NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Next year churches can take their pick -– taking kids on a train adventure through Australia or setting up a personalized archaeological dig. Either way, Jesus will be the ultimate destination.
LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention on June 10 announced its 2009 Vacation Bible School themes. The theme of the main VBS line is “Boomerang Express: It All Comes Back to Jesus.” The Club VBS theme is “Truth Trek: Digging for God’s Treasures.” Both options give churches the opportunity to connect VBS participants with the truth of the one true God and His Son Jesus.
With the Boomerang Express, VBS participants visit Australia, the great Down Under, exploring the ocean and outback, rocks and reefs, while learning that no matter where you go or what you do, the most important thing in life is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. From a biblical standpoint, Boomerang Express will focus on the ever-changing landscape of Peter’s relationship with Jesus, from his first introduction to a life fully committed to the Savior.
“VBS leaders have been requesting an Australia-related theme for years,” LifeWay’s VBS specialist Jerry Wooley said. “We have thought about it for several years, but only this year did all the pieces come together. All five Bible studies involve a relationship with Jesus Christ through snapshots of the life of Peter. It is the first time we have created a VBS curriculum that allows for a character study of one person. Through the life of Peter we see that truly it all comes back to Jesus.”
The VBS Scripture is 1 John 4:9 -– “God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent His One and Only Son into the world so that we might live through Him” (HCSB).
Wooley added that there are a few new terms to learn. “The kids are called kidaroos. The teachers are the outback guides. Each day is called a track. Our daily challenge is called the boomerang challenge.
“Many people do not realize how expansive Australia is and how much variety exists. That’s why we incorporated the idea of traveling by train on the Boomerang Express into our Down Under VBS. It will allow the kids to explore the many diverse regions Australia has to offer. The worship rally takes place in the train station. From there kids hop on the Boomerang Express and travel to different destinations throughout the country.”
The daily Bible study outlines for children are Track 1, “Follow Him” (Peter’s invitation); Track 2, “Worship Him” (Peter’s discovery); Track 3, “Confess Him” (Peter’s challenge); Track 4, “Serve Him” (Peter’s mission); and Track 5, “Obey Him” (Peter’s obedience).
CLUB VBS: TRUTH TREK
LifeWay’s 2009 Club VBS — Truth Trek — invites kids to participate in an archaeological dig to discover the treasures of God’s truths. Trekkers will learn to obey the Ten Commandments and understand that Jesus is the power by which we live.
The Club VBS Scripture is Proverbs 7:1
The daily Bible study outlines for children are Trek 1, The Treasure of Honoring God; Trek 2, The Treasure of Honoring Family; Trek 3, The Treasure of Respecting Life; Trek 4, The Treasure of Respecting Others; and Trek 5, The Treasure of Obeying God.
The Boomerang Express resources are available in the Holman Christian Standard Bible translation and King James Version, while the Club VBS: Truth Trek resources are usable with any Bible translation.
Boomerang Express offers churches a full range of the VBS experience: a three-hour daily schedule for five days; narrow grading for babies-adults; a special education track; Bible study, crafts, recreation, snack, missions and music rotations; a worship rally; English and Spanish versions; a large line of decorations and accessories; curriculum samples; and other products that are available separately.
Club VBS: Truth Trek can be called “VBS in a box.” The kit includes everything needed to conduct VBS for up to 50 babies through sixth-graders. It offers a more limited experience with a two-hour schedule for five days: broadly graded; Bible study, crafts, recreation and snack rotations; a worship rally; English only; a limited line of decorations and accessories; a starter kit containing curriculum samples; and other products available separately.
“We have many churches that use both,” Wooley said. “They choose the main theme for their regular summer VBS, then choose Club VBS to use for Sunday or Wednesday nights or to use for a mission VBS.
“Whether you choose Boomerang Express or Club VBS: Truth Trek, the key is to emphasize the evangelistic aspect of VBS,” Wooley said, pointing out that 26 percent of Southern Baptist baptisms in 2007 came as a direct result of VBS. “What else would you do next summer that will have as much evangelistic potential as Vacation Bible School?”
On Aug. 1, LifeWay will update LifeWay.com/vbs to offer additional information and resources related to both VBS themes. Messengers to the annual meeting of the SBC in Indianapolis received information and promotional materials to take back to their churches. The complete curricula will go on sale Dec. 1. Selected Boomerang Express promotional materials will be available Oct. 1.
Polly House is a corporate communications specialist for LifeWay Christian Resources.