The Best VBS Workbook Ever!

Lisa Brown

Jan/2017, 160 Pages, Paperback, 8.5 x 11

ISBN-13: 9780819233011



Designing a Vacation Bible School program, as opposed to choosing one of the many off-the-shelf packages, is a labor of love. It considers the unique perspective of children and invests accordingly. It's a home-cooked meal compared to fast food. It sends a message to parents that a church values children enough to identify and meet their specific needs in their community at a particular moment in time. Well-designed VBS programs speak to children with respect, love, and patience, offering opportunity for authentic spiritual growth, not to mention an intentional theology that is reflective of the church. Finally, custom-designed VBS programs are a way to fully include children in the mission and ministry of the church rather than confine their unique gifts.

This book provides Christian educators with the tools they need to assess the needs and resources in their congregation, and to craft a creative program in response to that assessment. The Best VBS Workbook Ever offers direction and suggestions on theme, structure, logistics, program, activities, staffing and promotion.

Lisa Brown is the former Director of Children's Ministry and Communications Coordinator at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania. Now a digital missionary for Membership Vision, she helps people find God in the digital space. Shepherding children and young people is her passion, and she has witnessed the profound experiential learning that occurs when children are fully engaged in an immersive program. She wants to share with other educators the techniques that she used to craft learning opportunities so that they can deeply engage children in faith formation. In addition to designing her own VBS programming, Brown has created Sunday school and confirmation programs, nursery school lessons, and Girl Scout and Boy Scout Camporees. She is also the co-founder of the Color ME Pittsburgh collaborative art installation.

“Lisa Brown has placed into our hands the most comprehensive and thoughtful Vacation Bible School resource I have ever seen! The Best VBS Workbook Ever offers an invaluable amount of information on how to create a theologically sound, developmentally appropriate, and truly joyful experience for your congregation and the wider community. Lisa walks us through each vital step from dreaming to doing with skill, humor, and grace. A treasure for any formation leader.”––Emily Slichter Given, Director of Children and Family Ministries, St. Michael All Angels, Dallas and author of Building Faith Brick by Brick

“Lisa's workbook is full of wisdom and encouragement for both new and experienced VBS directors. The checklists and charts are immensely helpful. But this is not simply a ‘how to’ book. Along with the valuable nuts and bolts, Lisa keeps calling us back to the ‘why,’ pushing us to remember the children we're serving and the way they are being formed by each element of the program we offer. I can't wait to use it as a resource with my VBS team.”––Kat Mercer, Children's Ministry Coordinator, St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Kansas City, Missouri

“Lisa has thought of everything you could possibly need to create and implement a VBS program for your church and presents it in a simple, organized fashion that can be adapted for any size congregation. Instead of just using a VBS program from a box, Lisa invites you to think outside the box in creating a VBS that is rooted in the unique qualities of your congregation, the needs of the children who will come, and the goals of your ministry. Lisa leaves no stone unturned as she walks you through every step: from budgets to Bible stories, communication to crafts, and staff to snacks. I’ve directed VBS for almost thirty years and I still found countless helpful tips and strategies in this book. This is essential for anyone leading VBS programs; it truly is the best VBS workbook ever!––Sue Van Oss, Director of Christian Formation, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Duluth, Minnesota

“This book covers every aspect of offering VBS, from preliminary planning to continuing relationships with families after your VBS ends. The detailed information will be useful for seasoned VBS directors as well as first-timers. Along with all the practical advice, I especially appreciated the author’s tips on creating your own VBS curriculum and tailoring it to fit your congregation’s goals, theology, and unique identity.”––Debbie Kolacki, Senior Consultant for Practical Resources for Churches

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