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Your Guide to VBS 2013

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We’ve done the legwork for you. Here’s everything you need to know to create and customize a VBS experience for your church and community.

 

 

Abingdon-HipHopHopeABINGDON PRESS

2013.abingdonpressvbs.com
Hip-Hop Hope: Jesus Makes Me Glad

Theme: Hip-hop culture is global! Surprisingly, its original goal was “Love, Peace, Unity and Having Fun!” Hip-Hop Hope: Jesus Makes Me Glad offers Jesus as the ultimate DJ who scratches out new songs of hope.

 

 

AnswersInGenesisANSWERS IN GENESIS
answersvbs.com
The Kingdom Chronicles: Standing Strong in the Battle for Truth  

Theme: With The Kingdom Chronicles VBS, brave knights and fair maidens will be equipped to put on the full armor of God so they can stand strong in the battle for truth.

 

 

 

BogardPress-TheMightyGodBOGARD PRESS
vbs.bogardpress.org
The Mighty God: God Leads Moses and Me

Theme: This study from the book of Exodus explores how God led Moses through the perils of his life and remained faithful to him in extreme circumstances. Children will learn the ways that God loves us, calls us, saves us guides us and cares for us.

 

 

 

 

Cokesbury-EverywhereFunFairCOKESBURY
2013.cokesburyvbs.com
Everywhere Fun Fair: Where God’s World Comes Together  

Theme: Everywhere Fun Fair is a global celebration with the look and feel of a world's fair. Children will discover that God’s love can be found everywhere—even in their own neighborhoods.

 

 

Concordia-TellItCONCORDIA PUBLISHING HOUSE 
vbs.cph.org
Tell It on the Mountain: Where Jesus Christ Is Lord   

Theme: Get ready for a mountaintop experience! At Tell It on the Mountain, children will learn about the one true God through five mountaintop Bible accounts. This VBS features active Bible storytelling, energetic songs and Peak Performance videos for opening and closing.

 


EditorialConcordia-AventurasGlacialesEDITORIAL CONCORDIA 
(CONCORDIA PUBLISHING HOUSE) 
editorial.cph.org
Aventuras Glaciales (Cool Adventures)  

Theme: Five children receive a surprise trip and receive great gifts from God: forgiveness, salvation, joy, life and hope. 

 

 

GospelLight-SonWestRoundupGOSPEL LIGHT 
myvbsparty.com
SonWest Roundup: A Rip-Roarin’ Good Time With Jesus!  

Theme: This comprehensive VBS package uses a Wild West backdrop to help kids discover Jesus in the stories of Moses.

 

 

 

GospelPub-MegaSportsCampBreakingFreeGOSPEL PUBLISHING HOUSE
megasportscamp.com
MEGA Sports Camp: Breaking Free  

Theme: Teaching kids biblical principles and builds character through their favorite sports activities, this church-led program is fully adaptable to suit any church’s size, volunteers and facilities.

 

 

Group-Athens

GROUP PUBLISHING
group.com/athens
Athens: Paul’s Dangerous Journey to Share the Truth 

Theme: Imagine leaving a life of privilege and power to face angry mobs, painful imprisonment and chain-breaking earthquakes—all to spread the life-changing truth of God’s love. Learn the jaw-dropping story of the apostle Paul—straight from Paul himself! 

 

 

 

 

Group-KingdomRockGROUP PUBLISHING
group.com/kingdomrock
Kingdom Rock: Where Kids Stand Strong for God  

Theme: Enter the epic adventure that empowers kids to stand strong. At Kingdom Rock VBS, God’s victorious power isn’t a fairy tale.

 

 

 

LifeWay-BackyardKidsLIFEWAY CHRISTIAN RESOURCES
lifeway.com/vbs
Backyard Kids Club  

Theme: Take VBS outside the church and into your community with Backyard Kids Club

 

 

 

LifeWay-ClubVBSJungleJauntLIFEWAY CHRISTIAN RESOURCES
lifeway.com/clubvbs
Club VBS: Jungle Jaunt  

Theme: Based on Psalm 145:1-2, kids will learn to praise, trust and follow the one true God through the wild. 

 

 

 

LifeWay-ColossalCoasterWorldLIFEWAY CHRISTIAN RESOURCES
lifeway.com/vbs
Colossal Coaster World: Facing Fear, Trusting God  

Theme: Using 2 Timothy 1:7, Colossal Coaster World VBS will challenge kids to face their fears and trust God as they zip along the roller coaster of life. 

 

 

 

 

 

MennoMedia-BreatheItInMENNOMEDIA
mennomedia.org/vbs
Breathe It In: God Gives Life  

Theme: Children are invited to discover the life-giving breath of God. Through Bible stories on breath and wind, children will explore how God’s own breath was used to create people, and how the wind of the Spirit helped the young church grow. 

 

 

 

RegularBaptistPress-InvestigationDestinationREGULAR BAPTIST PRESS
rbpvbs.org
Investigation Destination: Follow Clues to the King of Kings  

Theme: Investigation Destination turns VBS students into secret agents—investigators on a special mission to discover clues about a special person, the King of Kings. The objective: Prepare students for the return of the King, challenging them to believe in Jesus and accept Him as Savior and then to choose to trust, follow, love, obey and serve Him. Those who know the Savior will want to tell others about Jesus, our wonderful King.

 

 

 

StandardPub-GodsBackyardUnderTheStarsSTANDARD PUBLISHING
vacationbibleschool.com
God’s Backyard Bible Camp Under the Stars  

Theme: Get ready for outdoor adventure under the shimmer of starlight that starts in your own backyard and gets bigger each day as kids take the love of Jesus into their homes, neighborhoods and communities.

 

 

 

 

StandardPub-GodsBackyardUnderTheSunSTANDARD PUBLISHING
vacationbibleschool.com
God’s Backyard Bible Camp Under the Sun  

Theme: Get ready for a sunny outdoor adventure that starts in your own backyard and gets bigger each day as kids take the love of Jesus into their homes, neighborhoods and communities.

 

 

 

 

 

UrbanMin-Jesus-FamilyReunionRemixLogoURBAN MINISTRIES, INC.
(UMI)
urbanministriesvbs.com
Jesus Family Reunion: The Remix   

Theme: Encouraging stronger relationships in spiritual and natural families through Jesus Christ. This program introduces family time for all 10 lessons, including We Believe! 
We Encourage! We Forgive! We Protect! and We Give! Each lesson highlights a family from the Bible that dealt with the same struggles as families today.  

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Pastors Support Romney Despite Mormon Faith

mitt-romney-wavingThree times more Protestant pastors plan to vote for Mitt Romney over Barack Obama in the upcoming presidential election. Romney's Mormon beliefs are a factor for only a small number of pastors who plan to cast their ballot for another candidate.

A survey conducted by LifeWay Research Sept. 26-Oct. 3 found that 57 percent of Protestant pastors plan to vote for Romney compared with 17 percent for Obama. Twenty-two percent are still undecided.

The breakdown is similar to what it was in 2008 when John McCain challenged Obama for the presidency. A survey conducted by LifeWay Research in October 2008 found that 55 percent of Protestant pastors planned to vote for McCain compared with 20 percent for Obama and 22 percent undecided.

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She Practices What She Preaches

f-Strang-She Practices JMMKyle-RogersAfter 37 years of covering most of the world’s major ministries, I believe Joyce Meyer’s is one of the best

We are honored to have Joyce Meyer as this issue’s guest editor. When I became aware of her enormous outreach, I asked if she’d be willing to tell how her family and ministry have made such a huge impact through their missions efforts, both domestically and overseas, as well as their commitment to a lifestyle of radical generosity.

I wondered if she’d say yes. After all, she has one of the largest ministries in America. With her ongoing teaching and travel schedule, along with leading a global ministry, she’s obviously in high demand. In addition, she has the ability to get out her message through her own media.

But as we talked about it, I believe she understood my heart for wanting our readers to be inspired by what she has done. I know that when it comes to missions, one of the best ways to inspire others is for them to see it modeled for themselves.

In a way, that is what happened when Dave and Joyce Meyer opened the Dream Center in St. Louis. They modeled what they did by taking note of what Matthew Barnett has done in Los Angeles. He, in turn, was inspired by his own father, Tommy Barnett, whose ministry outreaches are legendary in Pentecostal circles. And recently I learned that the Dream Center picked up a few ideas from Bishop Bart Pierce of Baltimore, who gave them the idea of adopting specific blocks within a city.

Not long ago I was talking by phone to a businessman who I knew didn’t always pay his bills, even though he was a high roller. Despite claiming to be a Spirit-filled Christian, he obviously didn’t have the highest level of integrity. In our conversation, this man began criticizing ministries he didn’t like and mentioned something he read in an article about Joyce Meyer and her ministry.

I stopped him. I had visited Joyce Meyer Ministries and knew firsthand that it is one of the most generous ministries I’ve ever known. In more than 37 years of covering the Christian community, I have known and seen most of the major ministries—many of them up close and personal. From my vantage point, Joyce Meyer and her ministry are among the best. They walk in integrity. I know that not only as a journalist who has covered them over the years, but also as a publisher who published one of her books. When you work with someone in the book business, you quickly find out if he or she is the real deal. And I can say that Joyce Meyer and her ministry are! 

Yet another example of this is how hard they worked on this issue. It didn’t benefit them nearly as much as I’m sure it will benefit you. 

And I’ve benefited too. As I read over the final articles before they went to press, I was stirred in my own spirit. I have long had a heart for the poor, but this issue of Ministry Today motivated me to do more, especially in my local community, which is still reeling in the aftermath of the killing of Trayvon Martin. That tragedy happened only 2.3 miles from my office, a fact you would know if you read our recent coverage in Charisma of the racial reconciliation efforts in Sanford, Fla.

We recently had a meeting of churches and pastors to see what we can do to show the love of Jesus by helping the poor and helping to ease some of the tension in our city. In that way, we overcome evil with good! I liked some of the articles in this issue so much I copied them and handed them out because I knew it would inspire those who work regularly with the poor to do even more.

Sadly, too many churches and pastors are focused more on their own congregations and their own finances than the actual needs around them in their community. They never seem to have enough to help others. Or if things go well, then they begin to consume more of the Lord’s blessings rather than using those to help others.

God is not honored by that. He is honored when we give to the poor. 

May you be inspired by these articles just as I was. We’d love to hear how they impacted you, so send us your stories of how you’ve been inspired.

Read more...

Generosity Idea Starters

“Do not forget or neglect to do kindness and good, to be generous and distribute and contribute to the needy...for such sacrifices are pleasing to God" (Heb. 13:16, AMP).

Being radically generous and helping others is easier than you may think. I have asked people to share practical ways we can show love, have read books, searched the Internet, and been aggressive on my own journey to find creative ways to help others. Below are some helpful ideas to remember in your daily life and as you think of ways your church can show love in action.
  • Mow an elderly person’s lawn or organize teams to mow lawns and shovel snow for single-mom families and shut-ins in your church and community.
  • Help a single mom or senior adult clean their house or offer to do their grocery shopping.
  • Give single moms gift cards to take their children out to lunch.
  • Invite a person who has no family in town to your home for the holidays. Or think big and host Thanksgiving for international college students.
  • Organize a ministry team to offer a night of babysitting, giving new parents an opportunity for a date night.
  • Encourage your children’s ministry leaders to look for specific and thoughtful ways to honor their community heroes.
  • Deliver homemade cookies or fresh-baked bread to your community's local police and fire departments.

The list of ways to bless others is endless. Be open to God and ask Him to show you how you and your church can help people. Your radical acts of generosity may be just the key to unlock the door of someone’s heart to hear and receive the gospel.


In February 1976, Joyce Meyer drove to her job in St. Louis, frustrated after having yet another difficult morning, when she cried out to God: “Something is wrong; something is missing!” That day, Meyer says, the Holy Spirit touched her life.

“I was just so frustrated, because I was desperately trying to do what I felt like the church was telling me to do,” she says. “I was going to church and doing church work. And it just wasn’t working for me. That day, I became so very acutely aware of not only the presence of God, but the goodness of God.”

It was a spiritual turning point that became a catalyst for what has become one of the largest ministries in the world and what would make Meyer one of the most recognizable and respected leaders in Christendom today.

St. Louis-based Joyce Meyer Ministries includes the international radio and TV program, Enjoying Everyday Life, broadcasting worldwide to a potential audience of 4.5 billion, and close to a dozen domestic and international conferences every year. Meyer is also a New York Times best-selling author of more than 90 books that have been translated into nearly 100 different languages. Her most recent release, Do Yourself a Favor ... Forgive, tackles the vital practice of forgiveness and its positive impact.

Through Meyer’s teachings and resources, God has provided myriad opportunities to meet the needs of the suffering and demonstrate the gospel in practical ways. Hand of Hope, the missions arm of Joyce Meyer Ministries, supports and provides outreaches around the world. In 2000, Dave and Joyce Meyer founded the St. Louis Dream Center to serve their hometown’s inner city through hands-on programs targeted at reaching the lost and hurting with the love of Christ.

“We are passionate about world missions,” she says. “I have dedicated the rest of my life to preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ and relieving as much human suffering as I can with the time and resources we are given.”

Read more...

Living Radically Generous

f-Meyer-LivingRadically JMM-David-DobsonRelieving suffering shows the world a faithful, compassionate, merciful and giving God

What does it mean to live radically generous? What does that idea look like both personally and in the context of leading a church or ministry in today's culture?

Most of us know what it means to be generous—the dictionary defines it as “liberal in giving, openhanded and marked by abundance.” Radical is “very different from the usual, extreme.” So to be radically generous believers means we aggressively and purposefully look for ways to reach out to others and help meet their needs.

Fortunately, we have the ultimate example. Our God is a generous God—radically generous. He’s passionate about helping people.

Read more...

Loving Out Loud

f-Barnett-LoveOutThe eternal impact of radically serving the community around you

I can remember being 20 years old, coming to Los Angeles with the goal of having a 24/7 church that would serve the local community’s needs. I knew it wouldn’t be easy. But I had no idea of the challenges ahead.

Coming from such a large church—Phoenix First Assembly of God, led by my father, Tommy Barnett—it was a bit of an adjustment to have just a few people show up to some of our earliest servicesv. Feeling defeated after an especially difficult night, I walked through the neighborhood, listening for the voice of God. 

That night, I saw people caught up in drug addiction, homelessness, prostitution. Just walking around, I could sense the turmoil and oppression. In that moment, God told me these broken people were my congregation, that my ministry was and would not be confined to a church building. Instead, this ministry would reach beyond walls and throughout the neighborhood. 

That night—and finding that calling—was a life-defining moment for me.

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