Why Will VBS 2017 Be Amazing?

operation-arctic-blog-postFBCE’s 2017 VBS is going to be…(wait for it)…Amazing!

In Psalm 119:9, we read these striking words:

How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.

Our kids do not need Iphones, YouTube videos, understanding teachers, or a proper hate of gum smacking to make it in this crazy world. They need the Word of God. God’s Word keeps them from folly, sin, destruction. God’s Word contains all that they (and we) need for life and godliness. It has been rightfully dubbed the most amazing book of all time!

Because God’s Word is so essential to our kids’ well-being, I am excited to announce that this year’s VBS will be dedicated to exploring The Bible. Our kids will learn about how the Bible was made and about its amazing message of salvation. Trust me, you will want your kids to be at FBCE on June 5 at 6:30PM!

What’s Happening  

Our kids will spend the week of June 5-9 (Monday-Friday) exploring God’s Word with the help of a Polar Bear, an Artic Hare, a Musk OX, a Narwhal, and a Husky. All children PreK-8th grade are invited to come explore the Artic Circle with us.

girl-snow-boardingWe encourage parents to drop off their children in the Children’s Ministry Center (CMC) shortly before 6:30PM. By the time your kids finish their nightly exploration, they will have played games, eaten an amazing snack (I’ve peaked; yes we have some really good food on the way), learned new songs, made a creative craft, and heard the gospel clearly proclaimed. Our VBS explorations will end at 8:30PM each night. Children will be picked up in their CMC classroom. If you do not know where their classroom is, check your parent sticker or swing by the CMC welcome desk.

Important Things To Know

We have several exciting changes to reveal this year

1. VBS will go all week, Monday – Friday. VBS begins at 6:30PM and ends at 8:30PM.

2. When you arrive at 6:30PM, come to the Children’s Ministry Center to check-in. Do NOT go to the sanctuary or youth building (station).

3. We will have incredible snacks each night. But we do NOT serve dinner. We encourage kids to eat before they come to VBS.

4. There is no cost to attend. You can buy T-shirts, hats, devotional books, CDs, and other items in the VBS store located in C103. Prices are posted in the room.

5. We will close out our VBS week with a Sunday night Worship Celebration and Ice Cream Party on Sunday, June 11 at 6PM. On Friday night, we will follow our normal week-day-schedule.

For more information visit fbceastman.com  Husky Puppy Red and White

Don’t Sink Your Kids’ Ministry; Plan!

kids planning blogWithout Planning, our kids’ ministry will drift about aimlessly until it runs aground. When parents and various organizations pitch things to us, we will not know which way to steer. Do we go to this camp? Should we have a lock-in? What about the summer? If we have no strategy, we will answer these questions differently every year. Or perhaps an even worse thing will happen.  We will start digging a ministry rut, refusing to change anything. “After all we did it that way last year,” we say.

If we continually flip flop on what we do, we will exasperate the moms and dads in our ministry, losing the very trust we need to cultivate. But if we keep doing the same-old, same-old, we will wake up one day and discover that we our exciting new ministry is showing 20 year-old VHS tapes. Neither is good. And both extremes can easily be avoided with some planning.

First Comes Vision

But to plan well, we must have vision. We must have strategic goals that we are trying to reach. At FBCE my goal is to reach kids with the gospel, to equip parents, and to foster godly relationships through discipleship. Every curriculum I pick, every outing our kids go on, and every camp we attend is chosen because of it helps FBCE reach one of these goals.

For example when I came to FBCE, our kids attended a Winshape Day Camp. The 15 kids who attended loved camp. The last year we went to Winshape, only 3 kids hopped on the church bus. At FBCE, we average around 100 kids in attendance every Sunday morning and Wednesday night. Only three were going to camp. We were not reaching kids with the gospel.  Consequently, I decided that FBCE’s kids’ ministry would stop attending Winshape. In it’s place, we decided to start our own day camp, Connect Camp. Through Connect Camp, we have reached an average of almost 40 kids each year. We have gone from 4 to 40. Ultimately what lead me to make the decision to try something new was my strategic goals. Since Winshape was not helping us accomplish any of our mission,  we let it go. I am not against Winshape. I think it’s amazing. But the camp was not working for the families of FBCE because of logistical reasons. A change had to be made.

Before we can thoughtfully set our calendars, we must have strategic ministry goals that will help us chart our course. And then we must plan.

Then Comes Planning

Yes, it is good to always be flexible. It is good and helpfully to be able to cancel, reschedule, and create new events as needed. We are not God. And all who depend on him, must be humble and must be open to God reworking their plans. As proverbs 19:6 says,

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.

If our plans become so protected that we sin to get them and/or sin to ensure they go happen, we do not have a calendar. We have an idol, and we need to repent of it.

But trusting God does not relief us from the responsibility to plan. Often the only way to implement our strategic goals is to plan months (if not years) in advance. It takes time to mobilize volunteers, to collect resources, and prepare teams. It takes more than one event to reach kids with the gospel, to equip parents, and to foster Christians relationships. It takes years. And we need to plan accordingly. We need to wrestle through our calendars and decided which curriculums, events, and groups will help us advance the gospel in our community.

Today, I am doing many things that I first thought of back in August of 2012 when I first arrived. The ideas have morphed and changed to meet the needs of FBCE. But they would not have happened without intentionally planning and prayer. We as the leaders need to be making hard decisions well in advance so that we can guide our people and our kids. In short, the only way to prevent ministry drift and stagnation is to plan. Whose ready?

VBS 2016: What You Need To Know

Quick Overview:

submerged-blogThis year, FBCE’s VBS is diving down deep into the truths of scripture. All five days, we will be looking at what the gospel has to say about our hearts. All kids, Pre-K – 8th grade, are invited to be a part of this amazing event. To register your kid(s), visit fbceastman.com. VBS will kick off on June 6th and end on June 10. Each night will start with the worship rally at 6:30PM and end with class room discussions at 9PM. If you would like to help with VBS 2016, please contact Peter Witkowski at 478-220-1084. (To help with VBS, you must be a member of FBCE in good standing.) Lastly, all VBS shirts, Cd’s, devotionals, and teacher materials can be purchased in the VBS headquarters located in CMC Room C103. It’s time to get excited!

What’s New:

  1. Preregistration will close on Sunday, June 5, at 1PM. If you don’t preregister, you can still attend VBS. You just need to register the first day you come.
  2. All VBS T-shirts, gear, and resources are located in Children’s Ministry Center in room C103.
  3. The Busses will be running, but only kids age 4-12 will be allowed to ride the bus. All kids are welcome to attend. But kids under 4 or over 12 must find alternative transportation to FBCE.
  4. Instead of having a meal, kids will be served a hearty and fun snack Monday-Thursday.
  5. All preregistered kids (4’s-8th grade) will be dropped off in the sanctuary.Goldfish-01.png
  6. All kids 3 and an under will not go to the worship rally. They will be dropped off in their rooms.
  7. On Friday night, we will just have the VBS celebration. All kids will sit with their
    parents in the sanctuary as we review our amazing week together. Bus kids must be accompanied by an adult to ride the bus on Friday night. The service will be immediately followed by a hotdog dinner complete with ice cream! On Friday, our closing service will start at 6:30. Nursery will be available for those 2 and under.
  8. To serve on the VBS team you must be 14 or older and a FBCE church member in good standing.

Pray:

Please join us in praying for all those helping and for all the kids that are coming.

  1. Pray for safety.
  2. Ask God to give all of our teachers wisdom, patience, and perseverance.
  3. Ask God to bless all who will be teaching with clarity and faithfulness.
  4. Pray that no one will hinder the proclamation of the gospel.
  5. Pray for God to save the lost.