I’ve been the Children’s Ministries Director for Cornerstone an Evangelical Free Church for almost 8 years. I started in the winter of 2010, when my middle son was 1 and 1/2. I remember when our pastor asked to meet with me when I was outside of the Toddler 1 nursery, and my “interview” happened in the Toddler 2 room. Interview is in quotation marks because he knew that he wanted me to be the new Children’s Ministries Director. He just had to convince me to do it. (It wasn’t hard. I was secretly interested in the job when the former CMD stepped down.)
I ran my first VBS in 2011 when I was “great with child”. My third son was on the way. The theme of the boxed curriculum stood out to me as something unique. But, I was sorely disappointed with the content. Everyday Gospel Truths could have been presented, but they weren’t. It was a very watered-down Gospel.
So, I decided to write the curriculum for the next year. It was 2012, the summer of the Olympics, so of course, that was the theme. I was so proud of it. And now as I look back at it, it needs to be rewritten!
I decided to do a boxed curriculum from a different publisher for the next summer, 2013. My heart sank when it came in the mail. It was HARSH! I had to rewrite so much of it, that I swore that I would never do another boxed curriculum again.
In 2014, I went back to my computer and typed up one of my favorites, “Christmas in August”. It was a wonderful VBS. We had so many kids that year that I convinced everyone that the VBS Morning/Closing Assembly needed to be in the Sanctuary. It was, for sure, tough on our wonderful custodian, but it was so great to welcome everyone into our gathering place of worship. It was exciting to see so many kids! When they went on the platform to sing for the Closing Program on Friday afternoon, it seemed like everyone from our church gasped at the amount of kids. VBS in 2011 had about 60 kids. The numbers were slowly but steadily climbing. This year we had about 100 kids.
This brings 2015. One of my missionary friends had attended a big church in Ohio for a couple of years. They have a team of VBS writers. He asked them if they could send me their VBS curricula. What a gift! We did their Superhero VBS and it was wonderful!
Spiderman and Jesus. Fighting crime together. VBS is a little funny.
Anyway, so I used their structure and wrote another VBS in 2016. This time it was “Growing in God’s Garden”.
It was another wonderful VBS filled with kids and an everyday Gospel Centered curriculum.
My parents’ church, which is about the same size as mine, decided to write their own VBS as well. Their Children’s Ministries Director and I sat down and shared curricula with each other. (As well as praises and frustrations of being a CMD)
So, we used their super curriculum in 2017, Under God’s Big Top.
It’s not a great picture, but as you can see, I went all-out and dressed like the Ringmaster. I even wore false eyelashes everyday!
Their curriculum had a hands-on section after the Bible Lesson. It was good, but lacking in substance (sorry!).
In 2018, I decided to change the structure of my curriculum to fit the structure of the 2017 borrowed curriculum. And “Kids Under Construction VBS” was born.
I would say that this was the best curriculum that I’ve ever written. I guess practice makes perfect! (or at least better…) Everything just flowed when I was preparing it. There are so many Biblical Truths that you can link to building a house! After the Bible Lesson, the kids did a hands-on portion, like the 2017 curriculum. However, each hands-on activity was followed-up with a gospel presentation. So, they heard the Gospel clearly presented twice each day by wonderful, godly teachers.
Now. “Kids Under Construction” is taken already. So, a new name had to be found. It wasn’t easy. Everything that I could think of that wouldn’t change the idea of what the curriculum is about was taken. So, I’m settling with the new name: “God at Work”. It’s okay. If you can think of something catchy that has to do with building a house, please suggest it.
After thinking about publishing my curricula for a few years now, I think people are getting the idea that this is something that I want to do. It was suggested that I try to sell it to Lifeway, but I really don’t want them taking my simple, yet solid VBS, and turning it into a cheesy boxed VBS with all of the cheesy bells and whistles. No, I want to package it as-is. It’s a little rough around the edges because the snacks and games don’t exactly match the theme everyday , but I like it that way. Hopefully others will too. It’s simple, old-fashioned, and full of the Gospel.
I’m going to start my publishing journey with the Eastern District of the EFCA. My church is well regarded because of our wonderful pastor, so hopefully they will give my curriculum a chance. We’ll see where this goes…