By Aaron Wilson
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — As ministry leaders and volunteers look forward to next year’s Vacation Bible School, Lifeway is offering digital VBS Previews for churches to get their first look at the upcoming theme, train and equip their teams, and be encouraged and inspired to make next summer the best VBS ever.
“There are a few silver linings to all of the craziness we’ve lived through in 2020, and virtual VBS Previews are right at the top,” said Melita Thomas, VBS and kids ministry specialist for Lifeway. “Online VBS Previews allow more people to attend than ever before since people likely won’t have to take off from work and because there are no restrictive travel expenses. Also, churches that have only been able to bring a handful of people to VBS Previews in the past can now bring their entire team.”
This is the first time Lifeway will host all-digital VBS Previews. Each live event will include more than 20 breakout sessions and will offer training for both English VBS and Spanish EBV resources. Preview Dates for 2021 include:
- Friday, January 22 — 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. CST
- Saturday, January 23 — 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. CST
- Friday January 29 — 12 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. CST
- Saturday, January 30 — 12 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. CST
Lifeway will offer two VBS curriculum choices for 2021: “Concrete & Cranes” for churches that didn’t get to host VBS in 2020 or that want to revisit the curriculum, and “Destination Dig,” a new theme centered around biblical archeology. The latter allows kids to take the role of junior archaeologists as they embark on an adventure to study pieces of the past to learn the truth about who Jesus is and why He came. Along the way, they’ll discover the truth of Jeremiah 29:13, that God reveals Himself to people when they seek and search for Him with all their hearts.
VBS remains one of the most popular church programs in the U.S., Lifeway Research shows. Six in 10 Americans say they went to VBS growing up, and 95% of parents whose child attended VBS say it provided a positive experience.
While the challenges of 2020 forced many churches to adapt plans for one of their biggest outreach events of the year, churches still found ways to make VBS happen. Some hosted outdoor events, while others provided drive-through VBS or offered Bible lessons and activities using virtual technology.
“Pulling off VBS in 2020 took creativity and flexibility—but churches did it; they were faithful, and God showed up,” said Thomas. “I know many churches are already looking forward expectantly to returning to a more typical VBS in the summer of 2021.
“While we don’t know what the future holds, we do know Who holds it. I’m excited to see God reveal Himself to boys and girls, students and adults as they seek truth and find Jesus through this summer’s VBS.”
More information about Lifeway’s 2021 VBS Preview events, including how to register, can be found at VBS.LifeWay.com.
Aaron Wilson is a writer for Lifeway Christian Resources.