VBS 2017

Balancing Outreach and Discipleship in Maker Fun Factory

In any VBS there will likely be kids who have grown up in the church and can recite more verses than their leaders. And there will likely be kids who come to VBS having never set foot in a church before. To reach both extremes (and everyone in between) takes a lot of intentionality and some great resources.

We’ve dug into Group’s Maker Fun Factory VBS to find out just how this program balances outreach and discipleship, and we’re pretty excited to share what we found!


Kids who don’t come from a church background will feel right at home in the Maker Fun Factory program. Because Group has removed common barriers like church lingo and unfamiliar traditions, everyone starts out on the same page on day one. Group makes it easy to learn each day’s Bible point by keeping it simple and relating each point to a friendly character. Whether your kids are experts at memorizing scripture or are being introduced to the Bible for the first time, each kid will go home with a solid understanding of the day’s lesson (and hopefully a Bible Memory Buddy to help them share it!).


Life application is key with any Group program. If your kids have grown up in the church and you want to take the lesson to the next level, challenge them to apply what they’ve learned to their daily lives by using some of the great resources Group provides (like the  Try This At Home stickers ). Challenge your churched kids to have faith-focused conversations with their friends (while you may want to encourage unchurched kids to have these conversations at home). You can also use the  Take Home Connector Cards  to help kids go deeper with their Bible learning and application. These can be used during Maker Fun Factory to build connections within their crew, or you can send each kid home with a set to share with their friends and family!


Because Group uses a mix of high-energy original songs , current songs from top Christian artists, and kid-friendly versions of traditional hymns, worship time is a great fit for kids from any background. Plus, whether your kids grew up in church or not, they will all immediately relate to the stories shared in KidVid Cinema – stories of real kids “who are discovering that God loves them and made them for a reason.”


For children who attend church regularly, the small group atmosphere created by the Crews allows for discipleship opportunities, and the daily God-Sighting time reminds these children to look for God at work in their daily lives. Group goes the extra mile with Staff Devotions ( free download! ) to ensure that each crew leader has a personal understanding and application of the day’s Bible point. With staff devotions your team will have the tools they need to effectively lead their kids and build lasting relationships.

Finding the balance between outreach and discipleship is tough, but we think Group has hit the nail on the head with Maker Fun Factory! Learn more about this VBS and pick up a Starter Kit to use it at your church this year.