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LifeWay upgrades VBS Tools Online

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–VBS Tools Online has been enhanced for 2007 to enable churches conducting Vacation Bible Schools to customize their registration forms and for VBS directors to allow multiple users access to the system.

“The ultimate goal is to make life easier for VBS directors in churches,” Bethany Webster, Internet producer in the childhood ministry area of LifeWay Christian Resources church resources division, said. “We want to maximize the time they have to plan the curriculum and recruit and train quality teachers.”

VBS Tools Online was launched in 2005 to help VBS directors with planning, registration and follow-up tasks that go into making a successful VBS.

One of the new features offered by VBS Tools Online allows parents to register their children for VBS and volunteers to submit their information through online registration forms. Webster said that in the past these online forms have included the same fields for each church, regardless of the church’s size or specialized needs.

The 2007 version of the Web-based program allows VBS directors to delete fields unnecessary for their church’s program as well as insert fields unique to their needs, Webster said. She suggested that fields such as T-shirt size or identification numbers for students could now be included.

“What we’ve had in the past has had to work for all the churches,” Webster said. “With the enhancements we’ve added, we’re able to customize it for a broader audience.”

Additionally, the updated VBS Tools Online program allows each church to provide access to the program to an unlimited number of users. Webster explained that whoever has access to the administrator’s VBS Tools Online account can set up additional login capabilities for teachers or other volunteers as needed.

These enhancements came largely as a result of customer feedback, Webster said.

“We had one user tell us that VBS Tools Online particularly helped with the registration process because many of the volunteers and students were spread out over long distances,” she said.

These new features are in addition to the features already offered by VBS Tools Online including registration helps, attendance reports, participant allergy information and other aids. Webster said that users will still be able to import 2006 enrollment information into the 2007 system.

Even with the added features, the cost of VBS Tools Online remains the same as last year: $29.99.

“We really strived to make this resource one that is available and useful to every church regardless of the budget or the technology skills of the users,” Webster said.
For more information or to purchase VBS Tools Online, visit www.lifeway.com/vbs.

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