Vacation Bible School Preview Events Build Foundations for Churches and Communities

Zoraida Godoy (seated, center) explored the creative zone with her team of eight from Iglesia Bon Nobo from Sabana Basora, Aruba. This year marks the fourth VBS the 50-member congregation has hosted. LifeWay photo

When Zoraida Godoy attended a Vacation Bible School (VBS) at a Southern Baptist church in her community of Sabana Basora, Aruba, in 2013, she got emotional.

“Some of our children went to another local church for VBS and we saw the concept for the first time,” she said. “Watching the children dance, sing and express the biblical truths they learned just moved me. And I thought: Why couldn’t we do this at our church?”

The next year she attended a VBS preview event so she could launch the first-ever VBS week at her church. Since 2014 Iglesia Bon Nobo — the 50-member church where she serves as VBS director — has hosted VBS every other year.

“It takes a lot of volunteers and not everyone is available every year,” she said. But this year, eight people from Iglesia Bon Nobo, including Godoy, traveled to the final stop of the 2020 VBS preview tour at First Baptist Church of Hendersonville, Tenn., on Jan. 30-31.

More than 4,000 VBS directors, volunteers and church leaders from nearly every state have attended a VBS preview event so far this year. A few even traveled from outside the continental U.S., including places like Nicaragua, Guam, Cuba and Puerto Rico.

LifeWay Mexico will host their preview event Feb. 8 in Mexico City. Around 1,000 pastors and church leaders are expected to attend.

Building a foundation for churches and communities

Throughout January, participants gathered for the two-day conferences in Ridgecrest, N.C., Houston and Fort Worth to interact with “Concrete & Cranes” resources and decorations, get stage set-up ideas, network with other church leaders to exchange ideas and attend equipping breakout sessions.

Breakout session topics included: curriculum overviews for each age group’s Bible studies and rotation, music and motions tutorials for the “Concrete & Cranes” music, sharing the Gospel with kids, making VBS a safe place for children, enlisting volunteers, VBS participants with special needs and an interactive crafts overview.

Preview participants also got a sneak peek at “Concrete & Cranes”-themed games, crafts and decorations in an interactive creative zone. Additionally, they had access to an onsite LifeWay store that carried all 2020 VBS resources.

In addition to the thousands who attended the preview events, 564 Southern Baptist state association leaders attended VBS Institutes at Ridgecrest Conference Center in N.C. and Sugar Creek Baptist Church in Sugarland, Texas.

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Source: Baptist Press