For many, vacation Bible school is
right around the corner. In fact, I know some churches that are
doing VBS right now! I believe VBS is an amazing chance to reach
out into communities and change kids' lives forever. It's an
amazingly fun, tiring, stressful, and unforgettable week that I
wouldn't miss for the world.
Today, I wanted to share an interview I did
with my co-worker and friend, Shannon Velasquez. (If you went to KidMin last year, you may remember that Shannon
and I helped kick-off the general sessions.) She's full of energy
and love for kids. I recently talked with her about all things
vacation Bible school.
David Jennings (DJ): For
those who don't know you, tell a little bit about who you are and
what do you do.
Shannon Velasquez (SV): I'm
the Public Relations Manager for VBS! I get to do everything from
helping to plan our special events like trade shows and FunShop
trainings, to writing decorating tips and promotional materials! I
have the best job in the universe!
DJ: Why do you think it's
important for churches to consider doing vacation Bible
SV: VBS helps change lives!
I've seen it! Not just kids...although that's an important piece.
It helps change the volunteers too-it's even changed me! There is
something about boiling down simple Bible truths in such a fun,
interactive way. It's so accessible! It brings out the kid in all
of us. Child-like faith is what we all want, and VBS is an entire
week of seeing the world through the eyes and ears of kids!
DJ: What's different about
Group's VBS programs?
SV: Group's VBS programs are
TOTALLY different than any others because they are intentionally
designed to change the heads and hearts of kids and volunteers!
Every single rotation is crafted to help reinforce the one, simple
Bible truth of the day. Not a moment is wasted...everything from
Bible to snacks is a fun, hands-on experience that helps cement
DJ: What advice would you
give churches looking at starting VBS for the first time this
SV: Make sure you look for
something that will speak to kids! Themes are fun, but VBS is about
so much more than that. You need to look for a program that kids
will WANT to come to! Don't use something that has word searches or
coloring sheets. Kids don't learn more about God by circling his
name. They learn by EXPERIENCING God, and developing a personal
relationship with him. Make sure your VBS curriculum facilitates
DJ: Can you share a funny
story or memory from VBS?
SV: During the Sky VBS field
test I had to step in at the last minute to lead Sing N' Play
worship. Everyone was looking to me for the words and
motions...which was okay until we got to a song I had never heard
before. I was terrified. I had to make it up on the fly...sweating
bullets! The adults were laughing hysterically as I tried to fake
my way through. But, the kids LOVED it! They sang their little
hearts out! In fact, it ended up being their favorite song! It just
goes to show you, VBS is not about us. It's about God! And, at the
end of the day, you don't have to do everything perfectly. You just
have to show kids you love God and you love them. God will use
that, and work out all the details!
DJ: Thanks Shannon!
If you're looking for a great VBS program, we've got you
covered. We can help assess your needs, and you can chat with
us with any questions you may have!
What's some of your favorite VBS moments? How
do you get the word out to your community? When is the best time to
start your vacation Bible school? Let us know your thoughts in the
comment section below!