Our Picks / VBS

VBS Fair – Top Pick – Welcome! Give and Receive God’s Great Love

Welcome cover

Editor’s Note: Every spring, the Center for the Ministry of Teaching at Virginia Theological Seminary reviews Vacation Bible School (VBS) curricula from publishers we trust. For the next week, we’ll be featuring some of our favorites here on Key ResourcesOr you can download them all as a PDF (also El Rey Que Viene, en Español).

Welcome! Give and Receive God’s Great Love

Publisher: MennoMedia

Cost: $159.99 includes two copies of Director’s Guide, and guides for Worship & Drama, Active Response, Bible Response, Creative Response, and Early Childhood, and one copy of Song CD, Memory Verse DVD, and Songbook

Phone number: 1-800-245-7894

Overview

From Abraham and Sarah—who welcomed three strangers and prepared a meal for them—to Luke and Paul—who accepted generosity when shipwrecked on the island of Malta—Scripture is filled with stories of hospitality. Welcome! Give and Receive God’s Great Love invites children to discover God’s amazing love through the stories of God’s people. They demonstrated kindness, made friends, and took care of those who were hurt. They reflected the love of a God who welcomes and cares for each of us.

Each session includes a Theme, Bible Text, Faith Focus, and Bible Memory Verse:

Texts                         |   Memory Verses
Genesis 18:1-15      |    Matthew 25:35
Luke 10:25-37           |    Leviticus 19:18b
Luke 19:1-10             |    1 John 4:12b
1 Samuel 25:14-35  |    1 Samuel 25:32b
Acts 28:1-10              |   Matthew 7:12a

Age Levels     

X   Early Childhood (ages 4–5)

X   Elementary (grades K-5)

Includes

X   Director’s Manual

X   Music CD

X   Alternate schedule

Strengths

  • Strongly Scriptural, with daily Bible stories and daily memory verses.
  • Each “Response” (Bible, Creative, and Active) includes a “debrief” section that ties the activity to the Scripture and to children’s everyday lives.
  • Guides for both older and younger children include recommended picture books to have on hand.
  • Director’s Guide walks even a total newcomer through the steps to creating a thriving VBS.
  • Songs are fairly easy to follow, and some of those from African traditions are on YouTube!
  • All Responses and Drama segments are easily assembled from materials at hand.
  • Includes an excellent description of why the Church should invest in VBS and basic “safe church” training.
  • Alternate scheduling is provided for a ten-week midweek program and a weekend retreat.

Weaknesses

  • Drama segments require a lot of memorization and some require several people.
  • Tween and Teen connection is entirely as helpers and group leaders.
  • Song CD is very bland.
  • Bible Memory Verse videos don’t add much to the value of the kit.
  • There is no social media presence for Welcome!

Charlotte Hand Greeson is an experienced Christian educator, frequent CMT collaborator, and co-editor of Building Faith.

Download the rest of our reviews here (en Español here).

  • http://www.shirleyshowalter.com/ Shirley Hershey Showalter

    Congratulations to Herald Press for this honor. Happy to help boost the social media presence!

    • vts_cmt

      Q: Did we misattribute? Is Herald Press a subsidiary of MennoMedia? Happy to correct if we got things wrong.

      • http://www.shirleyshowalter.com/ Shirley Hershey Showalter

        No misattribution. Yes, Herald Press is part of the larger organization called MennoMedia. It’s all good. They are my own publisher, and I like to share the good news.

        • vts_cmt

          Happy to say Herald Press/MennoMedia if you like.

          • http://www.shirleyshowalter.com/ Shirley Hershey Showalter

            I defer to the staff on that question. I used @MennoMedia just because they don’t tweet @HeraldPress.