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Make plans now to attend a VBS clinic
By Kay Harms
While many Arizona Southern Baptist churches are still following up on decisions made during Vacation Bible School this past summer, it's not too early to put VBS training events for summer 2014 on your calendar, according to Cheri Dempsey, who serves as Arizona Southern Baptist Convention's VBS training coordinator.
At the annual regional clinics, church VBS leaders and teachers will have the opportunity to explore the 2014 LifeWay curriculum: Agency D3: Discover. Decide. Defend.
"D3 is an investigative agency organized to discover if Jesus is really who He claims to be and if the Bible is true," said Jerry Wooley, LifeWay's VBS specialist. For the first time ever, the LifeWay curriculum uses both an evangelistic and an apologetics approach to teaching kids the facts about Jesus.
Agency D3 capitalizes on children's interest in and proficiency with technology. Using their best "high-tech operative skills," participants will examine eyewitness reports, physical proof and biblical accounts to uncover and defend the truth about who Jesus really is. As the children collect evidence throughout the VBS week, they will discover the truth of the gospel, hopefully decide to believe it, and then be equipped to defend that decision.
"Kids not only need to know the Bible is true and that Jesus is God's one and only Son," commented Wooley, "but they need to know how to defend what they believe when someone asks them why they believe it." Thus, this year's VBS material is expected to provide opportunities for sharing the gospel with children, but also discipling those who are more familiar with the Bible already.
Arizona VBS training events are scheduled for March 8, in the East Valley; March 15, at First Southern, Tucson; April 5, at First Southern, Avondale; April 12, at First Baptist, Show Low; and April 26, at Morningside, Yuma.
The training clinics are free to attendees and will provide instruction in planning, publicizing, teaching, evangelism and follow-up, among other topics. VBS directors are encouraged to bring anyone who is interested in working in their church's VBS program in any capacity.
"The clinics provide excitement and enthusiasm for teachers to take back to their churches and communities so they can help kids encounter God in marvelous ways," said Dempsey. "And the more prepared and trained VBS teachers are in the curriculum, the more likely they are to share the gospel with the children with confidence and courage."
For more information about the Arizona regional VBS clinics, contact Cheri Dempsey at firstname.lastname@example.org.