Link to 2006 VBS Review



RESOURCE REVIEW - VBS 2000
 

resources for effective children's ministry
 
 


    Vacation Bible School - As a dear lady I know is fond of saying, "There are two seasons in the year, Vacation Bible School and Christmas, because when you finish with Christmas you begin with Vacation Bible School and when you finish with VBS you begin with Christmas!"  She is right!  I truly love VBS and this year's resources are creative, imaginative and fun!  This year in our VBS Review, we will take a look at eight VBS resources, and again, I encourage you to seriously consider utilizing more than one of these excellent materials in your ministry to the children and families in your community!


Table of Contents

Vacation Bible School reviews
Holy Word Studios - Where Kids Star in God's Story!
Outback Expedition
Outback Games - Hope of Glory, Jesus in You
The Fantastic Good News Ocean Odyssey - Diving into the Depths of God's Faithfulness
Road Rally 2000 - In the Race With Jesus
SonZone Discovery Center
Celebrate Life From the Beginning to Eternity
Veggie Town Values - On the Job


Vacation Bible School comparison chart

Chart


Lynda's Picks for VBS 2000

Best Puppet
Best Craft kits
Best Craft book
Best Director's Book
Best Music
Best Lessons
Best Setting
Best Point
Best Overall





Holy Word Studios - Where Kids Star in God's Story!
Publisher - Group Publishing

Setting:  Bible times movie set - where kids star in God's story
Point:  The Bible is like a script and gives us direction through life and shows us God's love!

Stories:

Day one - God Cares for us - The story of Baby Moses
Day two - God protects us - God protects the Israelites from the plagues
Day three - God loves us - God spares the Israelites during passover and crossing the Red Sea
Day four - God saves us - Jesus is crucified and rises from the dead
Day five - God is always with us - The Hole Spirit comes at pentecost


Favorite Features:

    HolyWord Studios is an excellent choice for VBS, Summer sundays, Mid week or anytime as it is written to help kids genuinely understand, remember and apply God's Word in real and lasting ways - - - while they and the volunteers have terrific fun!  This VBS resources has application for all children, both those who already know Christ and those who do not so all children will have fun and all children will learn something to help them build a real relationship of their own with Jesus.  It is complete, easy to use and effective . . . I highly recommend Holy Word Studios!  Extremely well done Group Publishing!

    * I would like to see more craft ideas added to the book next year for those churches who do not want to or are unable to utilize the craft kits and information in the Director's book to help churches identify and define their goals for VBS.
 


Outback Expedition
Publisher - Concordia Publishing House

Setting:  Australian Outback
Point:  "Children learn about families changed by Jesus in the New Testament times and today"

Stories

Day one - God the Father gives us families - The boy Jesus in the temple
Day two - God the Father welcomes and forgives His children - Jesus tells about a family conflict
Day three - Jesus cares for our families - Jesus raises a widow's son
Day four - Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead to make up part of His family - the risen Jesus on the Emmaus road
Day five - God empowers His family to tell of His love - Jesus' disciples receive the Holy Spirit


Favorite Features:

    Overall, this is an extremely well done VBS.  The setting is fun, interesting . . . especially with the tie in to animals from Australia.  The point is excellent - families . . . we so need to do all we can to support and strengthen families and this VBS provides excellent materials to help the church do so!  It has a strong salvation message - how to be part of God's family, although it is confusing about how to be saved . . . by faith in Jesus or baptism?  There are well done resources to add to the fun.  I recommend this VBS for VBS, Summer Sunday School, mid week or as a special family conference the entire family could participate in during the year.  Extremely well done Concordia Publishing House!

    * I would like to see games tie in with the point of the lesson



 

Outback Games - Hope of Glory, Jesus in You
Publisher - David C. Cook

Setting:  Australian Outback and Olympic Games
Point:  kids will learn New Testament stories showing how the early christian's hope was in Jesus and see how they can accept the same hope

Stories

Day one - God gives us confident hope through salvation in Jesus - Saul's conversion
Day two - I rejoice because of my hope in Jesus - Paul and Silas in prison
Day three - I can tell others about Jesus because of my hope in Him - Peter and John before the Sanhedrin
Day four - I will serve others because of my hope in Jesus - Aquilla and Priscilla
Day five - I eagerly look forward to being with Jesus in Heaven because of my hope in Him - Stephen sees a vision of Jesus


Favorite features

    I am very pleased with Cook's VBS this year.  Outback Games is well written with emphasis on application as well as fun.  While Outback Games would work nicely for VBS I especially recommend getting it and keeping it to utilize during the year - there are always events during the year where you need something special to use in your children's ministry and this is an excellent resource as it is complete - you don't have to be concerned about not being able to get student materials later in the year.  It is also extremely well suited to utilize on a youth group mission trip as the resources are reproducible so you won't have to be concerned about not being able to get additional student materials during the mission trip and with the strong salvation emphasis as well as application for children who already know Christ all children who attend will be able to have fun and learn to grow in their walk with Jesus.  Extremely well done David C. Cook!

    * I would like to see a puppet available and additional crafts kids will want to keep and be reminded of the core concept



 

The Fantastic Good News Ocean Odyssey - Diving into the Depths of God's Faithfulness
Publisher - Lifeway - Southern Baptist Press

Setting:  underwater diving adventure
Point:  how we can begin or continue our voyage with Jesus as we dive into the depth of God's faithfulness

Stories

Day one - God keeps His promises so I can believe in Him - Jesus is born
Day two - God meets needs so I can thank Him - Jesus feeds 2000
Day three - God has the power to answer prayer so I can talk and listen to Him - Jesus calms the storm
Day four - God loves me and sent Jesus to be my Savior and Lord so I can become a christian - Jesus teaches Nicodemus
Day five - God is always present so I can trust Him and tell others about Him - the Holy Spirit comes


Favorite Features

    The ocean and underwater setting for this VBS is a fun summer setting.  This VBS would work nicely for a Backyard Bible club and an outreach ministry teens could utilize for homeless kids or on a mission trip with the strong salvation emphasis.  Very nicely done Lifeway!

    * I would like to see a puppet and activities tie in more with the point, more active stories and teaching more focused on understanding and application



 

Road Rally 2000 - In the Race With Jesus
Publisher - Standard Publishing

Setting:  Road race
Point:  the Bible shows us the road to Jesus and living with Him

Stories

Day one - Jesus knows the way, believe in Him - road through the sea with Moses
Day two - the way is hard, be brave for Him - road to courage with David
Day three - even when you don't understand, trust Him - road through the river, healing Naaman
Day four - when the Lord gives a command, obey Him - road to obedience with Jonah
Day five - no matter what it costs, pray to Him - road to the lion's den with Daniel
Day six - always put Jesus first, look up to Him - road to the wilderness with John the Baptist
Day seven - the road from His manger led to the cross, follow Him - road to bethlehem
Day eight - even those who've made mistakes can belong to Him - road to Damascus with Paul
Day nine - Jesus taught and lived forgiveness, imitate Him - road to forgiveness with Onesimus and Philemon
Day ten - He will never leave you nor forsake you, stick with Him - the Heaven road for all who are faithful


Favorite Features


    Road Rally 2000 is an interesting VBS kits - especially boys - will enjoy.  I especially recommend Standard's VBS for summer Wednesday evenings with the 10 lessons it is a perfect resource for mid-week.  It is also an excellent choice for Summer sunday school and would work well for VBS.  Very nicely done Standard Publishing.

    * I would like to see stronger emphasis on teaching for understanding and application and clearer application for kids who already know Christ as well as activities that teach the point rather than fill time.


SonZone Discovery Center
Publisher - Gospel Light

Setting:  scientist's museum
Point:  God has a plan for us through Jesus

Stories

Day one - The God Who made the universe created and loves you - Creation
Day two - Sin has separated us from God - Adam and Eve
Day three - God loved us so much He sent His son Jesus so we can know what God is like - the story of Jesus' life
Day four - Jesus died and rose again so you can receive forgiveness for your sins and be a member of God's family - the story of Jesus' death and resurrection
Day five - You can live as God's child and show His love to others - the story of the early church


Favorite Features


    SonZone Discovery Center is very creative and extremely well done!  Kids will enjoy the varied and unique activities and will learn much about salvation.  Since it has such a strong salvation emphasis and little or no application for christian kids, it is extremely well suited for Backyard Bible Clubs or for a youth group mission outreach or for any setting where evangelism is your only focus.  Extremely well done Gospel Light!

    * I would like to see emphasis each day on application for children who already know Christ and games that teach understanding and application, not just review the verse or story



 

Celebrate Life From the Beginning to Eternity
Publisher - Regular Baptist Press

Setting: world God created
Point:  students will learn about creation and God the Creator of all.  They will also learn how God sent His Son to bring eternal life

Stories

Day one - God created everything, creation is a fact - Genesis 1, the beginning
Day two - God made everything complete and specific - life from the beginning
Day three - fossils tell us about dinosaurs, the Bible tells us the truth about God - mammoth life, Job
Day four - God created man special and loves us, man is responsible to take care of creation - our life in Genesis 1
Day five - God gives eternal life to all who believe in Him - life forever


Favorite Features


    I am very pleased with Celebrate Life from Regular Baptist Press this year as it shows significant improvement over previous year's VBS resources with more focus on teaching with activity and continuing to teach throughout more of the activities rather than using them for time fillers.  I like the theme and the lesson on dinosaurs is well done!  This resource would work very well for Backyard Bible Clubs, youth group evangelistic outreaches and would also work well for VBS.  Very nicely done Regular Baptist Press!

    * I would like to see all activities build more on the point and stronger focus on teaching for application



 

Veggie Town Values - On the Job
Publisher - Word/Big Idea

Setting: - Veggie Town
Point: to help kids learn they can do God's work now and in the future

Stories

Day one - I want to listen to God and obey Him - Joshua and the wall
Day two - I want to be thankful everyday for God's goodness in helping me do things - Ten healed of leprosy
Day three - I want to keep doing what God says is right - Noah and the ark
Day four - I want to respect others because God made them special, too - Peter and Cornelius
Day five - I want God to help me learn from my mistakes - Parable of the lost son
Day six - I want all my actions to show that I follow God - Moses and the Exodus
Day seven - I want to serve God because He made me special - Lydia
Day eight - I want to tell the truth because it pleases God - the parable of the two men who prayed
Day nine - I want to be fair because it shows God's love - Jacob and Esau
Day ten - I want to use God's Word to help me solve problems - parable of the unmerciful servant


Favorite Features


    I am especially happy with the new Veggie VBS as it is well written, emphasis on salvation as well as application for children who already know Christ.  It is so very important we teach children to learn to serve now so they will grow so I am extremely happy with the point of this VBS!  This is an excellent resource for summer sundays, mid week or a special event during the year.  It also works quite well as a mid week resource for the school year.  This VBS also works quite well for VBS - all in all a very versatile resource.  Extremely well done Big Idea/Word!

    * I would like to see more information in the directors resources and devotions for the teachers



 
 
2000 VBS Comparison Chart
 
Concorida
Group
David C. Cook
Veggie Tales
Standard
Gospel Light
Regular Baptist
Life Way
Biblically Sound
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Salvation
See Review
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Application for
Saved Kids
Y
Y
Y
Y
L
N
Y
N
Teacher Training
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
N
Y
Y
Countdown to VBS
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
teacher dedication helps
Y
Y
N
N
Y
N
Y
N
teacher appreciation ideas
Y
Y
Y
L
L
N
Y
N
active learning
L
Y
Y
Y
L
Y
L
L
teach for application
Y
Y
Y
Y
L
L
N
N
each activity builds on a point
L
Y
Y
L
N
L
L
N
child protection information
N
Y
L
N
N
N
Y
Y
flexible format
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
intergenerational information
Y
L
Y
Y
Y
Y
N
Y
recruiting helps
Y
Y
Y
N
Y
Y
Y
Y
information for teen helpers
N
Y
Y
N
N
N
N
N
age level characteristics
Y
Y
Y
N
Y
Y
Y
Y
service projects
N
N
N
Y
Y
Y
N
N
mission project
Y
Y
Y
N
Y
Y
Y
Y
follow up information
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
puppet
Y
Y
N
Y
Y
Y
Y
N
teacher devotions
Y
Y
Y
N
Y
Y
Y
Y
info on how to lead a child to Christ
N
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
stories that involve the kids
L
Y
Y
Y
N
N
L
N
info on helping kids w/special needs
Y
Y
L
N
Y
N
N
Y
strong director's helps
Y
Y
Y
N
Y
Y
Y
Y
help developing purpose and goals
Y
N
N
N
N
N
N
Y
 
 
 
 

As you all know and as I often say, VBS is one of your best curriculum buys of the year and I always recommend churches consider utilizing more than one of these excellent resources.  This year we had a wonderful variety of VBS resources and while any of them will be able to be utilized well, I am going to give you my "picks" again this year.

LYNDA'S PICKS FOR VBS 2000

Best Puppet

  1. Penny the Platypus from Concordia Publishing House - fun, unique and colorful, children are certain to love her and she fits very well with the theme
  2. Otto the race car from Standard Publishing - also fun, unique and colorful, children will be delighted by the car sounds this puppet makes
  3. Chadder the Chipmunk from Group Publishing - cuddly and fun, children will be thrilled to see Chadder again this year


Best Craft kits

  1. Concordia - well made with a variety of quality crafts, the crafts fit with the theme and build on the lesson point.  These are crafts children will want to keep.
  2. Group Publishing - interesting, unique and well made crafts that teach the Bible point.  Children will want to keep these crafts and will be reminded of the Bible point when they play with them


Best Craft book

  1. Gospel Light - as usual, Gospel Light has an abundance of fun, easy to make crafts that tie in extremely well with their theme.  Children will love these crafts
  2. Concordia - these crafts are varied and fun - fit well with the theme and have information as to how to tie them in with Bible lessons all year
  3. Regular Baptist Press - this year RBP had a number of interesting and fun crafts that fit well with their theme and ones children will enjoy making


Best Director's Book

  1.     This area had a three way tie for best with Group Publishing, Concordia and David C. Cook


Best Music

  1. Group Publishing - variety of music to fit the theme and teach the Bible point.  Children will love these songs and want to sing them all year - older children will want to sing them because they are not just songs for "little kids"
  2. Veggie Tales - this year there are many more songs than last year - children know these songs from the videos and will enjoy singing them in VBS
  3. Concordia - variety of music to fit the theme - many "Australian sounding" songs children will enjoy and remember


Best Lessons

  1. Group Publishing - these lessons are written to involve children actively and teach for understanding and application
  2. David C. Cook - these lessons are well written and teach for understanding and application
  3. Veggie Tales - these lessons are well written and teach for understanding and application


Best Setting

  1. Gospel Light - with the fun science lab setting children are sure to enjoy and want to participate in the VBS
  2. Veggie Tales - it is hard to go wrong with anything connected to Veggie Tales as children love veggies!
  3. David C. Cook and Concordia - both of these VBS resources are set in the Australian Outback and provide an interesting and fun setting for VBS


Best Point

Again, there is a three way tie All three are excellent and important points we need to be certain we are teaching the children in our ministries.


Best Overall

  1. Group Publishing - Holy Word Studios.  This is my pick for several reasons.
  2. David C. Cook - Outback Games.  Again this year I am extremely impressed with the VBS resources from Cook.  These resources with their "Core Concept" teach for understanding and application with a strong salvation emphasis for children who do not already know Christ as well as a application for children who do know Christ so they will be able to grow in their walk with Him.  I strongly recommend utilizing this VBS as a youth mission project or for a special event during the year as with the reproducible resources it is ideal for such uses.  Extremely well done David C. Cook!
  3. A tie with Veggie Tales and Concordia:



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Spring 2000 Edition Home page






 
About the Children's Department - VBS 2000
Copyright  Lynda Freeman
Created March 7, 2000
Web Page By David Freeman
Send an e-mail to Lynda at dfreemansr@earthlink.net

 

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