The theme is based on 2 Timothy 1:7: "For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love and sound judgment" (HCSB).
"Professions of faith made during Vacation Bible School consistently equal about 25 percent of the number of baptisms in the Southern Baptist Convention," said Jerry Wooley, VBS specialist for LifeWay Christian Resources.
Nearly 3 million children, youth and adults register for VBS at 25,000-plus churches each year, which report nearly 90,000 professions of faith in Christ.
In the 2013 VBS theme park world, participants will be challenged to trust God for the spirit of power, love and sound judgment for any fearfulness that may come from changing the familiar to the unfamiliar, speaking up when it"s the right thing to do or making the ultimate decision to follow Jesus and trust Him as Savior.
"They have a lot to be afraid of these days, but we want them to learn that whatever it is that scares them, they can trust God to be with them and help them be brave," Wooley said.
"We have had great confirmation from children"s ministers about next year"s theme," Wooley added. "They have said this theme will appeal to kids whether they"ve visited an amusement park or not."
The rotation sites for VBS will reflect the theme park theme:
-- Main Gate (worship rally)
-- Coaster Alley (Bible study)
-- Scissors & Stuff Emporium (crafts)
-- Tune Town (music)
-- Global Expo (missions)
-- Adrenaline Zone (recreation)
-- Cotton Candy Café (snacks)
Daily themes, each of which relate to the apostle Paul and how he faced his fears, will be:
-- Dare to Change -- I can trust God and obey Him without fear.
-- Dare to Speak Up -- I can trust God to help me speak boldly about Him.
-- Dare to Believe -- I can trust God"s plan of salvation and share His love with others.
-- Dare to Stand Strong -- I can trust God to help me have self-control and honor Him with my actions.
-- Dare to Trust -- I can trust God to give me the power to face my fears no matter what comes next.
Wooley said the year-in-advance announcement is in response to local VBS directors who want to announce next year"s theme at the end of this year"s VBS week.
"VBS leaders are on such a high note at the end of the week that being able to unveil the next theme builds excitement," Wooley said. "The first two weeks of June are by far the biggest VBS weeks, so by announcing June 4, they get to share that piece of good news."
For more information, visit LifeWay.com/VBS and Facebook.com/LifeWayVBS.
Polly House writes for LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Copyright (c) 2012 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press www.BPNews.net