Bringing VBS to your Neighborhood

VBS Reachout

We asked one of our Reachout Churches to share how they brought VBS to their neighborhood in NYC, in order to help others interested in doing the same. Here’s their story:

“We are a small urban church in New York City in a neighborhood of Queens. Ours is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the world, with many different nationalities, cultures and religions represented in a dense urban area. Our church has never owned its own building, but has rented another church’s building for many years for our worship services, as well as a church office in another location. When we wanted to start doing Vacation Bible School, we had to make some significant changes to the full-day VBS model, but we have found that these variations have worked quite well with the Reachout Adventures VBS materials. We have used Reachout Adventures for the last three years in a row to do an evening week-long Vacation Bible Club in a local playground during the summer months. more...

Who is Your Nineveh?

Much like the prophet Jonah, we all have a “Nineveh”—people God is calling us to reach out to in spite of their animosity toward us or toward Him. As our culture continues to rush headlong away from Judeo-Christian values, the church in the US is facing more hostility than ever before, and experiencing the truth of Jesus’ words in very tangible ways: “If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” (John 15:19) more...

A Blessing Sent

VBS Reachout - A Blessing Sent

“I will bless you…” God’s pronouncement to Abraham was the theme of the Advent meditation I read recently from Ann Voskamp’s The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas. Her words were both life-giving and challenging during this month that should be all about quiet hearts anticipating Christ’s advent, but for me is way too often fraught with a frenetic December pace where life feels heavy and undoable. She writes,

 “But the weight of everything melts like thinning snow in the heat of His words: ‘I will bless you.’
…He will bless you—the God of invincible reliability, the God who has infinite resources,
the God who is insistent love.
You can always go ahead and breathe—He will bless.
You can always breathe when you know all is grace. more...

VBS: Standing the True Test of Time


I just completed spearheading a great committee of people as we planned our church’s 75th “diamond jubilee” anniversary celebration. As we pored over the documents about our history, we found ourselves in awe of the ways God in His grace and faithfulness has sustained and built—and continues to build—His Church, and our church in particular. One of the stunning stories is of how one elderly “mystery couple” (no one knows their names) in the 1920’s began praying for the children who were playing in the streets of Seattle on Sunday mornings rather than going to church. They shared their burden with a woman and her daughter, Ida and Gladys Kaiser, who went on to begin a Sunday School ministry that bore tremendous fruit and eventually became a church—our church—that continues to this day. more...

Making VBS Awesome for 5th & 6th Graders

VBS Reachout - Awesome VBS

“I really don’t think we should have a 5th & 6th grade class,” Julia’s new co-Director said. “I’ve been talking with our 5th & 6th graders and they’re saying they don’t want to come to VBS as students—they want to be helpers.”

Sound familiar? Sadly, this is an increasingly common scenario. But Julia (not her real name), who had a different perspective, called our office for her Coach’s advice. After that conversation, she went back to her co-Director and lovingly convinced her that they should go ahead and have the class. more...