Triad Baptist to offer new Family VBS
A year after launching its first home-based staycation VBS — “Faith Lab @ Home” — Triad Baptist’s 27-year VBS tradition returns with a superhero-themed “Heroes at Heart” Family VBS July 18-23.
Featuring three two-night sessions and a special tribute to the church's law enforcement officers, the custom “Heroes at Heart” Family VBS offers the same sights, music, crafts, activities and lessons of Triad’s traditional VBS but with the addition of parents for the first time. At least one parent will need to stay and experience the three Family VBS sites with their children.
Registration for members began June 15 for the three “Heroes at Heart” sessions held nightly from 6:30 to 8:45 p.m. Space is still available to members or the public for Pods B and C:
- Pod A: Sunday and Monday nights (July 18-19)
- Pod B: Tuesday and Wednesday nights (July 20-21)
- Pod C: Thursday and Friday nights (July 22-23)
“For 25 years up through 2019 it was full speed ahead but when the pandemic hit in early 2020 our only real option was to go virtual,” said Tim Gerber, executive pastor for children and ministries.
“As the COVID restrictions started to ease, we knew wanted to offer an in-person experience this summer but the challenge was always projecting during planning what could be done under the guidelines months later,” he said.
Gerber said the ‘Heroes at Heart’ concept — a two-night VBS offered multiple times to limit the number of participants and create opportunities for distancing — was the solution. (See his embedded video below for more on the upcoming program.)
“In addition to limiting the number of participants with each of our three two-night sessions, we’ll also be upgrading to larger open spaces such as our main Worship Center,” he said. “We want to be thoughtful and careful in everything we do and are excited about what God will do through ‘Heroes at Heart’ and this important ministry milestone and return to normalcy.”
Gerber said the Family VBS concept — a first for Triad — grew out of the family-focused Faith Lab @ Home and rave reviews from parents and children alike.
“The one thing about Faith Lab @ Home that I really liked from our Staycation VBS in 2020 were all the family projects so we made ‘Heroes at Heart’ a Family VBS so families could continue to experience the program together,” he said.
Song to theme
Like the parental involvement, the theme of “Heroes at Heart” taps a popular feature of Triad VBS lore — the “Superhero” song children would sing each Thursday during VBS week.
“We’d talked for years about doing a VBS with our own superhero theme and ‘Heroes at Heart’ is a manifestation of that,” Gerber said. “Superheroes are certainly as popular as ever but there’s a big difference between the make-believe powers that comic-book and movie heroes have and the very real power we can access through faith in Jesus Christ.”
While she leads music for Gerber each Sunday on the Kids Street Worship Center stage, Audra Locklear will lead Family VBS worship music for the first time. She’ll be following longtime VBS song worship leader Lorraine Moore and plans a seven-song set with a new worship song, and a VBS first — motion leaders.
“Initially, I accepted this huge task back in January 2020 and was set and working on the 2020 VBS development team, and then we all know what happened: COVID,” Locklear said. “Plans for that VBS were saved in a file for a future date which brings us to now.
“The 2021 ‘Heroes at Heart’ Family VBS is jam-packed with Biblical-based songs and content sure to touch the inner superhero that lives in us through our Savior Jesus Christ. I know how important VBS myself because it was at a VBS back in 1985 that I accepted Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior!
“VBS allows the children (and their families this year) to have a focused experience on developing their love of Jesus and receive Biblical direction as to how to live out this love in their life.”
Along with a new video format for the theme song, Locklear said “Heroes at Heart” will give children the unique opportunity to serve onstage with her as motion leaders.
“This is something that we do every Sunday in worship at Kids Street and we wanted to bring that element into the VBS experience,” she said. “Service as motion leaders will provide a level of involvement for our children and a way for them to live out the love that they have for Jesus right now!”
Children’s Ministry Assistant Jeff Chandler is leading the teaching portion of “Heroes at Heart” whose big idea comes from 1 John 4(b): “Greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world.” He said Triad’s Family VBS is all about the hero that we have in Jesus and the hero that we can be through Jesus.
“The format for this two-night experience is very straightforward,” Chandler said. “On the first night, we’ll present the gospel in a clear and understandable way. Then, on the second night, we’ll share how the same power that resurrected Christ now lives within us and gives us the power to be all He created and called us to be.
“In the world our kids live in now, there are so many voices telling them they have little to no value,” Chandler said. “A member in my Connect Group once said, ‘To my kids, I want my voice to ring out louder than all the negative voices in the crowd,’ which reminded me of the Casting Crowns song, ‘Voice of Truth,’ and its chorus that begins with the words, ‘But the Voice of Truth tells me a different story.’
“In our two-night experience, we have a different story to tell, and that is one of a superhero, Jesus Christ, who leaves within us a very unique superhero power when we accept Him in faith!”