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For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, you are God's building.
According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder
I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take
heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that
which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

I Corinthians 3:9-11
Vacation Bible School
Building Up God's House

The "Building Up God's House" VBS series is available in both KJV and NKJV. Download the KJV or the NKJV. (Warning: 26MB download! You will need a high-speed Internet connection.) Samples of workbooks and manuals below are in the NKJV.

This VBS schedule is structured like a mini-Bible camp. Materials are presented in the suggested order of events. The ordering has singing and Bible study first. Afterwards, the focus shifts to other coordinated activities for the children, including games, crafts, and a skit. These latter activities may easily be omitted if you prefer to have a more traditional VBS structure and desire to only have singing and Bible class. A sample one-day VBS schedule is:

8:00am - 9:00amSet up and Registration
9:00am - 9:05amWelcome
9:05am - 9:30amWorship Time: opening prayer, singing
9:30am - 10:30amClassroom Time (includes snacks)
10:30am - 11:00am Crafts for 2-5 year olds, Grades 1-2
Games for Grades 3-6
7-10 grades to assist with each
11:00am - 11:30am Games for 2-5 year olds, Grades 1-2
Crafts for Grades 3-6
7-10 grades to assist with each
11:30am - 12:00pm Skit, knowledge drill, issue certificates, closing prayer
12:00pm - 1:00pmCleanup

It is suggested that you pre-register attendees to find out approximately how many children are coming. You will want to collect names, ages, and t-shirt sizes, if you are providing t-shirts. You will also want to collect information on any special dietary requirements (e.g., peanut allergies) so that appropriate snacks, if any, can be provided. This information will help you determine how many books of each grade level to print and bind and the quantities of other items that you will need to acquire.

Classrooms may be decorated with the included posters. There are also signs for the entry way and the registration table. A registration table may be made out of two saw horses and a sheet of plywood. A roll of yellow construction zone tape may be used to make streamers and to "X" out windows and unused doors. ABC Safety and other companies sell a wide varietyh of construction tape online.


Click to view larger image
If desired, custom t-shirts can be made to your own design at any local t-shirt shop. CustomInk has an online design lab where you can design your own t-shirts. They do an excellent job for a reasonable price. Use the pre-registration information for ordering purposes. You may wish to acquire 1-2 extra of each shirt size for last minute visitors, which is bound to happen.

Pre-prepared brown paper snack bags work well for snack time, as these may be taken to the classrooms ahead of time so that the teacher can determine the best time for snacks based on the age of the children. When the children are done, they can be taught to put their trash back in the paper sack and throw it away. Be sure to include drink boxes or bags as the children will get thirsty!

Registration Table
Use your imagination in setting up your registration area. An example registration table is shown to the left.

As the children arrive, explain that they will be learning to help build God's house. Give each child a name tag. You may use these Name Tags if you wish. They are set up for printing on Avery name tag forms.

If t-shirts are used, these can be provided at this time so that all the children can wear their VBS t-shirts during the day's activities.

You may wish to begin with an assembly of all the children in the auditorium. During this time, the subject can be introduced.

This is a good time for singing. The song, "Building up the Temple", would be ideal for this VBS theme.
Building up the Temple of the Lord
Building up the temple,
Building up the temple.
Building up the temple of the Lord.
Oh, brother, won't you help me?
Oh, sister, won't you help me?

Building up the temple of the Lord.
It's so HIGH, you can't get over it,
It's so LOW, you can't get under it,
It's so WIDE, you can't around it,
You MUST go in at the DOOR.

Bible Classes
Student materials and a Teacher's manual are available for each of the following age groups:
These materials may be printed and bound at any print shop such as Kinko's, Staples, or Office Depot. Alternatively, you can print and bind them yourself using a color laser printer and a PVC binding system. Manual and workbook pages are set up for double-sided printing. You will want to use a medium weight paper so that the images do not show through to the other side. It is not recommended to use a high gloss photo paper nor an ink jet printer. The children will need to write in the books. Ink jet ink will smear from the natural moisture on children's hands, and high gloss photo paper is not good for writing.

Photos of the finished product using the home binding solution described are to the right.

Related Crafts
After all the hard play, the children will want to cool down. This is a great time for crafts. Good crafts for this theme include decorating wooden toolboxes and carpenter's aprons. Information on how to make toolboxes is freely available on the Internet. Freeww.com has pointers to several sets of free plans. It is suggested that several of the men build and paint the toolboxes with a base coat of white paint before the event. These stickers may be optionally printed, affixed to the toolboxes, and covered with shellack. The children will have fun decorating them with sponge paints, stickers, and ink stamps. If large enough, the toolboxes can be used to hold magazines or serve as a permanent place for the children to keep their Bibles and class books in their bedrooms at home.
Canvas tool aprons can be acquired from Oriental Trading Company online. These iron-ons may be printed and ironed on in advance by the women. Aprons may be decorated by the children using fabric and sponge paints and markers. Aprons may be made by the younger children while toolboxes may be made by the older children. Alternatively, if time permits, children can do both.

A simple craft idea would be to have the children make "lively stones". About.com has a good set of instructions for making pet rocks that look like people. The rocks can be made as elaborately or simply as desired. Mount the rocks on a board with the enscription, "Building up God's house one soul at a time."

A coordinated skit may be performed using puppets or actors. It is suggested that the older children be allowed to be the puppeteers or actors. The children will need to practice reading clearly, loudly and slowly. A microphone may be necessary. The skit text may be found here.

Closing Ceremony
Attendance certificates may be given out during the closing ceremony. Certificates may be printed using this Power Point form. Insert the name of your congregation, the year, and the date using the slide master feature of Power Point ("View->Master->Slide_Master"). When done, close the slide master. A certificate can be created for each child in advance by typing his or her name on the form. Remove the default name text to create blank certificates that can be filled out at VBS.
Optional plastic construction hats can be handed out with the certificates. These may be purchased online from the Oriental Trading Company and personalized for VBS.

Download the full KJV or the NKJV package.

Want to see photos of the Building God's House VBS in action? Click Here!

Did you know the Bible says we can know we are saved? Learn more here.

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