VBX is one of the weeks that I look forward to the most every year. I’m a youth pastor, but I absolutely love VBX with the upcoming 5th & 6th graders. I’ve even flown home from a high school mission trip and left it to my leaders so that I could do VBX. So I’m telling you…I love it! Why do I love it so much? Let me just try to explain to you the awesomeness of the week: the competition, the excitement, the attendance, the Scripture memorization, the friends brought, the decisions, the salvations, and the spiritual growth! (More downloads for VBX are at the bottom of this post)
When is VBX?
VBX is run during the same time as your VBS.
What is VBX?
VBX is VBS for the two oldest grades who would normally go to VBX. For us, VBX is for those kids going into 5th and 6th grades. VBX is a high energy week that is filled with competition, fun, and deep Bible study. As you play your VBX, you want to prepare for about 7-8 students per team. We normally have 6 teams with 2 teenage team leaders and about 7-8 kids per team. We pick great teen leaders from our youth ministry, prep, train, and equip them to be the best team leaders possible for their VBX team through the week. We like to have all-boy and all-girl teams. The way the competition works out, its anybody’s game and chance to win. Our teams compete through the week by saying Bible verses, bringing Bibles, bringing first-timer-friends, playing games, and getting loud. The winning team of the week is given a gift card to a local restaurant, iTunes, or something like that. This year for us it was a $10 gift card each to Sonic Drive-In.
We have seen across the country that the older kids get, the less they want to go to VBS. Usually the oldest two grades in VBS are the least attended. We’ve also seen that if you do your VBX right, it can be the highest attended portion of your VBX!
Who is VBX for?
VBX can be for whoever you want it to be. I’ve seen youth pastors do VBX for their youth ministry during VBS week, I’ve seen VBX for middle school, but again we do our VBX for our oldest two grades in VBS: going into 5th and 6th grades.
Where do you do VBX?
I would highly suggest you run your VBX ministry in the best venue your church has. For us, it is our student ministry building. The children’s ministry rarely gets to be in there for anything, so we love to amp up the excitement with the best environment we can possibly offer them that week.
How do you do VBX?
The best way to explain how to do VBX is by showing you the schedule:
9:00 – 9:30 Opening Ceremony in Main Sanctuary.
We like to start VBX out every day with the rest of VBX so that they know they are apart of something bigger than themselves. This shows them that they are the big kids and the leaders of VBS. This also gives them an opportunity to be a part of the VBS songs with motions, the missions offering, etc.
9:30 – 9:35 Transition to VBX Building (9:30-9:35 Countdown)
After the opening rally, VBX would then walk over to their venue. We always have the music bumping, the haze pumping, and the lights going, when the VBXers enter so they know its going to be a high energy day. As we start our countdown timer, they find their team circles, learn each others names, get face painted, and get excited about their team winning for the day.
9:35 – 9:40 Announcements and Candy Throw
This right here will set the tone for the day. It always works. We throw announcement slides on the screen with the schedule of the day (one slide each). The team who reads and screams the slide the loudest gets points and I throw a couple handfuls of candy to their circle. This is a great way to build excitement about what’s coming up next during the day. (Announcement slide powerpoint attached)
9:50 – 10:05 Team Time
Team time is the part of your day that pulls your team together and gets them focussed. We love to start out Team Time with a crazy game every day. This VBX, the crazy game has been “VBX Roller Coaster Rides.” We download “first person point of view” roller coaster rides off of YouTube, play them on our big screen, and let the VBX teams battle it out as to who is the loudest, most creative, and craziest team on the roller coaster for the day.
Second is Bible memory. We give our teams 10-15 minutes to say as many Bible verses from memory to their teen team leaders as possible. They can use their Bibles and memorize verses on the spot. The only rules are that they must give their Bible to the team leader, say the verse(s) word for word, say the reference, and no same verse can be said in the same day on the same team.
After the 10-15 minute time clock, we count up the verses said, how many Bibles brought (no more than one per kid), and the first-time-friends who are there. We total up the score, give it to the score keeper, and head out for VBX X-Games.
10:05 – 10:30 X-Games
X-Games is when we take the VBX outside for a little friendly competition. We like to choose games that are fair between the guys and the girls, or have the guys compete against the guys and the girls compete against the girls. We give out big points for winners, big points for the loudest cheering teams, and big points for the quietest teams during the game instructions.
10:30 – 10:50 Snaxin and Chillaxin
Our snaxin an chillaxin time gives our whole VBX ministry a quick time for a breather. We use this as a time for our team leaders to build relationships and have conversations with their VBX kids. We love to give our VBXers good quality snacks…not the cheap, watered-down punch and tiny cookies that the VBSers get. During the snaxin and chillaxin time, I always let the VBXers come up and showcase their talent with “stupid human tricks.” They can try to impress me for points for their team. Hint: I give every one of them points for trying. For every team who is in their seat in their circle at the end of snackin and chillaxin, I give them lots of points.
10:50 – 11:00 Video Game and Score Announcement
We play one last game by video for the day (found in the games list and daily schedule attachments). This gives the teams one last opportunity to score big points and rule the day. After the final game, we give our scorekeeper time to tally up the points and rank the teams in their places by letting our DJ play some music and the teams “party in their circles.” After the quick circle party, I read off the scores in the most dramatic fashion possible from the last place team to the first place team. Scores are added on from the previous day and to the next day.
11:00 – 11:55 Worship: 2 Songs, Sermon, 1 Song
Without fail every day, we always chant together that “VBX is not about the…POINTS. But its all about JESUS” over and over again. We call all of the students up to the stage. I pray for them, and our youth ministry band leads them in some passionate worship. Songs with motions (Sing Like The Saved, I Am Free, etc) go best for at least the first song. Usually the second and third songs get a little more serious.
I like to teach the VBXers for a good 20-30 minutes. I love to teach each lesson from the perspective of Jesus and the gospel every single day. The gospel is for kids to get saved and for saved kids to grow. Whatever the VBS/VBX material you use, make sure that you use it to point them to Jesus through the gospel every single day. We always have several over the week who give their life to Jesus many who learn how to live their life for Jesus more than before.
Our best time of passionate worship is always the set that follows the sermon. Bring those VBXers back up to their feet, crank up the band, and watch them worship Jesus with their full hearts now that they’ve heard His Word.
11:55 – 12:00 Wrap-up
After the last worship set, we love to get our VBXers to clean up their circles, pick up the trash, and get the room ready for the next day. We then announce what the point system will look like the next day since it grows daily (diagram below).
We dismiss our VBXers to the end of the VBS closing rally so that they can find their parents with their younger brothers and sisters.
VBX Daily Point Breakdown
Pay close attention to our point system as it gets 10 times bigger every day. We do this to add to the excitement, give every team a chance, and it puts value on what we value most (Scripture memorization, bringing Bibles, and bringing first-time-friends).
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Cheering 10 100 1,000 10,000 100,000
Verses 10 100 1,000 10,000 100,000
Bibles 50 500 5,000 50,000 500,000
Visitors 100 1,000 10,000 100,000 1,000,000
Games 100 1,000 10,000 100,000 1,000,000
VBX Game List
X-Treme Thumb War
Count My Fingers
Guitar Hero Competition
Alabama Snowball Fight
Alabama Snow Man
Tin Foil Figures
Wrapping Paper Sculptures
Toilet Paper Sculptures
Gorilla, Man, Gun
Best Hits of the Week
Best Team Chant
Best Team Cheer
Extreme Paper, Rock, Scissors
Gorilla, Man, Gun
Sock Tail Grab
Sock Tag Free For All
Cowboy Chicken Conqueror
Light Saber Battles
Best Hits of the Week
Beatboxing Dog Video
Your Best Dance Video
OT Dance Video
Best Hits of the Week