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2016 VBS to ‘submerge’ kids in God’s Word

NASHVILLE (BP) — Next summer, kids will have the opportunity to dive past the surface and go deeper into God’s Word with “Submerged,” the 2016 Vacation Bible School theme from LifeWay Christian Resources.

The theme helps challenge a culture consumed with celebrity — one marked by the image of beauty and popularity, LifeWay VBS specialist Jerry Wooley said.

“It’s a value system that’s unrealistic and an impossibility to achieve or maintain,” he said. “During Submerged, kids will discover it’s not what’s on the surface that matters, but the internal truth that only God can see.”

Each day of next year’s VBS, students will explore the way Jesus saw people and examine the truth of the key verse, Psalm 139:23-24: “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my concerns. See if there is any offensive way in me; lead me in the everlasting way.”

“This is an adventure that will take us not only to the depths of the ocean,” Wooley said, “but to the depths of our hearts as well. We will be challenged to let God not only search our hearts, but reveal the truths of our hearts as well.”

VBS remains one of the most effective evangelistic events for churches. Using the most recent statistics available, Wooley said nearly 3 million people participated in VBS at a local church in 2014. Approximately 80,000 children made professions of faith during those weeks and more than 1 million unchurched individuals were identified as a result.

Wooley believes the same could happen again next summer as Submerged reveals our greatest need. “God sees our heart and knows our thoughts,” he said. “He sees what lies below the image we want the world to see, and He loves us anyway. He sees and knows our true potential, our sin and our need for a Savior.”

For those ready to start planning for next summer, VBS 2016 Jump Start Kits will be available for purchase in October, with other resources scheduled to be available in December.

VBS 2016 Preview events, designed to give leaders a hands-on opportunity with the new material, are scheduled for January in Ridgecrest, N.C.; Fort Worth, Texas; and Nashville.

For more information, visit LifeWay.com/VBS.