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We understand Vacation Bible School is a major event in your church and that it is one of the greatest opportunities for outreach for all people, especially children and preschools. Even in our high tech environment, VBS continues to be one of the most fruitful special events in terms of both finding prospects and leading them to the Lord. We are here to help as you plan VBS 2017 in your church!
Does the responsibility for organizing your church's summer Vacation Bible School program fall on your shoulders? If this is your first year of and you have no idea where to begin, or maybe you have lots of experience and look forward to checking out the new 2017 VBS programs – we've got what you're looking for with information and samples for each 2017 VBS Program, along with an online Easy Order Form of all products for each 2017 VBS Program and a general planning overview.
Compare the various programs by looking at samples, videos and other information in our 2017 VBS Program Overview here. Program Overview
Use the "Easy Order Form" links above to access our VBS Program product lists for Easy Ordering. Access our general overview we put together to help you create an outline for your planning schedule this year. General Planning Overview
The Bible school publishers have released their new VBS curriculum and we'd like to help you choose the best VBS for your needs. Beyond all the information offered here on our website, we would be glad to assist you personally with any additional questions you may have. Call or visit us in store today!
We offer all the new 2017 VBS programs from...
Maker Fun Factory
- Bible Point: God Made You.
- Key Verse: "Thank You for making me so wonderfully complex." (Psalm 139:14)
- Bible Story: God lovingly creates people. (Psalm 139; Genesis 1:26 – 2:4)
- Buddy: Decker the Decorator Crab
- Bible Point: God is for you.
- Key Verse: "If God is for us, who can ever be against us?" (Romans 8:31)
- Bible Story: Rahab believes in God's mighty power. (Joshua 1-2)
- Buddy: Tina the Cathedral Termite
- Bible Point: God is always with you.
- Key Verse: "The Lord Your God is with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9)
- Bible Story: Gideon is with God. (Judges 6:11 – 7:25)
- Buddy: Bubba the Humpback Whale
- Bible Point: God will always love you.
- Key Verse: "Your unfailing love will last forever." (Psalm 89:2)
- Bible Story: Jesus dies and comes back to life. (Luke 22:66 – 24:12)
- Buddy: Skylar the Bowerbird
- Bible Point: God made you for a reason.
- Key Verse: "For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord." (Jeremiah 29:11)
- Bible Story: Abigail brings peace. (1 Samuel 25)
- Buddy: Abbee the Bee
Stations include: Sound Wave Sing & Play, Tinker Tots Preschool, Bible Discovery, Imagination Station, Game Makers, Snack Factory, Kid Vid Cinema, and Funshop Finale.
Spark Imagination With Faith-Building Fun!
Imagine a world where curious kids become hands-on inventors who discover they're lovingly crafted by God. Spark creativity with interactive decoration and experiences. Maker Fun Factory Vacation Bible School transforms your church into a place buzzing with excitement!
A Typical Day At Maker Fun Factory VBS
Each day at Maker Fun Factory VBS, kids travel through field-tested rotations that reinforce relevant Bible Points and immerse kids in new adventures.
Experiencing God's Word
At Maker Fun Factory, one memorable Bible Point is reinforced throughout each station, each day—making it easy to apply long after VBS is over. Featuring Bible Memory Buddies that are makers, too!
Totally Wow Worship
One of the best parts about Maker Fun Factory VBS—award-winning music! Fun songs your kids will want to listen to again and again—sure to become a new family fave!
Passport To Peru
- Bible Point: God gives us comfort.
- Key Verse: "He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others." (2 Corinthians 1:4)
- Bible Story: God is our good shepherd. (Psalm 23)
- Buddy: Lola the Lhama
- Bible Point: God gives us patience.
- Key Verse: "Wait patiently for the Lord." (Psalm 27:14)
- Bible Story: Simeon and Anna wait for the Messiah. (Luke 2: 21-40)
- Buddy: Rico the Rooster
- Bible Point: God gives us peace.
- Key Verse: "And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give." (John 14:27)
- Bible Story: Jesus calms the wind and waves. (Mark 4:35-41)
- Buddy: Senor Pescado the Fish
- Bible Point: God gives us love.
- Key Verse: "The greatest of these is love." (1 Corinthians 13:13)
- Bible Story: Jesus dies and comes back to life. (Luke 22:66 – 24:12)
- Buddy: Charo the Guinea pig
- Bible Point: God gives us joy.
- Key Verse: "The joy of the Lord is your strength!" (Nehemiah 8:10)
- Bible Story: Paul and Silas praise God while in prison. (Acts 16:16-40)
- Buddy: Paco the parrot
Prepare for the day's adventure by singing fun songs and meeting real kids from Peru during the KidVid video segment.
Experience each Bible story with the five senses.
Find out surprising and authentic things that kids in Peru do and say.
Games and activities reinforce the Passport to Peru experience.
Create and eat delicious authentic snacks.
Wrap up with music, drama, and a final KidVid video segment.
Little Lhamas Preschool
Preschoolers experience the excitement of Passport to Peru with stations in their own rotations in this top-notch preschool VBS program.
Not an expert on Peru? You don't have to be! Real kids from Peru share their culture—and Christ—through short video segments in Opening and Closing Celebration every day at Passport to Peru VBS!
At Passport to Peru, one memorable Bible Point is reinforced throughout each station, each day. Plus, all-new Bible Memory Buddies help kids remember what they learned long after VBS is over.
Take your whole congregation on a trip around the world without breaking the bank! Cross Culture Passport to Peru VBS 2017 transforms your church with vibrant green rainforests, intriciate Peruvian patterns, and brighly colored buildings.
One of the best parts about Cross Culture Passport to Peru VBS—award-winning music! Fun songs your kids will want to listen to again and again—sure to become a new family fave!
- Bible Point: God's love is a gift.
- Key Verse: "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23)
- Bible Point: God's love changes us.
- Key Verse: "Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think." (Romans 12:2)
- Bible Point: God's love is always with us.
- Key Verse: "And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love." (Romans 8:38)
- Bible Point: God's love saves us.
- Key Verse: "But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners." (Romans 5:8)
- Bible Point: God's love is worth sharing.
- Key Verse: "For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ." (Romans 1:16)
Extollo (Opening Celebration)
Start off with worship and celebration!
Families gather together to map out the days activities.
Craft cool projects and sample unique treats.
One of the best parts about Holy Land Adventure Rome VBS—fun faith-filled songs your kids will want to sing again and again!
The Underground Church
Meet Paul and tiptoe past Roman guards to visit him in the underground church.
Play high-energy games that reinforce the daily Bible Point.
Connect Family experiences in Rome to modern-day lives at home!
Wrap-up the day with worship!
Camp Out Weekend
Theme: Camp Out: Getting S'more of Jesus
Theme Verse: Jesus said, "I am the light of the world." (John 8:12)
Bible Point: Jesus is the light.
Session 1 Bible Story: Jesus' life showed God's love. (John 1: 3-9; Luke 17:11-19; John 13:1-17)
Session 2 Bible Story: Jesus dies and comes back to life. (Luke 23:1-24:12)
Buddy: Forrest the bear
Each day includes:
- Music & More: Start the day together, singing a fun mix of classic worship songs and brand-new praise songs.
- Bible Exploration: Kids experience the Bible in active, hands-on ways, and then circle up with their Cabin Crews for thought-provoking discussions.
- Projects-With-A-Purpose: Kids shine Jesus' light by making special gifts for others in their church, community, and the world.
- Wilderness Games: Kids run, jump, and even splash through games that connect with the daily Bible verse.
- Closing Campfire: Dramatic and crowd-involving activities help everyone remember and apply each day's Bible Point and Bible verse.
- Sunday Celebration: This 20-minute Sunday Celebration gets the whole congregation involved.
Theme of the Week: Mighty Fortress: In Jesus, the Victory is Won!
Key Bible Verses: "Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Corinthians 15:57.
- Bible Story: God's Might tumbles Jericho's Walls (Joshua 6:1-20)
- Lesson Objective: Shout! God is mighty! The victory is won!
- Bible Verse: "Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Corinthians 15:57
- Bible Story: God Delivers King Hezekiah's Kingdom (2 Kings 18-19)
- Lesson Objective: Fear not! The victory is won!
- Bible Verse: "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." Psalm 46:1
- Bible Story: God's Word Reforms King Josiah (2 Kings 22:1 – 23:30)
- Lesson Objective: God's Word is true and powerful! The victory is won!
- Bible Verse: "Every word of God proves true; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him." Proverbs 30:5
- Bible Story: King Jesus Enters Jerusalem (Luke 19:28-40)
- Lesson Objective: Jesus comes to save! The victory is won!
- Bible Verse: "Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is He." Zechariah 9:9
- Bible Story: Jesus Wins the Victory (Luke 23:1 – 24:12)
- Lesson Objective: Jesus is our Savior King! The victory is won!
- Bible Verse: "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!" Revelation 4:8
Main Theme: Discover Your Strength in God!
Theme Bible Verse: "Do good! Seek peace and go after it!" — Psalm 34:14b, CEB.
- Bible Story: Samuel Anoints David (1 Samuel 16:1-12)
- Hero Code: God's heroes have heart.
- Bible Story: Abigail Saves the Day (1 Samuel 25)
- Hero Code: God's heroes have courage.
- Bible Story: Jesus Goes to the Temple (Luke 2:41-52)
- Hero Code: God's heroes have wisdom.
- Bible Story: Beatitudes (Matthew 4:23 – 5:12)
- Hero Code: God's heroes have hope.
- Bible Story: Pentecost (Acts 2:1-41)
- Hero Code: God's heroes have power.
Stations include: Science, Snack, Craft, Recreation, Music and Mission.
Super God! Super Me! Super-Possibility! will teach participants that the super power given to us by Jesus Christ is greater than any power—imagined or in existence! With Super God! Super Me! Super-Possibility! participants will: Hear that there is no greater strength than God's super power within! Imagine their own super-possibilities! Have the opportunity to choose Jesus' super love!
Belt of Truth (Ephesians 67:10-17)
Breastplate of Justice (Exodus 2:1-9)
Shield of Faith (Daniel 1:3-8, 14-17)
Helmet of Salvation (Luke 2:41-51)
Shoes of the Gospel of Peace (1 John 5:1-5)
If this is your first year coordinating your Vacation Bible School Program, CONGRATULATIONS! You've got many of tasks ahead of you but the reward at the end will be more than worth it.
We have put together a general overview to help you create an outline for your planning schedule this year. Remember that you were specially chosen to play this role and we know you can do it!
VBS Planning Outline & Timeline
6-9 Months before your VBS is the time to start putting Vacation Bible School on your radar. You will want to establish the foundations of your program. Also consider including Preschoolers (2-5 year olds) in your VBS. You may want to run a separate preschool program for your little ones (same hours). The preschoolers can join the other children for your opening and then the younger children can have their own learning centers, games and age-appropriate crafts for the rest of the morning.
- Begin praying for your VBS program. You may want to organize a prayer team.
- Choose your dates and time for you VBS. Put them on the church calendar early.
- Choose a VBS Director.
- Choose a VBS Theme and Purchase your VBS Starter kit so you can begin planning.
Several Months (3-6) before your VBS get your VBS leadership team together to estimate your attendance and set dates for the program. Go ahead and publicize the dates to your congregation and to our bookstore so you can get plenty of volunteers and find out how to get the word out in the community. At this point start looking at what materials you will need for your VBS program and order your VBS materials before they are sold out, they do go quickly. Having your team brainstorm together now helps you understand which things that will need longer preparation time, put together and distribute teacher materials and begin compiling registration lists.
- Set a budget for your VBS program
- Recruit key leaders – Music, Snacks, Games, Bible story teacher.
- Plan publicity for your VBS – community outreach could include signage, door to door flyers, radio spots.
- Put together a list of supplies you'll need.
- Order all of your publicity, decorating, leaders manuals and teaching supplies.
Setting Goals: Staff should give thought to establishing the goals of the VBS program:
- What objectives should be met for the program to be considered successful?
- Who do you expect to participate — children at what ages; youth; family units?
- Is God calling you to reach out in new ways to a new segment of the community?
- Are you planning a week to enrich the church children's understanding of the Bible? Or is it to reach out to new people in and fun and inspiring way?
- Is the program to be an outreach to the community?
A couple of months (2-3) before your VBS you will want to start distributing registration forms, create daily schedules for VBS Week, start your publicity to the congregation and community, fill all the teaching staff positions and start training your team! Make sure you have the contact information – phone numbers, email addresses and names – of the people that will be teaching and anyone who volunteers to create things.
- Plan and schedule a VBS staff training meeting to be held 4-6 weeks prior to VBS.
- Begin recruiting additional leaders and support staff.
- Explore your church facilities to determine what areas you will need.
- Estimate your VBS enrollment. Use figures from Sunday school or last year’s VBS.
- Order student supplies if you have not already done so.
As you Recruit, look for leaders and teachers with the following qualifications:
- Dedicated Christians who seek to live for Christ daily, who study God's word, and who know the plan of salvation – suitable role models for children
- People tuned in to kids, able to build upon their natural interests and who will enjoy sharing in the children's joy of discovery
- Warm, outgoing, having a genuine love and sensitivity for children, understanding them in terms of their physical, mental, and emotional development, and their spiritual needs
- One who will appreciate and seek to follow God's command to teach children, demonstrating this by being reliable and disciplined to prepare for each day of VBS
About a month (4-6 weeks) before your VBS continue to maintain your list of registered students and stay alert to any staffing adjustments needed as you finish up the details of the schedule for your VBS Week. Follow-up with any items you have outstanding and touch base with your VBS teachers to make sure they have what they need for that week.
- Begin pre-registration.
- Hold the scheduled VBS staff training meeting.
- Meet with key leaders.
- Check your registration weekly and order any extra supplies you may need. Remember these item sell out fast.
One week before VBS will begin your final setup up before the big event – decorations, registration tables, signs, sorting craft and game supplies to the right rooms. Now you should run a check of student count versus your materials. Remember you will have last minute people show up. Provide teachers with current information about their classes including rosters and prepare any packets you will provide to the parents. Assign a place and time for all VBS staff to meet prior to each session for prayer.
The Day before your VBS begins run a final check of supplies (are the pencils sharpened?) and rooms. Then take a breath and start praying for all the kids, families and volunteers that will be involved with your VBS this week.
First Day of VBS make sure you arrive early — take time for more prayer with your teams and even in the stress remember to celebrate the opportunities to witness. Especially early in the week, watch for rough spots needing adjustment the next day and after the children leave, brief staff meeting to catch loose ends. And don't forget to take lots of pictures! Each day, continue to pray for God to move in the hearts of your children. Things that should be modified for next year, make note of in a place you will remember to pass it on the next year. And remember to have fun!
After you wrap up Evaluation: It's a good idea to collect evaluations and suggestions from the staff for future kids events at the church. Before your VBS ends, Have thank you notes and evaluation forms ready for your helpers. Make sure you display photographs for congregation and get a list to the Kids Church teachers, especially for families that came and are not already affiliated with the church so they can remember them when they show up for regular services. Be sure to let your volunteers know how much they helped to make VBS 2017 the best ever. While they're still excited about the great things that happened during VBS, ask if they would be willing to consider being a part of the team next year. (Just to get an idea, not for a firm commitment.) Then follow up just as soon as you set the next date to have them start praying about volunteering for your next VBS program.
If you need help, we have a great staff ready to serve you both online and in the store. You can find other supplies, like prices for games or attendance and Bibles for new believers in our stores as well.
We know you will have a great 2017 Vacation Bible School experience!