This is not necessarily a story I want to write with my life, but seeing as I do not have that post finished yet, and this just came up the other day, I figured I’d tell y’all about it.
I was talking to Emily Furr Hogan about that summer (I think it was ’98) when we did the BeeGees puppet show for the kids at Vacation Bible School, and Patty Astronaut TP’d the sound booth (naughty Patty). I’m not sure why we were so insistent upon making the theme of VBS that year disco when it was clearly space. I guess we just wanted to have it all. And we did. As the kids were arriving in the morning, we had “Disco Inferno” playing, and when we were put in charge of telling the Bible lesson that day, we worked up a very elaborate puppet show that involved both of us working at least two puppets AND a boom box, which is quite a feat when you’ve only got two hands, and one of them is constantly stuck up in the air. But we did it, complete with “Stayin’ Alive” intro music when each new character arrived on the scene and a duet of “How Deep Is Your Love” with Jesus and Peter center stage and two other disciples singing back-up.
I don’t know if those kids still remember that, but we sure do, so it got us to thinking…we should write Vacation Bible School curriculum! I’m pretty sure all you need is a theme, songs with hand motions to go along with the theme, cheesy videos to go with the theme, Bible stories that can be vaguely related to the theme, and lots of themed…stuff – name tags and cardboard cut-outs and workbooks and stuff.
I think we can do it, and here are my ideas for themes:
- Roaring 20s – The VBS kids would learn to do the Charleston and steer clear of alcohol (like good little Baptists and prohibitionists). They’d also learn about freedom in Christ through the new-found freedom of women in the 20’s to vote, cut their hair short, wear shorter skirts and go to work. Then they’ll learn about how pride comes before a fall when we talk about the stock market crash of ’29. And that brings us to…
- The Great Depression – The kids would learn about the danger of worshiping idols and the certainty of God’s provision. The songs might be a little depressing, but I think the message would be powerful. All lesson materials would be printed on the backs of scraps of last year’s materials.
- Woodstock – Message of the week: Peace and love, kids. That’s what Jesus is all about. Every large group gathering would be held outside in the grass. There would be no videos or mandatory hand motions, just music and free dance time. In craft time, they’d just be encouraged to let the paintbrush do whatever it wants to do (which reminds me of another story I have to tell you later…don’t let me forget).
- DISCO!! – Clearly Emily and I already think this is a great idea. I mean BeeGees songs are already written in an ideal octave for little kid voices to sing them, and we’ve already demonstrated that “How Deep Is Your Love” is the perfect song to teach the reinstatement of Peter. We can talk about eternal life in heaven with “Stayin’ Alive” though we might need to Christianize most of the lyrics (not a problem, I’ve done it before). And we can learn to resist the devil with “I Will Survive.” The church is going to need a complete overhaul for this VBS week, though, with mirror balls, strobe lights and paneled floors that light up when you step on them. But oh my gosh how much fun would recreation time be? We’ll all do the Hustle and other groovy disco moves.
- Awesome 80s – Every day, the kids will make a different piece of their totally tubular 80s attire in craft time. One day it’s a slap bracelet, the next they’re bedazzling a denim jacket, then they’re making some crazy asymmetrical sunglasses (to wear at night), and the next thing you know, they’re all decked out and ready to go to the lake or the high school football game! The theme song for the week is called “Jesus Is Totally Radical.” It’s upbeat and peppy and gets stuck in your head whether you like it or not.
That’s all I’ve got so far. I just think the cowboy and space themes are way played out, and EFH and I are just the gals to bring some fresh new ideas to the table. If you’d like to join us, feel free to share your theme ideas in the comments!