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Vacation Bible School 2021

VBS 2021

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 2021 in your church!

Destination Dig VBS
VBS 2021 is headed to present-day Israel where discovery awaits at Destination Dig. Kids will unearth more than dirt as they dig up exciting evidence that proves biblical events were not just stories.
Adventure Island VBS
Through stories in the Old and New Testaments, this program will show students how connection with God brings the invitation to shine God’s light in a world that needs it now more than ever.
Gods Wonder Lab VBS
A science lab conducts experiments that explain how things are possible. In Jesus’ ministry, He did things that are impossible. His greatest miracle of all was dying on the cross and rising from the dead for our salvation. At God’s Wonder Lab, discover that Jesus does the impossible for us.
Champions In Life
Abingdon Press Champions In Life VBS is an intergenerational VBS that utilizes African-American culture, history, music, and art to teach Biblical truths.
Concrete & Cranes
LifeWay's 2020 VBS: Concrete & Cranes: Building on the Love of Jesus shows kids the foundation that lasts.
Knights Of North Castle VBS
Help kids take up the gauntlet this summer and accept the challenge to “armor up” and be strong by remaining with God and sharing God's love in a world that needs it more than ever.
Rainforest Explorers VBS
At Rainforest Explorers VBS, learn how Jesus is our ultimate guide in the rainforest and in life. He leads us to the treasure of eternal life, and He'll never leave us!
Rocky Railway VBS
The VBS that's just the ticket! Climb aboard for mountains of fun at Rocky Railway! On this faith-filled adventure, kids discover that trusting Jesus pulls them through life's ups and downs.

Introduction to Vacation Bible School 2021

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 2021 VBS programs – we’ve got what you're looking for with information and samples for each 2021 VBS Program, along with an online Easy Order Form of all products for each 2021 VBS Program and a general planning overview.

Compare the various programs by looking at samples, videos and other information in our 2021 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

2021 VBS Program Overviews

The Vacation 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 2021 VBS programs from...

Destination Dig

By: Lifeway
Destination Dig VBS
Grab your pickaxe and shovel! VBS 2021 is headed to present-day Israel where discovery awaits at Destination Dig. Kids will unearth more than dirt as they dig up exciting evidence that proves biblical events were not just stories. As junior archaeologists, kids will explore real-life archaeological finds that have helped to uncover the truth about Jesus! Along the way, they’ll discover the truth of Jeremiah 29:13, that God reveals Himself to us when we seek and search for Him with all our hearts.

Day 1

  • Truth: Jesus Came as Promised
  • Bible Story: Jesus Was Born (Isaiah 7:14; Micah 5:2; Matthew 1:18-2:6)
  • Today’s Point: Jesus is the Savior God promised.
  • Artifact: Pottery jars holding Qumran scrolls

Day 2

  • Truth: Jesus Demonstrated God’s Power
  • Bible Story: Jesus Healed a Blind Man (Psalm 146:8; Isaiah 35:5-6a; John 9:1-41)
  • Today’s Point: Jesus has the power God promised.
  • Artifact: Pool of Siloam

Day 3

  • Truth: Jesus Was Betrayed and Rejected
  • Bible Story: Jesus Experienced Betrayal and Rejection (Psalm 41:9; Isaiah 53:3,7; John 13; 18:1-19:16)
  • Today’s Point: Jesus knew what would happen and still followed God’s plan.
  • Artifact: Caiaphas’ steps

Day 4

  • Truth: Jesus Died and Rose Again
  • Bible Story: Jesus Is Alive (Isaiah 53:5,9-11; John 19:17-20:18)
  • Today’s Point: Jesus fulfilled God’s plan to be our Savior.
  • Artifact: Grave stone (rolling stone)

Day 5

  • Truth: The Bible Is True
  • Bible Story: Philip Told the Good News (Isaiah 53:7-8; Acts 8:26-40)
  • Today’s Point: The Bible is true and helps us tell others about Jesus.
  • Artifact: Qumran scrolls

How It Works | Destination Dig VBS
Each day begins and ends with Large Group Worship Rally. This is the place where kids will sing VBS songs, learn motions, view a daily drama, and set the direction for the day’s adventures.

Next Stop: Bible Study!
Divide into groups by grades or keep multiple ages together with multi-age options. Here, kids will experience the daily Bible story and participate in small group activities that reinforce daily points.

Destination Dig Rotation Sites
Kids rotate through sites where every activity relates back to Jesus and the day’s biblical content. Rotation sites include Crafts, Snacks, Recreation, Missions and Music.

Wrapping It Up
Close the day with a trip back to Large Group Worship Rally. End the day with more high-energy fun and dismissal.

Discovery On Adventure Island

By: Cokesbury
Adventure Island VBS
Discovery on Adventure Island  invites children to arise and shine because the light of God’s love has come and is shining on them. The children will be empowered by exploring ways God shines great light in the world and by learning how they can also shine God’s light by reflecting what they’ve learned. Through stories in the Old and New Testaments, this program will show students how connection with God brings the invitation to shine God’s light in a world that needs it now more than ever.

Day 1

  • Bible Story: The Creation Story (Genesis 1:1-2:9)
  • Pathfinder: Arise! Shine with Love!
  • SIgnal Verse: “Arise! Shine! Your light has come; the LORD'S glory has shone upon you!” Isaiah 60:1

The story of Creation helps children understand how we can shine God’s light of love on all creation! As children explore God’s loving creation through six days of work and one day of rest, they will witness, beginning with light, how God called all of creation good. Through this experience, they will be reminded that God’s purpose in creation is good. We should strive to take care of the environment God has provided. We can also care about the people around us by shining the light of love everywhere we go.

Day 2

  • Bible Story: Moses and the Burning Bush (Exodus 3:1-20)
  • Pathfinder: Arise! Shine with Trust!
  • SIgnal Verse: “Arise! Shine! Your light has come; the LORD'S glory has shone upon you!” Isaiah 60:1

The story of God calling Moses through the burning bush helps children understand that we can shine God’s light of trust by answering God’s call! Even though Moses felt inadequate to follow through, he had to trust God in order to experience God’s power in the world. We often trust our fear more than we trust God’s words to us. But when we are able to confess our fear and put our trust in God, we experience God’s miraculous work. We arise and shine as we witness God’s glory through all life’s ups and downs.

Day 3

  • Bible Story: Faith Through the Roof (Luke 5:17-26)
  • Pathfinder: Arise! Shine with Faith!
  • SIgnal Verse: “Arise! Shine! Your light has come; the LORD'S glory has shone upon you!” Isaiah 60:1

The story of four friends whose faith led them to lower their friend through a hole in the roof for Jesus to heal demonstrates to children that we can shine our light of faith by acting on who God is. Children will not only see faith demonstrated through the act of the four friends, but Jesus’ response to the man who was paralyzed. Instead of immediately healing the man, Jesus forgives the man’s sins first. This might seem odd, but children at Discovery on Adventure Island will understand that this is exactly what a life of faith is like. We come to God with the needs we know we have. God addresses those needs, but through faith, we also learn about other needs we were unaware of. Like the man who was paralyzed and his friends, God affirms our faith. And that faith allows us to arise and shine God’s light in the world.

Day 4

  • Bible Story: The “Lost” Parables (Luke 15)
  • Pathfinder: Armor! Shine with Joy!
  • SIgnal Verse: “Arise! Shine! Your light has come; the LORD'S glory has shone upon you!” Isaiah 60:1

Through Jesus’ telling of the “Lost” Parables, students will understand that we can shine God’s light of joy when we share God’s light together. Students will explore how finding a lost sheep and a lost coin, and the return of a lost son can all be occasions for celebration and joy. Like the father in the story, God is pleased when we celebrate what God celebrates. And, when we do, we shine with joy in the world.

Day 5

  • Bible Story: Mary at the Tomb (John 20:1-18)
  • Pathfinder: Arise! Shine with Hope!
  • SIgnal Verse: “Arise! Shine! Your light has come; the LORD'S glory has shone upon you!” Isaiah 60:1

The story of Mary, Peter, and the disciple Jesus loved at the empty tomb reminds students that we can shine God’s light of hope by sharing Jesus’ good news with others! As Mary hears her name spoken by the risen Jesus, children are witness to the hope found in Jesus’ resurrection. And as witnesses to the hope found in Jesus, children are invited to share this hope with others and shine God’s light of hope to all.

God’s Wonder Lab

By: Concordia Publishing
Gods Wonder Lab VBS
Our God can make the impossible possible! At God’s Wonder Lab, students will enter a fun science lab and conducts experiments to explain how things are possible. In Jesus’ ministry, He did things that are impossible. His greatest miracle of all was dying on the cross and rising from the dead for our salvation. Kids at God’s Wonder Lab, will discover that Jesus still does the impossible for us.

Lesson 1

  • Bible Story: Jesus’ First Miracle (John 2:1-12)
  • Take Home Point: Jesus is God and cares about me!
  • Bible Memory Verse: “You are the God who works wonders.” Psalm 77:14

Lesson 2

  • Bible Story: Jesus Walks on Water (Matthew 14:22-33)
  • Take Home Point: Jesus is with me all the time!
  • Bible Memory Verse: “The whole earth is full of His glory!” Isaiah 6:3

Lesson 3

  • Bible Story: Jesus Gives Life (Mark 5:21-43)
  • Take Home Point: Jesus heals me!
  • Bible Memory Verse: “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Psalm 139:14

Lesson 4

  • Bible Story: Jesus Appears to His Followers (Luke 24:36-49)
  • Take Home Point: Jesus saves me and gives me life!
  • Bible Memory Verse: “Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome.” Nehemiah 4:14

Lesson 5

  • Bible Story: Jesus Sends Paul (Acts 9:1-19)
  • Take Home Point: Jesus calls me to tell about Him!
  • Bible Memory Verse: “Let the heavens praise Your wonders, O LORD!” Psalm 89:5

Champions In Life

By: Abingdon Press
Champions In LIfe VBS
Your church will love celebrating Abingdon Press' new VBS…Champions in Life: Ready, Set Go with God! Participants will find joy in knowing that Jesus makes each one a winner and that we are competing in life in order to reach the goal of the high calling of Jesus Christ.

Theme Bible Verse: "But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.— Isaiah 40:31

Session 1

  • Theme: Get in the Race!
  • Bible Story: Zadok's son chooses to get in the race
  • Verse: 2 Samuel 18:19-32

Session 2

  • Theme: Be Skillful, Be Caring!
  • Bible Story: Jonathan protects his friend, David
  • Verse: 1 Samuel 20:18-23, 35-41

Session 3

  • Theme: Keep Your Eyes on Jesus!
  • Bible Story: Peter tries to meet Jesus as he walks on water
  • Matthew 14:22-33

Session 4

  • Theme: A Long Wait!
  • Bible Story: Jesus commands a man who sat by a pool for 38 years to get up and walk
  • Verse: John 5:1-15

Session 5

  • Theme: Reach for the Goal!
  • Bible Story: The goal is the high calling of Jesus Christ
  • Verse: Philippians 3:12-16

Concrete & Cranes

By: Lifeway
Concrete & Cranes VBS
Grab your hard hat and tool belt! As kids explore a world of concrete and cranes, rivets and rebar, bulldozers and backhoes, they will learn to build their faith on Jesus as they uncover the truth that He who began a good work will be faithful to carry it on to completion.

Theme Bible Verse: "I am sure of this, that he who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ." — Philippians 1:6 (CEB)

Motto: Jesus! Our Strong Foundation!

Daily Content

  • Day 1: Foundation of Love—Matthew 9:9-13
  • Day 2: Foundation of Forgiveness—Acts 26:1-29
  • Day 3: Foundation of Worth—Matthew 26:36-46
  • Day 4: Foundation of Promise—Matthew 28:1-10, 16-20
  • Day 5: Foundation of Life—Matthew 7:24-29

Rotation Sites

  • High Steel Worship Rally
  • Blueprint Bible Study
  • Jackhammer Music
  • Excavator Missions
  • Bulldozer Crafts
  • Wrecking Ball Rec
  • Food Truck Snacks

Knights Of North Castle

By: Cokesbury
Knights Of North Castle VBS
Cokesbury's VBS 2020, Knights of North Castle: Quest for the King's Armor, invites children to be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power by exploring how we put on the Armor of God. Kids will take on the role of brave knights and begin their quest each session by opening the King's Book. They'll explore Old and New Testament stories and discover different pieces of protective armor—the Belt of Truth, the Breastplate of Justice, the Shoes of Peace, the Shield of Faith, and the Helmet of Salvation—at work in the lives of familiar Bible characters, and explore how that armor works in their own lives as they follow and serve God.

Session 1

  • Bible Story: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego Stand True (Daniel 3)
  • Castle Callout: Armor Up with Truth
  • Banner Verse: "Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power." (Ephesians 6:10)

Session 2

  • Bible Story: David Defeats Goliath (1 Samuel 17:1-50)
  • Castle Callout: Armor Up with Justice!
  • Banner Verse: "Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power." (Ephesians 6:10)

Session 3

  • Bible Story: Mary's Journey to Bethlehem (Luke 2:1-20)
  • Castle Callout: Armor Up with Peace!
  • Banner Verse: "Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power." (Ephesians 6:10)

Session 4

  • Bible Story: Jesus Walks on Water (Matthew 14:22-33)
  • Castle Callout: Armor Up with Faith!
  • Banner Verse: "Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power." (Ephesians 6:10)

Session 5

  • Bible Story: Midnight Praise with Paul and Silas (Acts 16:16-40)
  • Castle Callout: Armor Up with Salvation!
  • Banner Verse: "Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power." (Ephesians 6:10)

Rainforest Explorers

By: Concordia Publishing House
Rainforest Explorers VBS
The all-inclusive Rainforest Explorers VBS 2020 Starter Kit includes all the resources you need to plan and get equipeed for VBS planning. With materials for 6 rotational sites, sample crafts, and student essentials. It also provides music videos and scores, lesson and decorating posters.

Session 1

  • Bible Story: God Rescues Noah (Genesis 6:17-22; 8)
  • Take-Home Point: God keeps His promises.
  • Bible Memory Verse: "How precious is Your steadfast love, O God!" (Matthew 19:21)

Session 2

  • Bible Story: God Gives the Commandments (Exodus 19:18-20; 20:1-21)
  • Take-Home Point: My loving God gives direction.
  • Bible Memory Verse: "You shall be My treasured possession." (Exodus 19:5)

Session 3

  • Bible Story: Jesus Calls His Disciples (Matthew 4:18-22; 9:9-13)
  • Take-Home Point: Jesus is with me.
  • Bible Memory Verse: "You will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." (Matthew 19:21)

Session 4

  • Bible Story: Jesus Heals Ten Lepers (Luke 17:11-19)
  • Take-Home Point: Jesus is full of healing.
  • Bible Memory Verse: "But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us." (2 Corinthians 4:7)

Session 5

  • Bible Story: Jesus Visits His Disciples (John 21:1-14)
  • Take-Home Point: Jesus helps me share His Good News.
  • Bible Memory Verse: "But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven." (Matthew 6:20)

Rocky Railway

By: Group Publishing
Rocky Railway VBS
At Rocky Railway VBS, kids Experience God's Word every day. One of the unique aspects of Group VBS programs are the memorable Bible Points that are reinforced throughout each station, each day – making it easy to apply long after VBS is over. The bible memory buddies and all stations work together to make this powerful educational tool work for kids and leaders.

Day 1

  • Bible Point: Jesus' power helps us do hard things.
  • Bible Story: Ananias helps Saul. (Acts 9:1-19)
  • Key Verse: "For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength." (Philippians 4:13)

Day 2

  • Bible Point: Jesus' power gives us hope.
  • Bible Story: Paul encourages others in a storm and shipwreck. (Acts 27)
  • Key Verse: "So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord!" (Psalm 31:24)

Day 3

  • Bible Point: Jesus' power helps us be bold.
  • Bible Story: Peter and John teach about Jesus (Acts 3:1-4:31)
  • Key Verse: "He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless." (Isaiah 40:29)

Day 4

  • Bible Point: Jesus' power lets us live forever.
  • Bible Story: Jesus' death and resurrection. (Matthew 26:17-28:10)
  • Key Verse: "The spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you." (Romans 8:11)

Day 5

  • Bible Point: Jesus' power helps us be good friends.
  • Bible Story: The church is united. (Acts 2:42-47; 4:32-35)
  • Key Verse: "Love each other in the same way I have loved you." (Acts 2:42-47; 4:32-35)

Rocky Railway Ultimate Director Go-To Guide
Contains all the information that you, the VBS Director, need to plan and execute a high impact VBS program. With info about recruiting and training volunteers, tips to publicize your VBS, and great advice on how to connect with families after the Rocky Railway VBS is over.

Station Leader Manuals
Provide easy to follow instructions for each specific role at your VBS program. Each leader manual includes an overview of each day's Bible content, historical backgrounds, step-by-step directions for each activity, and even includes guided discussion questions to help equip your leaders quickly and completely.

High Quality Content on DVDs & CDs
The digital content on the DVDs and CDs feature training resources, clip art, and publicity tools. The popular “Decorating Places DVD” gives you detailed instructions on how to to create your Rocky Railway theme setting creatively and on budget. The “Sing & Play Music DVD” has the music videos that bring high enery worship music to your VBS.

Student Resource Samples
Samples of the Student Resources include the Bible Memory Buddies, Student Take-Home and Imagination Station samples. All the student resources in Rocky Railway are intentionally woven into the curriculum and designed to reinforce the daily bible lessons they learn, and help them remember their lessons long after they leave your church event.


General Planning Overview

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 2021 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 2021 Vacation Bible School experience!

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