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Australian-themed VBS reached 2.9M in ’09

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Just like a boomerang that returns when it’s thrown, LifeWay’s “Boomerang Express” Vacation Bible School curriculum returned, bringing new Christians and church prospects with it since the summer of 2009.

“Vacation Bible School consistently returns a statistic that says the number of professions of faith made by those attending VBS equals about 25 percent of the number of baptisms in the Southern Baptist Convention,” said Jerry Wooley, VBS specialist for LifeWay Christian Resources. “We are very proud of that. It shows how much prayer and work our churches put into making VBS not only fun, but more importantly, evangelical.”

Nearly 2.9 million children, youth and adults in 25,000 churches attended the Boomerang Express-themed VBS last summer. A total of 88,410 professions of faith in Christ were recorded.

The trend of churches hosting VBS in the evening continued, with about 70 percent of participating churches doing so. Several factors may be fueling this trend, Wooley said.

“Staffing is a big part of it,” he said. “You have working parents, other day camps and childcare for kids, a rising number of year-round schools and even weather that make it advantageous for churches to meet in the evening. It also allows working teens the opportunity to be involved in VBS as youth attendees and youth leaders.”

Set in Australia’s Outback, Boomerang Express proved to be one of LifeWay’s most well-received VBS themes.

“People had been asking for something Australian for several years,” Wooley said. “Australia seems like a fun place with lots of possibilities for adventure.

“The bottom line,” he said, “is that we know VBS makes a huge difference in the lives of everyone who participates, from the ones who attend to the ones who teach and work on recreation, decorations, snacks and follow-up. Our prayer is for everyone to have the best and most spiritually fulfilling week possible.”

Churches this summer are using “Saddle Ridge Ranch,” LifeWay’s main 2010 VBS theme, and “Club VBS: Route 254.” The 2011 themes, which were announced June 15 at the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Orlando, Fla., are “Big Apple Adventure” and “Club VBS: Beach Blast.”
Polly House is a corporate communications specialist for LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. A chart, “Vacation Bible School Statistical Summary: 2009,” can be accessed at www.lifeway.com/lwc/files/lwcF_corp_news_VBS2009_stats.pdf. For more information on Vacation Bible School, go to www.LifeWay.com/VBS.

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  • Polly House