VBS Geek of the Week
VBS Geeks are those rare (actually in the world of VBS they are not so rare) people who eat, sleep, and breath VBS not for just one week of the year, but basically on a daily basis. They are the people who can literally tire someone else out by talking VBS non-stop.
This week’s Geek is just such a person. In fact, the only way she could get her daughter to agree to attend the VBS Preview in Fort Worth back in January was to promise that she would not talk VBS while in the car. All indications are that this was one promise our Geek was unable to keep.
It is my honor to introduce you to Shelby Egender, bi-vocational Children’s Minister at Baptist Temple in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and the 22nd VBS Geek of the Week!
Shortly before VBS 2011 Shelby was called to her ministry position at Baptist Temple. She did a great job of pulling together on short notice a VBS faculty as well as organizing the work of a mission team assigned to help her.
In addition to her staff position, Shelby holds down a full-time secular job and helps another church in Capital City Baptist Association conduct Club VBS each year.
In the picture above Shelby is demonstrating another way she shares her love and passion for VBS with churches throughout the Oklahoma City area by leading preschool training for the associational VBS training clinic.
Shelby, thanks for writing your own chapter in the history of Vacation Bible School, and for sharing your heart for reaching boys and girls, teens, and adults through this great ministry we call VBS!
We interrupt this usual “Foto Friday” blog post to bring you a special edition of “VBS Geek of the Week.” Two “geeks” in one week? Man, VBS fans are awesome!
Let me introduce you to Shelia Thomas. Not only is she a VBS Director par excellence, she’s also a brand new mother-in-law since her daughter got married last weekend! Congratulations, Shelia, to you and your family!
We asked Shelia to answer a few questions about what makes her a true “VBS geek.” Here’s what she said…
1. What is your role in VBS?
I am the VBS Director at my church (FBC Stevenson, AL) and have directed or co-directed for 16 years. I also co-direct my Associational Team (TN River Baptist Association) in the greatest VBS state—Alabama! I teach the music class for our Associational Training Conference and lead the Director’s Early Training.
2. What was your “geekiest” moment?
My personal VBS motto is “Anything for Jesus!” So I have LOTS of geeky moments. However, here’s one of my favs…
One of the churches in our association was struggling in getting their people to come to training. They asked if we could come to them and share our passion for VBS. Of course we agreed, because we LIVE to see people fired-up about Bible School! We showed up in full VBS attire with a car busting at the seams with all the props! I must say, it was a blast and God answered our prayers for that church. What a blessing! However, on the way home I ran over a rather large piece of a blown-out tire which lodged under my bumper and well… my bumper was torn off. The Highway Patrol came to my rescue very quickly and within an hour I was headed home! I politely thanked the officer and prepared to leave when the officer said, “You don’t recognize me, do you?” I looked rather closely and realized that he was a former member of our church! After making my apologies, he replied, “That’s okay, Ms Shelia. But I would have recognized you even without your VBS get-up and nametag!” At that point I understood why so many vehicles slowed down, stared, and honked as I stood stranded on the side of the street. I was in full “Saddle Ridge Ranch” duds and my car was “full-of-it” too. Oh well, folks around these parts are accustomed to it now. They say they can’t wait to see what we pull out of the hat next!
3. What makes you keep doing VBS?
The kids!!! Being able to see them worship “kids style” with uninhibited freedom, introducing them to my awesome God, building relationships with them and their families, and most of all the fact that God allows me to be a part of His amazing work. I am so humbled and thankful. I learn something new every year! Isn’t God good??
4. What has been your favorite VBS theme?
That’s a hard one! I have truly loved every theme. Whenever I have felt challenged to bring a theme to life, God has always proved Himself faithful and provided more than I could hope or imagine! But we REALLY had a great time with “Saddle Ridge Ranch.” It seemed that all the adults got into that one… totally over the top! (Our float in the annual parade was the best ever!)
5. You might be a VBS geek if…
Why stop at one answer? Shelia gave us a whole list!
- You wait by the computer for the announcement of next year’s theme while you are completing plans for this year’s school! It’s like working two VBS themes at once!
- Or, you write skits even from a hospital bed! You know, you have to make the most of your free time! It’s VBS on the brain, 24/7!
- Or how about… you’re a real VBS geek if you see everything in terms of “How can I use this cardboard from my new pantyhose (or whatever you open that day) in Bible School this year?”
- Or if you don’t mind standing on the side of the road in the most embarrassing outfit to gain attention for VBS!
- How about, if you do VBS at your local Nursing Home? They love it, and it is an amazing sight to see those wheelchairs rocking to Jeff Slaughter’s music!
- And, your kids are really proud that their mom is totally sold-out, freaky crazy gal who is proud to be called a “geek”!!! (P. S. My kids and husband have caught the “geek” vision! I could not be more proud!)