Building authentic community is essential to the life of the church. With busy schedules and segmented groups, it can be hard for church members to feel connected to each other.
Sharing stories of what God is doing in the lives of your church members may just be the most powerful tool you have to connect people together. We've gathered some easy tools and exceptional samples to help you get started.
STEP BY STEP
1. Define your goal
What type of stories would be most impactful for your church? Stories of God's faithfulness over time, stories of those who stepped out in faith and were overwhelmingly blessed, stories of people who were baptized, completed a study or attended an event? Try to narrow it down to a theme or a purpose and then write it down. For instance, "we want people to see God's faithfulness through the generations," or "we want people to see the impact that summer camp has on the lives of our youth."
2. Decide on the outlet
How are you going to share all these amazing stories with your congregation? Think about the avenues of communication you already use, and the benefits of each (and don't be afraid to use more than one!).
With all of the decorating you are doing for VBS, why not set up a small area to use as a VBS photo booth? Social media savvy parents and kids love taking photos on their phones making a photo booth a great way to interact with families before and after Vacation Bible School. Plus, we’ve thought through the details and done a bit of brainstorming for you already!
Standard has created awesome VBS themes for many years, including Deep Sea Discovery, which was a huge hit. The unfortunate news is that Standard will not be putting out a VBS theme in 2017.
This is a great opportunity to explore some new programs and get your church excited about all the great options in store for 2017. Our VBS experts have put together some recommendations, and we encourage you to take this opportunity to refresh your Children's Ministry and build excitement around these brand-new themes from tried-and-true publishers.
Standard VBS programs were based on a rotation format, but had the flexibility to be used in a classroom format also. To ease the transition, we've hand selected a few 2017 themes that you can use with whichever format you're most comfortable with.
What better way to kick off VBS planning and preparation with your team than with a themed meal? Eating together before the meeting allows time for your team to bond with each other and provides the energy needed to plan and prepare. Below are some fun ways to make your meal memorable and theme-focused.
The newest Weekend VBS from Group has us craving chocolate, marshmallows and graham crackers! Camp Out Weekend VBS 2017 is filled with s’mores, tents and campfires, all pointing toward Jesus, the Light of the World. Camp Out VBS is packed with Bible lessons and fun activities for kids. From learning about Jesus, to playing wilderness games, kids will have a blast during their adventure.
Camp Out has five twenty-minute rotations -- music, Bible exploration, wilderness games, Projects-With-a-Purpose and closing campfire. As students visit each station, they will be reminded that Jesus is the Light. During Projects-With-a-Purpose students make special gifts for others in the community or church; these projects allow them to apply what they are learning and to be a light for Jesus to the people around them. Camp Out also includes a twenty-minute Sunday Celebration. This time allows your entire church family to be involved in VBS, as well as providing a great opportunity to invite children and their families to your Sunday service.
Begin preparing for you summer Camp Out VBS 2017 by pre-ordering a Starter Kit and exploring custom t-shirt designs for your campers. Also, be sure to check out all of the craft and snack ideas we have on Pinterest for Camp Out!