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Another VBS alternative: Local church mixes family, faith, and fun

As traditional vacation Bible schools (VBS) go, parents drop off their children at a certain time, then pick them up two hours or so later after kiddos have snacked, sang, and, hopefully, learned. This model is practical, effective, and all-around positive for most involved. Yet, the folks at  Irving Bible Church (IBC) wanted to mix it up this year. Instead of hosting a week-long VBS, Melissa Franke and the IBC staff created a one-night family event called, EGYPT--Adventure of a Lifetime.

Scheduled for Saturday, June 12, lasting from 4:00-7:00 p.m., Adventure of a Lifetime will take parents and kids alike through the trials and triumphs of Egyptian life during the days of Joseph. According to Franke, "Families will rotate with a group of people through various activities such as an open, Egyptian marketplace; Egyptian games; a drama about Joseph; and a time of family activity during the closing celebration."

When asked why IBC chose this family-focused approach, Franke commented: "Parents have their kids about 3,000 hours a year. We have them about 60 hours at church. Through EGYPT--Adventure of a Lifetime, we believe that we have an opportunity to come alongside families to provide shared experiences for them and equip parents to share Jesus with their children."

In addition to the family-night VBS, IBC hosts MyZone, a weekly event for K-5th graders. Each Wednesday from 6:30-8:30 p.m., kids pile into the IBC campus for a faith-filled night. Franke says, "The kids are given three coins to use at the Snack Shack, then they are let loose to enjoy free time activities such as foursquare, crafts, board games, cooking class, and art class. After that, the kids are divided into two groups: K-2nd grade and 3rd-5th grade. While one group attends a small group, biblically-based object lesson, the other group attends a Nickelodeon-style game show. Then they rotate. For the last 20 minutes of the evening, they enjoy free time activities once again."

For more information about Adventure of a Lifetime and/or MyZone, e-mail Melissa Franke mfranke@irvingbible.org or visit myzone.irvingbible.org.

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