Note: Because this is a perennial VBS, the review has not been updated since it was originally written.
Cost: Free download
God’s Love is Everywhere! can be used as a multi-year VBS program to help children visit a different mission site each day. On the last day of the program the children study their local congregation and its mission and outreach projects. The basic schedule and decorations can be reused each year and added to as needed.
The goal of the Global Ministries VBS is to encourage children to experience the presence of God through a variety of activities and stories. It is also designed for children to recognize church as a welcoming place and to understand that God is present in all places. They are encouraged to learn from the faith of their neighbors in the world.
Considerable work is necessary to plan and prepare each day’s activities. Bible passages are provided for each day, but leaders will have to find a creative way to weave them into the other activities through storytelling or drama, for example. The theology of God’s Love is Everywhere! is focused on God’s presence throughout the world, which is based on the writers’ missionary experiences.
The websites for Global Ministries, as well as Church World Service, have a variety of resources, including missionary letters and videos, which will be helpful in working with all ages.
Age Levels: All ages but would work best with K-5 grade; preschool adaptations are included.
X Scope and sequence for each year
X Timeline/schedule available
X Resources available to expand activities
- The flow of daily activities is flexible and taps into several multiple intelligences.
- Volunteers with no teaching experience will find lessons easy to use.
- Emphasizing the value of neighbors throughout the world would be a positive antidote to negative images of immigrants and refugees.
- This is not an easy to use program; congregations with experience running a VBS are more likely to be successful.
- A rich variety of resources are available, but leaders will need to research and select the best for their situation.
- Biblical foundation is weak.
- Although guidelines for music selections are provided, someone with music experience is needed.
- Little guidance is provided to plan the daily assembly/worship times.
Reviewed by Dorothy Linthicum.