This summer, LifeWay’s VBS will let you get up close and personal with elephants and egrets, polar bears and penguins, cockatoos and crocodiles, and so much more! That’s right, VBS is going In the Wild! Grab your favorite camera and buckle your seatbelt for a wild ride into seven animal-covered settings:
As you experience each natural habitat, you may catch a glimpse of the tip of a tail or a flash of color racing through the terrain. There’s nothing quite as thrilling as encountering an animal up close. But what we really hope is that kids will have an even greater thrill when they encounter Jesus in Scripture!
During VBS, kids will focus on some amazing, real-life encounters with Jesus. Each encounter is like a snapshot—it’s a specific moment in time captured on the pages of Scripture. And when put together, these isolated encounters reveal the most amazing truth of all—Jesus Christ is the Messiah, the Son of God, and by believing we can have life in His name.
Let’s take a look at the snapshots of Jesus we’ll zoom in on during VBS!
Day 1: Encounter at the Temple
In this encounter, Jesus is a child not much older than the ones we’ll teach in VBS. This is the story of 12-year-old Jesus staying behind at the temple after his family had left to return home. His parents found Him three days later sitting with the teachers and asking such insightful questions that it amazed these teachers who had been studying the Scriptures all of their lives. Jesus asked His mother, “Why were you looking for me? Didn’t you know I would be in my Father’s house?” Even at this young age, Jesus knew He was God’s Son.
Day 2: Encounter at the River
In this snapshot, Jesus is a grown man and ready to launch His earthly ministry. Jesus went down to the river to be baptized by John the Baptist. When John saw Jesus coming, he announced to the people, “This is the One I told you about! Jesus is the One who takes away the sin of the world!”
As Jesus came up out of the water after being baptized, the heavens opened up and the Holy Spirit came down from heaven like a dove. God’s voice said, “This is My Son whom I love Him, and I am very pleased with Him.” What an amazing thing to hear God’s own voice declaring that Jesus is His Son!
Day 3: Encounter on the Water
This is the story of Jesus walking on top of the water toward the disciples’ boat. As soon as He climbed inside, the wind stopped and the waves were calm. The disciples witnessed that not only could Jesus walk on water, but He also could control the wind and the waves. They immediately fell to their knees and worshiped Jesus and said, “Truly, You are the Son of God!” Now that’s an incredible encounter!
Day 4: Encounter at the Tomb
One of the most radical encounters in history took place at Jesus’ tomb. Three days after Jesus been crucified and buried, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found the stone rolled away. She ran to find Peter and John, who examined the tomb and found it empty. As Mary stood alone crying, someone called her name. It was Jesus! Now this was the ultimate amazing encounter! Mary ran back to tell the disciples, “I have seen Jesus! He is alive!”
Day 5: Encounter on the Road
Two men were walking along the road to Emmaus when Jesus joined them, but they didn’t know it was Jesus. As they walked, they told Him about the things that had happened in Jerusalem over the past few days. And then Jesus began to explain to them that everything that had happened was exactly what the prophets had said would happen to the Messiah. Jesus went all the way back to the writings of Moses and began to explain how the Scriptures prove that Jesus is who He said He is.
Once the men finally realized that it was Jesus who had walked with them and been their dinner guest, they ran back to Jerusalem to find the other disciples and to tell them that they had seen Jesus alive with their own eyes.
Each of these is an incredible, life-changing encounter with Jesus. Every snapshot of Jesus’ life provides us with an opportunity to respond to the gospel. At In the Wild VBS, kids will have the opportunity to experience an up-close and personal encounter of their own with Jesus. And that, of course, begins the adventure of a lifetime!