It’s that time of year! Every spring the Center for the Ministry of Teaching (CMT) publishes reviews of new Vacation Bible School programs. Reviews include new programs developed for 2016 as well as recaps of perennial resources. This year’s new themes range from Orchards to Surf Shacks. In all, 24 reviews! Over the next couple of weeks we will be previewing the CMT TOP PICKS for 2016. However, over the past couple of years we have reviewed and found some pretty good vacation bible school resources.
Here are a number of popular posts from top picks and reviews to “How to” post on a range of topics.
How We Review
The review team this year includes CMT staff, trusted Christian educators with experience in planning and leading VBS programs in different settings and denominations, and students at Virginia Theological Seminary who recently completed a course in curriculum evaluation.
We carefully examine starter kits of each program reviewed. We open the kits, pour through all the materials, listen to the CDs and/or watch the videos. The reviews include the name of the publisher, a website url, and basic content of the starter kit and its cost. We note if additional expenditures are needed to operate a program.
Message and Purpose
We believe VBS can be a powerful tool for evangelism for your church. Be sure to select a program that mirrors the mission and theology of your church and community. Look beyond a catchy theme to the way scripture is used and the messages, both explicitly and implicitly, the participants will receive.
Often, VBS directors and leaders will need to adapt a program to insure it reflects their church’s teaching and beliefs. These decisions and changes should be made before volunteer staff are given materials to use.
Finally, Vacation Bible School should be fun and engaging for everyone involved. This is a time to celebrate God’s love and the goodness of creation!