VBS Fair – Top Pick – Message Received
VBS Fair – Top Pick – Message Received

Message Received cover

Editor’s note: This post is part of our VBS Review Fair here on Key Resources, where we’ll be featuring reviews of our top picks from this year’s curricula. You can download the full review packet here.

Message Received
Hearing God’s Call

Age Levels: Preschool, Elementary


  • Music CD
  • Registration and volunteer forms
  • Alternate schedule


  • Extremely well organized, beautifully designed, easy to read, navigate, and follow.
  • Excellent focus on the biblical stories, emphasizing the theme of calling. Bible stories include men, women, and children.
  • Scripts for Bible story presentations are very well written, nicely laid out, and true to the story.
  • Each “response” guide (Bible, Creative, and Active) includes several options from which the leader can choose. For example, four game options for each day.
  • The Directors Guide includes excellent tips, instructions, and even suggestions for prayer. Overall, the publisher has thought of everything when it comes to running a simple VBS.
  • Bible Story Book for ages 4‐5 is excellent, with full stories and color pictures.
  • The songs are a nice mix of old and new, including several world music selections. Music leader’s guide includes sheet music with chords for each song.
  • Flexible schedule options, including modified daily schedules, plus a ten‐week program or weekend retreat option.


  • Significant reading is required for each guide. Leaders and volunteers will need to study the materials well in advance.
  • Drama segments require considerable memorization and several actors.
  • No programming for tweens and adults.
  • Song CD is somewhat bland, despite the good quality of the songs themselves.
  • Production value of Bible Memory Verse DVD is weak and bland.
  • No extra frills, such as decorations, t-shirts, etc.
  • No online help with registration or social media component.

More resources

Course: How to Run a Vacation Bible School on ChurchNext

Free Subscription: Episcopal Teacher magazine from the CMT

Website: VBS Online (prepare to be inspired to creative greatness)

Matthew Kozlowski (@Rev_Koz) is associate for faith and media in the Center for the Ministry of Teaching at Virginia Theological Seminary and co-curator of Building Faith.

Don't miss a post—subscribe!

1 Comment