VBS Tip #1 - How to Choose the Best VBS Theme for Your Church

  • By Beth P
  • 28 Jan, 2016

Choosing a VBS theme can be tough. With tons of great programs, you may be wondering how to compare each one, and what to prioritize  to ensure you find the best program for your church.

We've been there, and that's why we suggest using the following guidelines to help you get started.  

vbs tip 1


(Don't miss the essential tools at the end of this post to make things even easier.)

How to choose a VBS theme:

  • Listen to the music

    • Music is one of the most distinct and memorable parts of VBS. Your kids (and you) will be singing long after the program is over. Listen to music samples at concordiasupply.com , or check out Cave Quest's music here .

  • Choose an age group
    • Take a moment to think about your church and community. Which age group is the majority? Who are you focusing on this reaching this year? Most VBS programs are designed to reach elementary ages, but if you want to include families, consider using Egypt VBS , specifically designed with activities for all ages.


  • Consider community interests and needs

    • What is unique about your community? If your church speaks Spanish, consider Sopresa . If you're in and urban neighborhood, looking for active worship and minimal preparation cost, check out Joy in Jesus . If you're searching for that traditional Bible-times feel, try Egypt VBS .



  • Do you want to D.I.Y. or click & print?

    • Every course offers marketing materials like banners, flyers, postcards and posters. If you are a do-it-yourself person, then look for a course with a media or clip-art CD, or free downloadable resources so you can build your own digital slides and invitations. 

  • Rotate or stay put

    • Think about your space and the number of volunteers you'll have. Would a rotational format work best with students meeting for the opening and closing, and while rotating from station to station in between? Or would a static classroom format be more manageable with your space and resources? 

  • Can the message expand beyond VBS?

    • Do you want your VBS to stand alone with a theme message and key verses, or would you like it to connect with the rest of your church? Review what your main service, adult classes, or Children's Ministry is already studying, and consider a theme with a similar message or passage so your whole church is learning together.

  • What version of the Bible is used?
    • What version of the Bible do most of your students and volunteers already have? Each course has the translations listed, but don't feel like you have to stick to that. You can always adapt to a different version, or provide   Outreach Bibles   in bulk to make following along easy.

  • What's the cost?

    • Take a quick look at the order forms and decorating ideas for an overview of the cost, and check out our Budgeting & Fundraising Hints to plan ahead so you can have an effective and successful VBS. If you see something you like, but you're not sure if you can afford it, consider DIY'ing it. You'll find tons of money-saving ideas and templates on our Pinterest boards .
Keep in mind that most VBS programs can be adapted to fit your church’s needs. If you have any questions about choosing a VBS theme, feel free to call our VBS Experts at 1-800-521-0751.

Essential Tools:




Concordia Supply Blog

By Design Team 15 Mar, 2017
In Maker Fun Factory VBS, Group does an awesome job of breaking down the Bible points and teaching in a way that all kids learn - no matter their age or learning style. We've experienced Group's R.E.A.L. approach firsthand, and can tell you that it makes all the difference! So if you're looking for a straightforward overview of what's taught in Maker Fun Factory, and how it's presented, you're in the right place.
By Design Team 15 Mar, 2017
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!
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Concordia Supply Blog

By Design Team 15 Mar, 2017
In Maker Fun Factory VBS, Group does an awesome job of breaking down the Bible points and teaching in a way that all kids learn - no matter their age or learning style. We've experienced Group's R.E.A.L. approach firsthand, and can tell you that it makes all the difference! So if you're looking for a straightforward overview of what's taught in Maker Fun Factory, and how it's presented, you're in the right place.
By Design Team 15 Mar, 2017
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!
By Design Team 15 Mar, 2017
Vacation Bible School is all about kids connecting with Jesus, and the Gospel presentation is a big part of that. We took some time to dive into Group's Maker Fun Factory VBS so you know exactly when and how the Gospel is presented.
By Design Team 23 Feb, 2017

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!

By Design Team 23 Feb, 2017
Although other churches in the area might be having a Vacation Bible School with the same or similar theme as your church, you can easily make your VBS unique with these simple tips!
By Design Team 23 Feb, 2017

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.

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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.

By Design Team 18 Oct, 2016

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!

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