VBX: The Inside Story
We are gearing up for one of our most beloved and important missions of the year: VBX! Our pre-prep week a couple weeks ago was a huge success (we had so many helpers, we got done a day early!) but there’s still a lot to do!
We talked to children’s pastors Shelley and Kelly about VBX. Read on to learn about this awesome program and what you can do to help!
What exactly is VBX? What’s this year’s theme?
Shelley: VBX stands for Vacation Bible Xtreme. We call it that instead of Vacation Bible School because who wants to go to school in the summer?!
VBX is a week long adventure where kids experience God’s word in fun and unforgettable ways! Each day from 9am to noon, kids travel to a variety of fun-filled stations where leaders reinforce one simple Bible truth. This makes it super easy for kids to remember and apply to real life!
This year’s theme is Kingdom Rock. Kids will enter an epic adventure that will empower them to stand strong for God. At Kingdom Rock, God’s victorious power isn’t a fairy tale – it changes kids forever from the inside out.
What do you do each day during VBX?
Kelly: Most people don’t know this, but we run basically two VBX’s at the same time. Elementary-age kids and preschool kids stay completely separate throughout the week. We both have an opening, sing songs at Sing and Play Rock, have snacks at the Kings Kitchen, listen to Bible stories at Royal Bible Adventures, create things at Imagination Station, play games at Tournament Games and we end with Fanfare Finale. Keeping the age groups separate like this is more work, but it is so beneficial because we are able to tailor everyone to their level. Fifth graders and 4-year-olds, for example, need completely different approaches to teaching.
As you might guess, this creates a pretty challenge to the workers. We must double our work force in order to achieve this goal. But every year, we have had our church stand behind us through this great effort. Thank you for knowing and understanding the value of teaching kids at a level that is appropriate, fun and interactive for 4 years through 5th grade!
How many kids usually participate?
Shelley: Over the last three years, we’ve averaged 293 kids!
Why is VBX so important?
Kelly: VBX is so important for several reasons. It gives people a great reason to invite friends and neighbors. Plus, VBX is a way for kids to experience God at their level. It captures their attention so Jesus can captivate their hearts. Not only does VBX give kids the opportunity to change their own lives, but it enables the adult workers to grow in their personal relationship with Jesus as well. It also allows us to get to know one another at a deeper level.
What’s your favorite memory from a past VBX?
Shelley: I have so many good memories of VBX…stories about both kids and workers…it’s so hard to pick just one favorite! But I guess if I have to pick just one, it would be the year we had a rambunctious 8-year-old boy attend who had never been to our church before. He was invited by another rambunctious 8-year-old boy who did attend Real Life. As the week progressed, in the midst of all of the rambunctiousness, the truth of God’s love and plan for this little boy came to life in his heart and mind.
By Thursday’s salvation message, he made the decision to become a Christ follower. And at Sunday’s closing program, his parents sat in the audience and watched their rambunctious little boy focused on the song leader praising God with all of his heart, hands raised, smiling from ear to ear, voice raised loud enough to be clearly heard above the rest!
Mom and Dad were so moved by the transformation in their son that they made the decision right then and there to make Real Life Church their families home. They wanted this life change to continue in their child and they wanted to explore it for themselves and the rest of their family. Several months later, we all sat in the audience and watched through tear-filled eyes as this 8-year-old boy, his mom, his dad, and his three sisters were all baptized!
And it all began with an invitation from a rambunctious little boy! The power of invitation is priceless!
What can the Real Life community do to ensure VBX is an awesome experience?
Kelly: Be there! You won’t want to miss out! It draws us together more than any other event throughout the year. You will see God move in amazing ways.
We’re having a meeting for all interested volunteers this Sunday, June 30th, at 1pm. You’ll get all the info you need, plus a sweet shirt. It’s only thirty minutes! And if working with kids isn’t your thing, there are still plenty of opportunities for you. One of the main needs for volunteers at the moment is workers for the closing program BBQ. If you’re interested in volunteering at either the BBQ or for the week of VBX, you can go online and sign up.
If you don’t have time to volunteer, some supplies are still needed. The main supply need is food for the worker tent. If you’re interested in donating toward the worker food tent, there will be a sign up sheet on Sunday.
Finally, if you would like to help subsidize the cost of VBX supplies (crafts, decorations, workers t-shirts, etc.), you can either give online or use a giving envelope on Sunday. VBX is free for the kids, so your contribution can make a big difference!
Come and be a life changer! Be Jesus’s hands and feet!
VBX registration is open, so get signed up today! All kids age 4 years to fifth grade are invited! VBX runs July 8-12 at Real Life Church. If you’re interested in volunteering, please sign up here. Any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.