Monday, February 22, 2010

Rainforest VBS Coloring Pages

By Carol Rogers

Each year I create coloring pages for the younger VBS attendees at our church, to help them learn the daily Bible verses. Children who finish an activity early can move to a coloring table and color the verse pages. As they work, an adult helper encourages them to say the memory verse. If they say it correctly (with help), they are given a special sticker or bookmark or plastic VBS character. The coloring pages are sent home with the children each day so their parents can help them learn or review the verses during the week of VBS.

Here are some coloring pages we’ve created for the SonQuest Rainforest VBS. There is a coloring page for each day—a total of five. Each page has the daily memory verse (in the New International Version). Some of the verses are shortened for easier memorizing. You can download these five coloring pages for just $1.99 for the set! You can copy as many of these coloring pages as you need for your VBS program. 

If you use a different Bible version than the one given, feel free to cut off or white out the verse and replace it with the version you prefer.

Check back each week for additional coloring pages—we’re working on a set for Hero Headquarters; High Seas Expedition; Egypt: Joseph’s Journey; and Kingdom of the Son. The coloring page shows a Bible story or a picture of Jesus or God’s Word in addition to the daily Bible verse and theme. If you have another VBS program for which you’d like coloring pages, just leave a comment.

If you’d like to take a look at any of these VBS Starter Kits, visit Shop VBS for more information and to order your starter kits for a risk-free, 30-day review.

May God bless you as you teach children (and families) about Jesus through your Vacation Bible School!

(Click image above to download these NIV coloring pages)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Recruiting VBS Leaders and Helpers

Your adult teachers, leaders, and helpers have some of the most important roles in setting up and running your VBS program. They are the ones who will provide fun Bible-learning experiences for your children and will act as guides to help the children explore Bible truths.

This is a big job, so meet with your Christian education director, children’s pastor, or Sunday school superintendent. Begin with prayer, asking the Lord to direct you to the people whom He wants to teach your children. Ask Him to prepare the hearts of these people to be receptive to becoming leaders or helpers.

To ensure your children the very best experiences in your VBS program, 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
• Are tuned in to kids, and able to build upon their natural interests
Enjoy sharing in the children’s joy of discovery
• Are warm, outgoing, and have a genuine love and sensitivity for children
• Appreciate and seek to follow God’s command to teach children
• Have a basic understanding of children in terms of their physical, mental, and emotional development as well as their spiritual needs
• Are reliable and disciplined to prepare for each task
• Are suitable role models for children
Make a list of qualified people who might be interested, and make an appointment to visit them in their homes or at church. Explain your VBS program and the responsibilities of a leader or helper. Ask him or her to pray about the decision, and leave some VBS materials for review.

It is good to involve a variety of people in working with your VBS program: fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, college students, or adults with older children may all enjoy working with kids. Make a concerted effort to get men involved in the program—particularly the students’ fathers. They will love it, and so will the kids. Having male role models often helps to reduce discipline problems, especially with your preteen boys.

Assign your high school and older middle school students as assistants to the group leaders for your VBS program. This is excellent training for the students and can be a big help to the adult and college-age leaders.

Organize a list of “substitute” teachers from which to draw in case a regular leader or helper is unable to attend one or more days. Be sure to fill each vacancy each day of your VBS.

There are most likely people in your church who aren’t available on a weekly basis or don’t want to be tied to a schedule, but do like to help when presented with a special need. These are the people who can help you by preparing craft materials, cutting out visuals, painting set backdrops, or making or providing snacks. Throughout the process, ask God for direction and guidance. Pray with each person you invite to be part of your VBS team. Give each one specific guidance and instruction so he or she understands exactly what the responsibilities will be.

Thank God for bringing each person to your VBS program. Spend time in prayer together before beginning each day of your VBS. Thank God for the blessings He has provided and ask for His guidance and wisdom to overcome the challenges. Now enjoy mentoring the children in your care, and have fun!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Leading a Child to Christ

When presenting the salvation message to kids, be prepared for questions. Have an adult Christian talk individually with each child who responds to your invitation. Ask the child, “What decision do you want to make?” or ask, “What do you want Jesus to do for you?” Let the child say in his own words what decision he wants to make. Don’t put words in the child’s mouth.

Depend on the Holy Spirit to work within His own timetable to make the plan of salvation clear to the child. After ascertaining that the child does want to accept Jesus as his Savior, and answering any questions he has, share what the Bible teaches about salvation:
1. God loves you — John 3:16
2. You have done wrong things (sinned) — Romans 3:23
3. God says that those wrong things must be punished — Romans 6:23
4. God sent Jesus to take the punishment for us — Isaiah 53:5
5. Tell God you are sorry for the wrong things you have done — I John 1:9
6. Ask Jesus to be in charge of your life and be your Savior — John 3:16-17

Talk and pray individually with each child. Let the child pray his own prayer asking Jesus to be his Savior. Explain that the student is now God's child. Let him know that God promises to never leave him. Explain that God will help him do what's right, and God wants the child to get to know Him better. Clarify any questions the child may have. Help the child say a prayer of thanks for what Jesus has done for him. Then pray aloud, thanking God for the child.

Also talk with the child’s parents, informing them of the student’s response and sharing your views of their child's spiritual development. Encourage the parents to help the child pray, read the Bible, obey God, attend church and Sunday school, and tell others about Jesus. (This may be a good opportunity to tell the parents about Jesus.)

When presenting the plan of salvation, group invitations should usually be avoided for preschoolers and elementary children due to the “herd” instinct of small children. Rather, talk with the children individually to determine which children are ready to receive Christ as Savior of their lives. Keep the children in prayer, and trust God to do His work in each child’s life.