Wednesday, February 21, 2024

It is Time to Pick Your VBS for 2024

It is the time of year where I share my VBS reviews. I used to write my reviews for this blog and for Christianity Today's Your Church Magazine - I'd typically review about 16 kits each year. Now, especially after COVID, there are not 16 publishers still producing VBS, but there are some. I no longer review them all - I choose the VBS kits which I believe are the best based on my years of reviewing curriculum and then share my reviews with you. This year I am reviewing VBS from Group Publishing.

Once again this year Group has three VBS resources available to you - SCUBA, Hometown Nazareth, and Outback Rock. Tomorrow I will write about SCUBA, but today I want to share with you why I believe Group's VBS resources are the best and some of the things which initially stand out and impress me about this year's VBS.

  • Group Publishing has long set the standard for developing curriculum resources which actually engage children with God's Word. This matters because children who are engaged with God's Word are much more likely to become children who understand God's Word. This matters because children who understand God's Word are much more likely to become children who remember God's Word. This matters because children who remember God's Word are much more likely to believe and live God's Word. Of course this matters - it is why we do what we do and Group Publishing sets the standard for these things which truly matter.
  • Once again Group has presented VBS themes and settings which children will find interesting and fun - the ocean, the outback, and Jesus' hometown - all fun places which will engage children - and yes, it is a fantastic thing for children to think church is interesting and fun!
  • All of Group's VBS resources provide options. This matters because no two churches are exactly the same and options allow you to tailor what you do to your own unique ministry filled with unique children.
  • Gospel of John Elementary Student Book: The complete Gospel of John to really get every child engaged into a real Bible experience. More about this tomorrow.
  • I LOVE this one - Group has replaced their Imagination Station per-kid gizmos (which I loved, but did find to be a thing which made VBS too expensive for some churches) with the budget-friendly Imagination Station Crew Teaching Kit! This kit includes seven different engaging and fun experiments which crews experience themselves in a hands-on way. More about this tomorrow as well.
  • Their new Sticky Scripture Station. It’s one thing for children to repeat lots of verses, but repeating verses by rote does not mean they know what the verses mean. Group says, "With Sticky Scripture, you’ll help kids deepen their Bible literacy skills in surprising ways. They’ll dive into God’s Word with multiple senses, understanding the words, where they are in Scripture, and how the verse applies to them today." This IS the reason we want children to memorize Bible verses! Again, more about this tomorrow.
  • I LOVE how the children's "workbook" is actually the Gospel of John! More about this tomorrow - but you will LOVE this, too!
There are many reasons I love Group VBS resources, but the most important is because they design it so our volunteers are able to teach like Jesus taught - which of course, has to be the best and most effective way to teach children as the focus is on them learning - not our teaching. 

I will write more specifically about Group Publishing's SCUBA VBS tomorrow, but if you want to take a look for yourself today, you will find it at this link.

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