VBS Video and Stories from Midtown and New Albany!

Our Proof Pirates Vacation Bible School wrapped up this past Friday. Thank you so much for praying for our team this past week. God showed up at VBS this week! Here are a few highlights to celebrate from Sojourn’s Midtown and New Albany campuses.

By the numbers…

  • At Midtown, there were a total of 194 kids registered, and at New Albany there were as many as 91. Across four campuses, our high attendance was 761 kids! 
  •  Nearly 70 people served every day at Midtown, and across the campuses there were well over 300 volunteers in all serving!
  • Kids at Midtown collected 833 school supply items for the Meyzeek MS School Back to School Jam! The New Albany missions offering went to the Grace Center for Women and Families in the Horn of Africa.

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Stories…

  • An older couple at our campus had their first experience in Sojourn Kids during VBS and were such a blessing to us all! They are going to join our Sunday Service team as Preschool or Elementary teachers. In a conversation with them today, they let me know how much they were blessed by VBS. They loved spending time with the kids, getting to know other people at the campus and feeling more like a part of our community. We had an amazing number of volunteers- almost as many volunteers as kids the first night! I am so thankful for the way VBS brought our community together!–New Albany Kids Director, Milli Coverdale
  • My 4 year old, Gracie, attended VBS this week and absolutely loved it.  All week she had a lot of questions about being alive in Christ and dead in sin, forgiveness, Jesus dying on the cross, etc. Last night in the bath we were talking about her salvation and she proudly proclaimed she wanted Jesus to come into her heart! We were so excited as we watched her take a big leap into her faith and proudly call all of her grandparents, aunt and uncles and cousins to tell them that she invited Jesus into her heart! —Parents who just moved to Louisville and first came to Sojourn two weeks ago.
  • One of the 1st/2nd grade girls talked with me after the Resurrecting Grace Bible study. She asked why we still sin even though we have been resurrected from our sinful/dead state. I was able to share with her that the power of sin has been defeated and we are now able to have a relationship with Jesus. I thought it was a very mature question, and encouraged me that she was listening and working through how the Gospel applies to her life. We also had 10-12 teenagers from S2 serving all week. They ran powerpoint, did hand motions on stage, helped with cleanup daily, served in the Nursery, and ate lots and lots of teacher snacks. It was our first year at Midtown with that many teens serving, and it was a joy. —Midtown S2 Director, Henry Williams
  • I asked Tula & Luca what was the most important thing they learned from VBSTula: planned grace, resurrecting grace, outrageous grace, overcoming grace and forever grace. And she also really liked the games. Luca: “the best part was it was cool. Singing was my best part”—Sojourn Facilities Director, Sean Fawbush
  • There was a 5th grade girl at VBS from Alaska who had never been part of a church community before. She is staying with her grandparents in Old Louisville this Summer. She has had so much fun! I don’t know that she totally gets it yet, but it was great to see they joy she had being part of a community like this —SojournKids Volunteer, Michael Bellucci

I’m so grateful for what God has done! Be sure to tell the VBS team thank you in the comments below. Share your stories about VBS here as well.

Revival Under Zerubbabel (Kids in Community for July 20th)

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Download the free Revival series devotional here!

Applying God’s Word with your Kids in your Community Group

  • Read Haggai 1:2-8 together
  • Why do you love your bedroom so much? What makes it comfortable?
  • What was wrong with the house of the Lord at this time?
  • Why should we live thinking about what’s best for all of God’s family?
  • Invite a child to pray and then conclude by thanking God for the church.

Family Devotions at Home

  • Read Haggai 1 together.
  • Play a game with the kids. Give them each a brown paper bag with the bottom cut out and put treats inside. As the kids pick up the treats to put them in the bag, they will fall out the other side.
  • Ask: What does God teach us in verse 6?
  • How might God want you to serve your church family more?
  • Parents: Share one simple truth with your kids about how God is inviting you to reach people with the gospel and serve the church more effectively.
  • Pray together for the mission of Sojourn

VBS Video and Stories from East and J-town

Our Proof Pirates Vacation Bible School wrapped up this past Friday. Thank you so much for praying for our team this past week. God showed up at VBS this week! Here are a few highlights to celebrate from Sojourn’s East and J-town campuses. Stories from Midtown and New Albany are coming tomorrow.

Sojourn J-Town – 2014 VBS Recap from Hatfield Media on Vimeo.

By the numbers…

  • At East, there was a high attendance of 242 kids. And at J-town, there were as many as 271 kids! Across four campuses, our high attendance was 761 kids! 
  • Nearly 70 people served every day at East, and nearly 80 served each day at J-town. Across the campuses there were well over 300 volunteers in all serving!
  • Kids at East collected $645.00 for the Westport TAPP School, and the kids at J-town collected $540.00 for the Tully Elementary School FCA! 

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Stories…

  • My kid said she wished VBS lasted until midnight and wanted to do it again in the fall. My neighbor’s kid expressed excitement about returning the next day, even asking for a Bible on his way home. –From a Sojourn East member
  • I had a kindergartener start a discussion about what a pastor is. She got connected via a yard sale we hosted a few weeks back. It was great seeing her make friends and singing so enthusiastically.–From a Sojourn East member
  • I just want to thank you so much for making it possible for Toby to attend VBS and feel accepted by his peers. We look forward to your VBS every year and this year Toby just blossomed being with his peers. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, thank you”–From a mom of a child with special needs at J-town
  • It seems like VBS has made my child more sensitive to the gospel this week. His repentance and asking for forgiveness has seemed more sincere and less dependent upon us telling him what to do.  I think that the visuals were helpful in explaining things to him (the new heart lockets, skeleton to a new heart guy, etc.).–From a Sojourn East member
  • This is week has been amazing. We have been going to Sojourn for a year and have loved it the whole time, but it was this week serving together at VBS where I really felt for the first time like this IS my church! This is my family! And my daughters who are also serving said the same thing. It is emotional for me. It has been such a blessing to get to be a part of something like this and serve together as family and as a  part of a the Sojourn family.”From a J-town VBS Servant

I’m so grateful for what God has done! Be sure to tell the VBS team thank you in the comments below. Share your stories about VBS here as well.

VBS Day 5: Forever Grace!

VBS – How long is forever?.mov from Sojourn/The 930 Art Center on Vimeo.

“When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance.” Ephesians 1:13b-14a

Our Bible verse for today calls the Holy Spirit a seal. Because of the Holy Spirit, God’s people are safe and secure. We are marked as his children forever. God protects his children so they can never be lost. God always finishes the work he begins in us. Even though life is sometimes like sailing through a stormy sea, God is with us, and he protects us. He brings us back to him like a boat that has been guided safely to shore.

Work it out: Lost on a desert island.

Set aside an area in your living room or outside to serve as the “deserted island.” If you still have the pirate ship you made from the “Planned Grace” devotional, have the kids hop in. If not, that’s okay! Just have them pretend to sail around. Fill the “deserted island” with some of a pirate’s favorite snacks–gold fish crackers or fish sticks work great! Once your pirates have had enough sailing, pretend that their ship wrecks on the island. Let them enjoy their snacks and once they’re done, read the verses below.

Read it:

Read John 10:27-30. As your kids are eating, ask them what they would do if they were really stuck on a deserted island. ask them what they would do if they ran out of food and had now way to call for help. Tell them that God’s love never leaves them deserted. Tell them that God’s lvoe holds onto them and keeps them forever.

Talk about it:

  • How long is forever? What lasts forever? God and his love last forever! Heaven is forever! All of God’s people will live forever in God’s kingdom! 
  • How do you know that God loves you? Take this time to review the message of God’s grace.

Hide it in your heart:

Memorize this definition, question and answer, and the accompanying Bible verse.

Forever Grace: God’s people never drift away from his love.

Q&A: How do I know that I belong to God? We can’t reach God, but he reaches us.

“When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance.” Ephesians 1:13b-14a

Pray:

God, thank you for finishing the work you began in me. Your love never fails. Amen.

VBS Day 4: Overcoming Grace!

VBS – What do pirates say?.mov from Sojourn/The 930 Art Center on Vimeo.

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” John 10:27

The more we hear about the goodness and greatness of salvation in Jesus, the more irresistible he becomes. Though we are disobedient sinners who run away from God, he has come near to us. When our eyes are opened and we begin to understand how amazing God’s grace is, we do not want to rebel any longer.

Work it out: Hunt for hidden gold coins!

Buy some candy gold coins from the store and hide them in your living room or outside. Make sure to hide at least one coin where you can reach it but your children cannot. Let them hunt and have fun for a while and then ask why they don’t grab that one coin. When they realize they are unable to reach it on their own, reach up and grab it for them. You can say, “Just like the coins that you can’t reach, there are times when obeying is something you can’t reach. Just like I reached for the coins for you, God does for us what we can’t do for ourselves.”

Read it:

Read Acts 9:1-22 to your kids. Explain that God finds us. Saul wasn’t looking for Jesus. He was looking to hurt Jesus’ people, but Jesus found him.

Talk about it:

  • Did you enjoy looking for the hidden coins?
  • What did you feel like when you couldn’t reach the one coin and needed help?
  • Have you ever had a time that you wanted to change your mind but you couldn’t
  • Have you ever changed your mind because of overcoming love?
  • Parents: Tell your kids about a time you weren’t excited about doing something, but overcoming lvoe changed your mind. For example, you could tell about a time when you didn’t want to go out with your kids, but because you love your kids (or because you really love ice cream), you decided you would go out and get ice cream.

Hide it in your heart:

Memorize this definition, question and answer, and the accompanying Bible verse.

Overcoming Grace: God changes our rebellion into surrender.

Q&A: Who will come to God? We can’t reach God, but he reaches us.

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” John 10:27

Pray:

Father, change my heart when I want to do wrong. Give me an overcoming love for you.

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