Let's Get More Out of Our Vacation Bible School Resources . . . Mid-Week Children's Ministry All Year Long!
When you evaluate Vacation Bible School curriculum, be sure to think about how VBS resources might give you the tools you need for your mid-week ministry to children! You won't necessarily need an entire kit, but if you have the Bible lessons, games and craft books as well as the music you'll be able to expand the lessons by using one lesson for two weeks and be able to have resources for ten weeks! Run your mid-week ministry similar to your VBS and the enthusiasm you have with your VBS can transfer to your mid-week ministry! Three resources will give you enough materials for one year of mid-week ministry so think about the curriculum scope, your vision/goals for your mid-week ministry and then see which VBS resources give you the tools you need.
For example, most mid-week ministries have a strong evangelism focus as children from the community attend, so take a good look at kits like BugZone from RBP, Praise from Go Fish Guys, SonRise National Park from Gospel Light, and Amazing Wonders Aviation from LifeWay. Consider also kits which give you the opportunity to introduce children to Jesus - kits which do a good job of helping children understand Who Jesus is, such as Praise from Go Fish Guys , SonRise National Park from Gospel Light and Gold Rush from Answers in Genesis. If you had a difficult time deciding between two kits for your actual VBS, this is a good place to use the other kit - particularly if it had a strong application focus like Adventures on Promise Island from Standard, Operation Overboard from Cokesbury, and Sky from Group.
If there was a VBS kit where you really liked the content, but were not so thrilled with the music, this is a great place to use those resources - just replace the music with some from another resource! Add in weekly "live-it" activities, a service project for your community and one or two mission projects children can work on throughout the year. (See my "Put Feet to Their Faith" posts for mission project ideas)
Begin each evening with large group singing - add in some object lessons which relate to your theme and then have children rotate to three different stations - Bible lessons, games and crafts . . . like they do for VBS. Bring them back together for more singing and to reinforce the evening's point for an over-all focused and engaging evening where children will be able to understand their need for Jesus and then grow in their walk with Him!
VBS resources are great tools for your children's ministry and can be utilized in more ways than just the traditional week of VBS in the summer. As you evaluate kits this year, stop and think about if there is another part of your ministry where they would be a great "fit"!