We attend a small church. Small is relative. It's larger than the church I grew up in as a child, but significantly smaller than the churches we've attended as adults. But I believe our kids deserve a really amazing week, no matter the size of the church. I'm a visual person and think kids are too. So decorations are key to setting the mood. Crafts are next because that's what the kids take home as a reminder of their week. Then the Bible lessons and skits bring home the true message for the week and the reason we're there to begin with. Most important is the FUN FACTOR! Kids have to want to come to church and have fun while they're there in order for them to want to come back.
Church's everywhere used the same kit for the High Seas Expedition, so my philosophy was to call up a bunch of them and see if we could use any of their decorations after they were done with them. (I never would have done that before PTO....but, now I'm a pro at asking people for things!) Three churches gave us decorations and supplies!!! It was amazing! Our church really stepped up and we got everything donated that we needed and had plenty of volunteers. Total answers to months of prayers.
I have to say that Chris and his friend Steve made VBS what it was. They were the hosts and entertainers each night doing the skits and emceeing everything. They were so much fun and were completely willing to embarrass themselves in order for the skit to really be a hit. Thanks guys -- the kids are not going to forget you Captain Chris and Sailor Jack!
The week was exhausting! I took the kiddos up during the mornings to work on scene changes for the Bible stories and to get everything lined up for the night's activities. Then we were back there in the evening ready for the kids. Chris took off early each day from work and swung by and picked up his Big Brother/Big Sister little brother and his cousin so they could come each night. Have I mentioned what an amazing guy he is? Four kids of his own and he still takes time for another! By the time we all got home each night we just crashed!
I may be biased, but I think this is the best VBS we'd had in years. We had 27% more kids than last year, probably 50% more volunteers, and SO MUCH FUN! We had tons of kids there each night that didn't have a church home. Such an honor to get to teach these kids about God's love for them. I'm already starting to brainstorm about next year. I'm thinking bigger....much bigger!