Editor’s Note: The Evangelism + Church Health Team of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention will host three regional Kids Ministry + VBS trainings in April. Click here to find locations and registration information as it becomes available.
By Aaron Wilson, a writer for Lifeway Christian Resources.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — As ministry leaders and volunteers look forward to Vacation Bible School, Lifeway Christian Resources is offering preview events for churches to get their first look at the 2022 theme, train and equip their teams, and be encouraged to make next summer the best VBS ever.
This January, Lifeway will provide six VBS Preview events in four cities. Each event will include both English and Spanish breakout sessions so leaders can prepare for VBS 2022 “Spark Studios” or EBV 2022 “Estudios Destello,” both of which revolve around a theme that explores the creativity of God and His image bearers.
“Attending a VBS Preview is one of the best ways to energize and equip your team for VBS,” said Melita Thomas, VBS and kids ministry specialist for Lifeway. “It will be the first chance many people have to see everything for ‘Spark Studios,’ and more importantly, to see how it all comes together to strategically point kids, teens and adults to Jesus. VBS Preview is also a prime opportunity to network with other VBS leaders, learn from one another and share ideas.”
This is the first year that VBS Preview participants have the choice of attending a traditional two-day event or a one-day Friday or Saturday option. The latter was added to this year’s schedule to allow VBS leaders and volunteers to attend without having to miss a day of work. Two locations will be hosting the single day events, while the other two locations will host the traditional two-day gatherings. VBS Preview dates and locations for 2022 include the following, with registration open at vbs.lifeway.com.
- Friday, January 7 — First Baptist Church, Nashville, Tennessee
- Saturday, January 8 — First Baptist Church, Nashville, Tennessee
- Friday-Saturday, January 14-15 — Sugar Creek Baptist Church, Houston, Texas
- Friday, January 21 — Travis Avenue Baptist Church, Fort Worth, Texas
- Saturday, January 22 — Travis Avenue Baptist Church, Fort Worth, Texas
- Friday-Saturday January 28-29 — Ridgecrest Conference Center, Ridgecrest, North Carolina
Each VBS Preview will feature a fully stocked VBS store to allow ministry leaders to shop in person for curriculum, decorations, promotional materials and more. “Participants will also be able to see all the decorations and come home with ideas on how to bring ‘Spark Studios’ to life in their churches, and there will be plenty of door prizes, giveaways and VBS swag,” Thomas said.
In addition to providing VBS training, preview sessions will equip ministry leaders with helps to hone classroom skills, provide a safe environment for kids, and recruit and mentor new leaders. Breakout sessions will also be available for student and adult leaders.
Thomas says these preview events are about maximizing the kingdom impact of VBS, which remains one of the most popular church programs in the U.S., according to Lifeway Research. 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.
“In the summer, it’s the grown-ups who make VBS happen for the kids, but in January, we get to experience VBS for ourselves,” Thomas said. “We’ll sample the snacks, play the games, make the crafts, learn the songs, hear the Bible stories, and be together. There’s nothing else quite like it.”
More information about Lifeway’s 2022 VBS Preview events, including how to register, can be found at vbs.lifeway.com.