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  • Baptist Beacon

VBS Institute training at Ridgecrest

MONROE, MI – Seven Michigan Baptist leaders attended a national Vacation Bible School (VBS) Institute at the Ridgecrest Conference Center on January 5-6, 2018. Along with Southern Baptist Leaders from across the eastern United States, they received training to improve planning and preparation for conducting VBS. Commenting on the event, Megan Line said, “It was a blessing to be surrounded by men and woman at Ridgecrest who not only love VBS but had a passion to make it better, to reach children for the Glory of God! It was great to get pumped up, trained and equipped to teach others how to provide an amazing VBS for their communities!” Another team member, Betty Ward, observed, “I enjoyed being at Ridgecrest and seeing people from other states getting as excited as I am about VBS. It was encouraging to see their willingness to take time out of their busy lives to come and learn and go back to their states to teach others.”

This exceptional training equipped the team to return to Michigan and lead VBS Institutes for our local church leaders across the state. Shar Durbin commented, “VBSI gives a huge boost of excitement and an urgency to prepare for VBS. Although it is in the dead of winter, and VBS will be in the heat of summer, it is not too soon to get our hearts and materials ready. This year's songs are super loaded with Scripture and catchy tunes designed to stay in the hearts of children and leaders for years to come. They are already in mine.”

The Michigan VBS leadership team members, who took this training, come from churches across Michigan. The team includes Shar Durbin, Megan Line, Nickol Mearnic, Carla Saunders, Debbie Turner, Betty Ward and Bob Wood. Michigan VBS Institutes will be held April 29, 2018 at Merriman Road Baptist Church, Garden City and again May 5, 2018 at Bambi Lake Retreat and Conference Center. VBS Institutes are on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. A LifeWay VBS bookstore will be available at both locations. You can contact any of the team members, or call the BSCM office, for VBS information, training or assistance. Register online at

Each VBS Institute starts with a worship / pep rally and includes core leadership workshops for all VBS leaders in the morning. After lunch, which is provided, breakout enrichment workshops are offered. Carla Saunders described from her experience with the breakout, Gospel-centered Children’s Ministry, “We learned the Bible stories we read and teach are truly centered around Christ.” Core leadership workshops will all feature LifeWay’s VBS theme. Most of the breakouts are curriculum-neutral; they are applicable to VBS no matter which curriculum you choose to use. Vacation Bible School continues to be one of the most effective outreach and evangelism tools your church can use. VBS Training enhances your evangelistic effectiveness. Research has shown that on average we baptize one person from VBS for every worker we train for VBS. Receive inspiration and training for your VBS leaders at one of the Michigan VBS Institutes sponsored by the Baptist State Convention of Michigan.



Bob Wood is pastor of Heritage Baptist Church in Monroe, Michigan. He also serves as a VBS consultant for the Baptist State Convention of Michigan. Before coming to Heritage Baptist Church, he served as a state missionary for the BSCM.


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