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Vacation Bible School 2020

VBS 2020

We understand Vacation Bible School is a major event in your church and that it is one of the greatest opportunities for outreach for all people, especially children and preschools. Even in our high tech environment, VBS continues to be one of the most fruitful special events in terms of both finding prospects and leading them to the Lord. We are here to help as you plan VBS 2020 in your church!

Rocky Railway VBS
The VBS that's just the ticket! Climb aboard for mountains of fun at Rocky Railway! On this faith-filled adventure, kids discover that trusting Jesus pulls them through life's ups and downs.
Wilderness Escape VBS
Welcome to Wilderness Escape— an exciting journey with God's people, the Israelites, that brings God's Word to life for kids and adults!
Anchored Weekend
Make a splash with the ultimate summer weekend! At Anchored VBS, kids embark on an undersea adventure, diving deeper in their faith and discovering the unwavering love of God!
Concrete & Cranes
LifeWay's 2020 VBS: Concrete & Cranes: Building on the Love of Jesus shows kids the foundation that lasts.
Champions In Life
Abingdon Press Champions In Life VBS is an intergenerational VBS that utilizes African-American culture, history, music, and art to teach Biblical truths.
Knights Of North Castle VBS
Help kids take up the gauntlet this summer and accept the challenge to “armor up” and be strong by remaining with God and sharing God's love in a world that needs it more than ever.
To Mars & Beyond VBS
Explore where God's Power Can Take You with the exciting Vacation Bible School from Cokesbury: To Mars and Beyond VBS!
Rainforest Explorers VBS
At Rainforest Explorers VBS, learn how Jesus is our ultimate guide in the rainforest and in life. He leads us to the treasure of eternal life, and He'll never leave us!

Introduction to Vacation Bible School 2020

Does the responsibility for organizing your church’s summer Vacation Bible School program fall on your shoulders? If this is your first year of and you have no idea where to begin, or maybe you have lots of experience and look forward to checking out the new 2020 VBS programs – we’ve got what you're looking for with information and samples for each 2020 VBS Program, along with an online Easy Order Form of all products for each 2020 VBS Program and a general planning overview.

Compare the various programs by looking at samples, videos and other information in our 2020 VBS Program Overview here. Program Overview

Use the "Easy Order Form" links above to access our VBS Program product lists for Easy Ordering. Access our general overview we put together to help you create an outline for your planning schedule this year. General Planning Overview

2020 VBS Program Overviews

The Vacation Bible School publishers have released their new VBS curriculum and we’d like to help you choose the best VBS for your needs. Beyond all the information offered here on our website, we would be glad to assist you personally with any additional questions you may have. Call or visit us in store today!

We offer all the new 2020 VBS programs from...

Rocky Railway

By: Group Publishing
Rocky Railway VBS
At Rocky Railway VBS, kids Experience God's Word every day. One of the unique aspects of Group VBS programs are the memorable Bible Points that are reinforced throughout each station, each day – making it easy to apply long after VBS is over. The bible memory buddies and all stations work together to make this powerful educational tool work for kids and leaders.

Day 1

  • Bible Point: Jesus' power helps us do hard things.
  • Bible Story: Ananias helps Saul. (Acts 9:1-19)
  • Key Verse: "For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength." (Philippians 4:13)

Day 2

  • Bible Point: Jesus' power gives us hope.
  • Bible Story: Paul encourages others in a storm and shipwreck. (Acts 27)
  • Key Verse: "So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord!" (Psalm 31:24)

Day 3

  • Bible Point: Jesus' power helps us be bold.
  • Bible Story: Peter and John teach about Jesus (Acts 3:1-4:31)
  • Key Verse: "He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless." (Isaiah 40:29)

Day 4

  • Bible Point: Jesus' power lets us live forever.
  • Bible Story: Jesus' death and resurrection. (Matthew 26:17-28:10)
  • Key Verse: "The spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you." (Romans 8:11)

Day 5

  • Bible Point: Jesus' power helps us be good friends.
  • Bible Story: The church is united. (Acts 2:42-47; 4:32-35)
  • Key Verse: "Love each other in the same way I have loved you." (Acts 2:42-47; 4:32-35)

Rocky Railway Ultimate Director Go-To Guide
Contains all the information that you, the VBS Director, need to plan and execute a high impact VBS program. With info about recruiting and training volunteers, tips to publicize your VBS, and great advice on how to connect with families after the Rocky Railway VBS is over.

Station Leader Manuals
Provide easy to follow instructions for each specific role at your VBS program. Each leader manual includes an overview of each day's Bible content, historical backgrounds, step-by-step directions for each activity, and even includes guided discussion questions to help equip your leaders quickly and completely.

High Quality Content on DVDs & CDs
The digital content on the DVDs and CDs feature training resources, clip art, and publicity tools. The popular “Decorating Places DVD” gives you detailed instructions on how to to create your Rocky Railway theme setting creatively and on budget. The “Sing & Play Music DVD” has the music videos that bring high enery worship music to your VBS.

Student Resource Samples
Samples of the Student Resources include the Bible Memory Buddies, Student Take-Home and Imagination Station samples. All the student resources in Rocky Railway are intentionally woven into the curriculum and designed to reinforce the daily bible lessons they learn, and help them remember their lessons long after they leave your church event.

Wilderness Escape

By: Group Publishing
Wilderness Escape VBS
At Wilderness Escape VBS, you'll reinforce Bible truth in a big way because the daily Bible Point is carefully integrated into each activity. God's Word comes alive through engaging interaction with Bible history!

Day 1

  • Bible Point: God is with us, so…trust God!
  • Bible Story: The Israelites cross the Red Sea (Exodus 14:1-15:21)
  • Key Verse: “God answered, ‘I will be with you.’” (Exodus 3:12)

Day 2

  • Bible Point: God gives us what we need, so…trust God!
  • Bible Story: God provides manna and quail (Exodus 16)
  • Key Verse: "For your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!" (Matthew 6:8)

Day 3

  • Bible Point: God gives us strength, so…trust God!
  • Bible Story: Israel defeats the Amalekites (Exodus 17:8-16)
  • Key Verse: "For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength" (Philippians 4:13)

Day 4

  • Bible Point: God saves us, so…trust God!
  • Bible Story: Moses remembers Passover (Exodus 12:1-30)
  • Key Verse: "For I am with you and will save you, says the Lord" (Jeremiah 30:11)

Day 5

  • Bible Point: God guides us, so…trust God!
  • Bible Story: God gives the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20)
  • Key Verse: "I will bless the Lord who guides me." (Psalm 16:7)

Ultimate Director Go-To Guide®
The Wilderness Escape VBS Ultimate Director Go-To Guide contains everything you need to plan a successful program, recruit and train volunteers, publicize your program, and follow up with families after the big event.

Leader Manuals
Provide easy instructions for specific roles at your Wilderness Escape VBS. Each manual includes an overview of each day's Bible content, historical backgrounds, step-by-step directions for each activity, and guided discussion questions.

Helpful DVDs and CDs
Feature training resources, clip art and marketing tools that make it easy to inspire and educate your church body. The Decorating Places DVD gives you detailed instructions to create your Wilderness setting—and the Celebration Music DVD will have your kids in celebration mode all week long.

Student Resources
Student Resources including Bible Memory Makers and Mail From Moses, will keep kids talking about Wilderness Escape throughout their VBS experience and long after they leave your church event.

Anchored Weekend VBS

By: Group Publishing
Anchored Weekend VBS
At Anchored Weekend Vacation Bible school, kids experience God's Word in surprising and unforgettable ways! Each day, leaders reinforce one simple Bible truth—which makes it easy for kids to remember and apply to real life!

Bible Point: God is Faithful

Key Verse: "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever." (1 Chronicles 16:34)

Day 1 Bible Story: Paul encourages others in a storm and shipwreck (Acts 27)
Day 2 Bible Story: Jesus dies and comes back to life. (Matthew 26:17-28:10)

Director Manual
Contains everything you need to plan a successful program, recruit and train volunteers, publicize your program, and follow up with families after the big event.

Leader Manuals
Provide easy instructions for specific roles at your Anchored VBS. Each manual includes an overview of each day's Bible content, historical backgrounds, step-by-step directions for each activity, and guided discussion questions.

High Quality COntent on DVDs and CDs
Helpful DVDs and CDs feature training resources that make it easy to inspire and educate your church body.

Student Resources
Student Resources including the Bible Memory Buddy, will keep kids talking about Anchored throughout their VBS experience and long after they leave your church event.

Concrete & Cranes

By: Lifeway
Concrete & Cranes VBS
Grab your hard hat and tool belt! As kids explore a world of concrete and cranes, rivets and rebar, bulldozers and backhoes, they will learn to build their faith on Jesus as they uncover the truth that He who began a good work will be faithful to carry it on to completion.

Theme Bible Verse: "I am sure of this, that he who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ." — Philippians 1:6 (CEB)

Motto: Jesus! Our Strong Foundation!

Daily Content

  • Day 1: Foundation of Love—Matthew 9:9-13
  • Day 2: Foundation of Forgiveness—Acts 26:1-29
  • Day 3: Foundation of Worth—Matthew 26:36-46
  • Day 4: Foundation of Promise—Matthew 28:1-10, 16-20
  • Day 5: Foundation of Life—Matthew 7:24-29

Rotation Sites

  • High Steel Worship Rally
  • Blueprint Bible Study
  • Jackhammer Music
  • Excavator Missions
  • Bulldozer Crafts
  • Wrecking Ball Rec
  • Food Truck Snacks

Champions In Life

By: Abingdon Press
Champions In LIfe VBS
Your church will love celebrating Abingdon Press' new VBS…Champions in Life: Ready, Set Go with God! Participants will find joy in knowing that Jesus makes each one a winner and that we are competing in life in order to reach the goal of the high calling of Jesus Christ.

Theme Bible Verse: "But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.— Isaiah 40:31

Session 1

  • Theme: Get in the Race!
  • Bible Story: Zadok's son chooses to get in the race
  • Verse: 2 Samuel 18:19-32

Session 2

  • Theme: Be Skillful, Be Caring!
  • Bible Story: Jonathan protects his friend, David
  • Verse: 1 Samuel 20:18-23, 35-41

Session 3

  • Theme: Keep Your Eyes on Jesus!
  • Bible Story: Peter tries to meet Jesus as he walks on water
  • Matthew 14:22-33

Session 4

  • Theme: A Long Wait!
  • Bible Story: Jesus commands a man who sat by a pool for 38 years to get up and walk
  • Verse: John 5:1-15

Session 5

  • Theme: Reach for the Goal!
  • Bible Story: The goal is the high calling of Jesus Christ
  • Verse: Philippians 3:12-16

Knights Of North Castle

By: Cokesbury
Knights Of North Castle VBS
Cokesbury's VBS 2020, Knights of North Castle: Quest for the King's Armor, invites children to be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power by exploring how we put on the Armor of God. Kids will take on the role of brave knights and begin their quest each session by opening the King's Book. They'll explore Old and New Testament stories and discover different pieces of protective armor—the Belt of Truth, the Breastplate of Justice, the Shoes of Peace, the Shield of Faith, and the Helmet of Salvation—at work in the lives of familiar Bible characters, and explore how that armor works in their own lives as they follow and serve God.

Session 1

  • Bible Story: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego Stand True (Daniel 3)
  • Castle Callout: Armor Up with Truth
  • Banner Verse: "Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power." (Ephesians 6:10)

Session 2

  • Bible Story: David Defeats Goliath (1 Samuel 17:1-50)
  • Castle Callout: Armor Up with Justice!
  • Banner Verse: "Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power." (Ephesians 6:10)

Session 3

  • Bible Story: Mary's Journey to Bethlehem (Luke 2:1-20)
  • Castle Callout: Armor Up with Peace!
  • Banner Verse: "Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power." (Ephesians 6:10)

Session 4

  • Bible Story: Jesus Walks on Water (Matthew 14:22-33)
  • Castle Callout: Armor Up with Faith!
  • Banner Verse: "Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power." (Ephesians 6:10)

Session 5

  • Bible Story: Midnight Praise with Paul and Silas (Acts 16:16-40)
  • Castle Callout: Armor Up with Salvation!
  • Banner Verse: "Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power." (Ephesians 6:10)

To Mars & Beyond

By: Cokesbury
To Mars & Beyond VBS
Cokesbury's To Mars and Beyond will help kids discover the wonders of God's universe. They'll become Voyagers on a journey through space, exploring where God's power can take them. Beginning in your Assembly area—an outpost on Mars—they'll lift off to distant planets on special missions to collect power sources. Along the way, they'll learn how God walked with heroes of the Bible, and that God is always with them, too. Add to the adventure with out-of-this-world fun, learning, and timeless Bible stories that inspire kids to give glory to God, who is able to do far beyond all that we could ask or imagine!

Session 1

  • Bible Story: Daniel trusts God in the lions den (Daniel 6)
  • Power Launcher: Go beyond with faith!
  • Vector Verse: "Glory to God, who is able to do far beyond all that we could ask or imagine by his power at work within us." (Ephesians 3:20)

Session 2

  • Bible Story: Queen Esther takes a stand (Esther 4-9)
  • Power Launcher: Go beyond with boldness!
  • Vector Verse: "Glory to God, who is able to do far beyond all that we could ask or imagine by his power at work within us." (Ephesians 3:20)

Session 3

  • Bible Story: The Good Samaritan helps a fellow traveler (Luke 10:25-37)
  • Power Launcher: Go beyond with kindness!
  • Vector Verse: "Glory to God, who is able to do far beyond all that we could ask or imagine by his power at work within us." (Ephesians 3:20)

Session 4

  • Bible Story: Jesus heals 10 lepers (Luke 17:11-19)
  • Power Launcher: Go beyond with thankfulness!
  • Vector Verse: "Glory to God, who is able to do far beyond all that we could ask or imagine by his power at work within us." (Ephesians 3:20)

Session 5

  • Bible Story: Jesus comforts friends on the way to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35)
  • Power Launcher: Go beyond with hope!
  • Vector Verse: "Glory to God, who is able to do far beyond all that we could ask or imagine by his power at work within us." (Ephesians 3:20)

Rainforest Explorers

By: Concordia Publishing House
Rainforest Explorers VBS
The all-inclusive Rainforest Explorers VBS 2020 Starter Kit includes all the resources you need to plan and get equipeed for VBS planning. With materials for 6 rotational sites, sample crafts, and student essentials. It also provides music videos and scores, lesson and decorating posters.

Session 1

  • Bible Story: God Rescues Noah (Genesis 6:17-22; 8)
  • Take-Home Point: God keeps His promises.
  • Bible Memory Verse: "How precious is Your steadfast love, O God!" (Matthew 19:21)

Session 2

  • Bible Story: God Gives the Commandments (Exodus 19:18-20; 20:1-21)
  • Take-Home Point: My loving God gives direction.
  • Bible Memory Verse: "You shall be My treasured possession." (Exodus 19:5)

Session 3

  • Bible Story: Jesus Calls His Disciples (Matthew 4:18-22; 9:9-13)
  • Take-Home Point: Jesus is with me.
  • Bible Memory Verse: "You will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." (Matthew 19:21)

Session 4

  • Bible Story: Jesus Heals Ten Lepers (Luke 17:11-19)
  • Take-Home Point: Jesus is full of healing.
  • Bible Memory Verse: "But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us." (2 Corinthians 4:7)

Session 5

  • Bible Story: Jesus Visits His Disciples (John 21:1-14)
  • Take-Home Point: Jesus helps me share His Good News.
  • Bible Memory Verse: "But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven." (Matthew 6:20)

General Planning Overview

If this is your first year coordinating your Vacation Bible School Program, CONGRATULATIONS! You've got many of tasks ahead of you but the reward at the end will be more than worth it.

We have put together a general overview to help you create an outline for your planning schedule this year. Remember that you were specially chosen to play this role and we know you can do it!

VBS Planning Outline & Timeline

6-9 Months before your VBS is the time to start putting Vacation Bible School on your radar. You will want to establish the foundations of your program. Also consider including Preschoolers (2-5 year olds) in your VBS. You may want to run a separate preschool program for your little ones (same hours). The preschoolers can join the other children for your opening and then the younger children can have their own learning centers, games and age-appropriate crafts for the rest of the morning.

  • Begin praying for your VBS program. You may want to organize a prayer team.
  • Choose your dates and time for you VBS. Put them on the church calendar early.
  • Choose a VBS Director.
  • Choose a VBS Theme and Purchase your VBS Starter kit so you can begin planning.

Several Months (3-6) before your VBS get your VBS leadership team together to estimate your attendance and set dates for the program. Go ahead and publicize the dates to your congregation and to our bookstore so you can get plenty of volunteers and find out how to get the word out in the community. At this point start looking at what materials you will need for your VBS program and order your VBS materials before they are sold out, they do go quickly. Having your team brainstorm together now helps you understand which things that will need longer preparation time, put together and distribute teacher materials and begin compiling registration lists.

  • Set a budget for your VBS program
  • Recruit key leaders – Music, Snacks, Games, Bible story teacher.
  • Plan publicity for your VBS – community outreach could include signage, door to door flyers, radio spots.
  • Put together a list of supplies you'll need.
  • Order all of your publicity, decorating, leaders manuals and teaching supplies.

Setting Goals: Staff should give thought to establishing the goals of the VBS program:

  • What objectives should be met for the program to be considered successful?
  • Who do you expect to participate — children at what ages; youth; family units?
  • Is God calling you to reach out in new ways to a new segment of the community?
  • Are you planning a week to enrich the church children's understanding of the Bible? Or is it to reach out to new people in and fun and inspiring way?
  • Is the program to be an outreach to the community?

A couple of months (2-3) before your VBS you will want to start distributing registration forms, create daily schedules for VBS Week, start your publicity to the congregation and community, fill all the teaching staff positions and start training your team! Make sure you have the contact information – phone numbers, email addresses and names – of the people that will be teaching and anyone who volunteers to create things.

  • Plan and schedule a VBS staff training meeting to be held 4-6 weeks prior to VBS.
  • Begin recruiting additional leaders and support staff.
  • Explore your church facilities to determine what areas you will need.
  • Estimate your VBS enrollment. Use figures from Sunday school or last year's VBS.
  • Order student supplies if you have not already done so.

As you Recruit, look for leaders and teachers with the following qualifications:

  • Dedicated Christians who seek to live for Christ daily, who study God's word, and who know the plan of salvation – suitable role models for children
  • People tuned in to kids, able to build upon their natural interests and who will enjoy sharing in the children's joy of discovery
  • Warm, outgoing, having a genuine love and sensitivity for children, understanding them in terms of their physical, mental, and emotional development, and their spiritual needs
  • One who will appreciate and seek to follow God's command to teach children, demonstrating this by being reliable and disciplined to prepare for each day of VBS

About a month (4-6 weeks) before your VBS continue to maintain your list of registered students and stay alert to any staffing adjustments needed as you finish up the details of the schedule for your VBS Week. Follow-up with any items you have outstanding and touch base with your VBS teachers to make sure they have what they need for that week.

  • Begin pre-registration.
  • Hold the scheduled VBS staff training meeting.
  • Meet with key leaders.
  • Check your registration weekly and order any extra supplies you may need. Remember these item sell out fast.

One week before VBS will begin your final setup up before the big event – decorations, registration tables, signs, sorting craft and game supplies to the right rooms. Now you should run a check of student count versus your materials. Remember you will have last minute people show up. Provide teachers with current information about their classes including rosters and prepare any packets you will provide to the parents. Assign a place and time for all VBS staff to meet prior to each session for prayer.

The Day before your VBS begins run a final check of supplies (are the pencils sharpened?) and rooms. Then take a breath and start praying for all the kids, families and volunteers that will be involved with your VBS this week.

First Day of VBS make sure you arrive early — take time for more prayer with your teams and even in the stress remember to celebrate the opportunities to witness. Especially early in the week, watch for rough spots needing adjustment the next day and after the children leave, brief staff meeting to catch loose ends. And don't forget to take lots of pictures! Each day, continue to pray for God to move in the hearts of your children. Things that should be modified for next year, make note of in a place you will remember to pass it on the next year. And remember to have fun!

After you wrap up Evaluation: It's a good idea to collect evaluations and suggestions from the staff for future kids events at the church. Before your VBS ends, Have thank you notes and evaluation forms ready for your helpers. Make sure you display photographs for congregation and get a list to the Kids Church teachers, especially for families that came and are not already affiliated with the church so they can remember them when they show up for regular services. Be sure to let your volunteers know how much they helped to make VBS 2020 the best ever. While they're still excited about the great things that happened during VBS, ask if they would be willing to consider being a part of the team next year. (Just to get an idea, not for a firm commitment.) Then follow up just as soon as you set the next date to have them start praying about volunteering for your next VBS program.

If you need help, we have a great staff ready to serve you both online and in the store. You can find other supplies, like prices for games or attendance and Bibles for new believers in our stores as well.

We know you will have a great 2020 Vacation Bible School experience!

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