First Person: As a veteran VBS director, training is still valuable

By Deb Jones, Photos by N. John Keller | Feb 21, 2023

Jeanna Hodges leads conference participants in singing and motions for the VBS music.

“I’m So Glad I Came to Bible School” and “Yes to VBS!” These songs, as well as “Onward Christian Soldiers,” from my early Bible School years bring back great memories when I hear them.

On Saturday, Feb. 11, the State Vacation Bible School Directors’ Training was held at Royal Palms Baptist Church in Phoenix. Kelcey Fry, state VBS team leader, and his team presented sessions on discovering your why, music, recruiting, safety, follow-up strategies and more. Ideas for crafts, decorating and snacks were available to enjoy.

I am a veteran VBS director, but attending the training each year renews my enthusiasm by reviewing best practices, learning something new, seeing old friends and meeting new friends.

I had the opportunity to do just that as we were introduced to “Twists & Turns,” Lifeway’s VBS theme for 2023. Old school games, like Candy Land and Barrel of Monkeys, to the newest generation of video games will be used for decorations and snack inspirations.

Kelcey Fry teaches at the VBS Directors’ Conference.

Why do we do VBS? That is the BIG question.

We know that 78% of churches use VBS as their largest outreach event of the year, and 64% use VBS as a discipleship tool.

Training for VBS is vital. Statistics show that for each one trained, one will come to new life in Jesus Christ. Jesus is our why!

Mvmnt Christian Bookstore was on site at the conference with materials ready for purchase.

Two churches received their entire curriculum — babies through grade 6 — for free. Congratulations to Stan and Betty Mah from Northwest Chinese Baptist Church in Phoenix and to Carlos and Fanny Molina from First Southern Baptist Church of Tucson.

The State VBS Conference, open to all who are planning to serve in VBS at their church, will be held Saturday, April 1, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., at Royal Palms Baptist Church in Phoenix. Register here.

Deb Jones, a member of West Valley International Church in Glendale, is a veteran VBS director.

Stella and Olivia Frasca, freelance photographers, are members of Mission Valley Church in Phoenix.

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