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Let’s Get Ready For VBS Part 2

Developing your Theme

You’ve chosen the message you want to get across to your children through your VBS this summer. Now what?

All VBS programs have a theme which helps drive the message across to the children. . It might be a unique setting such as Lifeway’s Big Apple Adventure. This adventure is set in a New York City taxicab, racing around the Big Apple  to promote their message “Where faith and life connect.” Or Concordia’s Big Jungle Adventure which takes place in a jungle and helps the kids to understand that they’re “never alone on their faith journey with Jesus.”

Others use an activity as their theme like Cokesbuty’s Shake it up Cafe  which takes place in a restaurant style kitchen and deals with “carrying out God’s recipe.” The Go Fish Guys are spicing up old hymns this year with their Kickin’ It Old School theme which centers around a hip-hop concert setting.

Wow just thinking about those themes gets my creative juices flowing. Without even reading their materials, I could plan a whole program. There’s so much you can do with those ideas!

Are you beginning to get the picture? The theme s your visual set which coordinates with your message to make the VBS experience memorable.

So sit down and get out  some paper to develop your theme. For an example, let’s use the Salvation message from the last post. You might be planning to teach the Roman Road to Salvation ( A series of scriptures from the book of Romans which explain the concepts of salvation.)

Wow, right away I can envision an old Roman coliseum or a road leading to Rome. You could have teachers dressed like soldiers or gladiators and posters of horses and chariots on display. You might even have a special room like the catacombs where they hear their Bible stories related to the Romans Road message or share missionary stories of persecuted Christians.

Jungle settings or gold mines lend themselves to  messages about finding bible treasures. Or  settings like a Bible home, an old western town or a beach might be used to promote the message of Christian living. For one of our VBS events, we designed a wacky mad scientist’s lab to teach about God’s wonderful world. And For another VBS we created a time travel machine to revisit the stories during Daniel’s time.

Other themes might be: Old West, a Circus, a medieval castle, a lighthouse, a carnival outer space, or any other such theme. Developing your theme/setting is one of the most fun parts of the planning process so let your imaginations go. The sky’s the limit!

Sometimes your theme will help determine your message. We’ve planned VBS events where we wanted to develop a certain setting. We had all kinds of theme ideas in place even before we knew which Bible lessons we would teach. We tailored the messages to fit the theme. Whichever way works for you. there’s no hard and fast rules.

The theme will  help you develop your program. Everything from the snacks to the games to the stories and memory verses will gel together with the theme helping you to create a memorable learning  experience for the kids.

Step two: Decide on a theme/setting


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