride. God saves us through Jesus and gives us life and hope every day and forever."
Strengths –
  • Splash Canyon has a strong evangelistic emphasis
  • Excellent, creative and engaging lessons which do a tremendous job of involving 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 children into it!
  • Excellent Mission project - Mission Madagascar which brings the Bible to children who have not heard the Gospel.
  • Director’s book is easy to understand and covers almost everything you need to know as you plan, prepare and present your VBS with helpful info for recruiting and training volunteers.
  • Love the "Daily Encouragement" ideas which connect with each day's point . . . you will be able to use these with your volunteers during VBS!
  • Excellent and complete safety info - all publishers should include the info Concordia does!
  • 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.
Would like to see –
  • More enthusiasm in the open/closing – object lessons, games, science projects, stunts – something to capture the children’s attention and get them thinking!
  • More craft ideas - especially inexpensive ideas which do not require craft kits.
  • While there are some activities to help children take what they learned out of the church and live it in their everyday lives, every day, I'd like to see a stronger focus on specific things children will do each day to live what they learned.
  • Information on how to involve special needs children in the VBS - I'd like to see ideas spread throughout the curriculum.
  • This year there is a focus on being saved through the waters of baptism, along with what Jesus did on the cross. While some do believe in baptism for salvation, not all do. I believe this is a well-written VBS and if I were using it, I would emphasize how we are saved/forgiven by what Jesus did on the cross - as the curriculum does do; but I'd talk about baptism as something we do to show we believe in Jesus.
Concordia says, "In Splash Canyon, children look into God's Holy Word and learn God's promises are Yes in Jesus! Life is full of thrills and spills; we may not know what's around the bend, but God does! At Splash Canyon, children discover on life's wild ride, Jesus is by our side. God saves us through Jesus and gives us life and hope every day and forever.

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 
Splash Canyon! Concordia did an excellent job with Splash Canyon!

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