Oh, the excitement of planning your church's VBS! Oh, the panic of planning your church's VBS! We understand that your excitement can quickly turn into slight panic when you realize the work involved. So, here are some ways to use the tools Answers VBS provides to help you prepare with ease.
There are four age groups for the Bible lesson time (Toddler, ages 2–4, Pre-Primary, ages 4–6, Primary, ages 6–9, and Junior, ages 9–12) and each guide is packed full of information. When you first look at them you may be very overwhelmed with the amount of information they contain. We are here to tell you, they are designed to contain a lot of information. Not everyone's teaching style will include a 2-person arrangement, and you may not have a “touch table exploration station” in your classroom, but should you choose to incorporate those into your Bible lesson time, resources are there for you to reference! One of our favorite things about the teacher guides is that you can hand them to your teachers and know they have biblically-sound material woven into everything the children will be learning during their time at your VBS. Your teachers can match their teaching style with great material and focus on making connections with the children instead of needing to develop their own content.
Do you do both? Do you do one and not the other? Can you do crafts some days and science other days? This is the versatility of Answers VBS that so many VBS directors love. The Science and Craft Guide is a treasure trove of information for age-appropriate crafts and demonstrable science experiments. Keep in mind, you don’t NEED to use the ones provided every day. It might spark some creative light bulb that your craft person has, and she will come up with the ideal one that fits your budget and ability and matches the day's theme. The science experiments are also designed to reinforce the theme and daily lessons; they can be presented in a large group format or for an individual. Once again, you can tailor it to your volunteers and their teaching styles.
As with the other guides, there is so much content provided in the Assembly Guide that it is almost a Choose Your Own Adventure book. Will you have a live drama or use the video? Do you build your own mission moment or use the one provided by Children's Hunger Fund? Do you use the contemporary or traditional music style, or a mix of both? Maybe in your assembly time you have the science experiment shown from onstage. You can put together your own assembly time with complete confidence, knowing it will all support the message of the day and the mission of VBS.
Take a deep breath at this point. Remember Proverbs 12:25, “Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.” Dive into your Bible and start to go through the VBS lessons.
Look at what is important for you and your church, then look at your abilities. You may not have anybody for a live drama, but you have a great puppeteer. You may have someone who is passionate about science, but you can’t find any crafty people. That’s okay! Everything in Answers VBS programs and supporting resources are designed to work with one another, in whatever order you choose.