By Jean Bihn

Dive! Dive!

Many of us may remember this stirring command from action movies about submarines, but this summer, Vacation Bible School workers will be calling on youngsters across the state to do the same through “Submerged: Finding Truth Below the Surface.”

Church VBS and children’s ministry workers are invited to the April 2 State VBS Clinic from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Mountain Ridge Baptist Church, Glendale. Lunch is included with a $15 registration fee. Workers can take part in all of the training offered, as identical breakout sessions are planned for morning and afternoon.

Although state VBS training events took place at several sites in 2015, this year’s clinic in Glendale will be the only one, except for the Spanish-language clinic. The Spanish event is scheduled for 8 to 11:30 a.m. March 19 at Royal Palms Baptist Church, Phoenix.

In either language, the plunge will take children into God’s Word, concentrating on Psalm 139: 23-24: “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (NIV)

Cheri Dempsay, children’s ministry team leader for the Arizona Southern Baptist Convention, said five basic tenets grounded in these scriptures will be taught: Jesus knows who I really am, Jesus knows my worth, Jesus knows I need a Savior, Jesus knows my purpose, and Jesus knows and accepts me.

“All hands on deck!” Dempsay said. “This [event] helps workers get prepared and focused on their purpose. It’s also a good team-building event.”

The training offered is not limited to VBS workers, she said. Sessions include Behavior Management, Learning Styles, Children’s Salvation and Purpose-Driven Evangelism.

In addition to life-changing teaching, participants can learn about less serious undertakings, such as creating paper-plate fish, dolphins made from bananas and sailboats with hulls that are – dare we say “deviled” – eggs in disguise. As well as creating the theme, Lifeway Christian Resources produced publications, supplies and decorations to accompany it. Lifeway will host a store on-site for the event.

Although most children enjoy such light-hearted activities, Jesus followers know there is just one reason behind VBS.

“It’s not about the games and the snacks,” Dempsay said. “It’s about getting the gospel to children and their families.”

Registration is underway for the clinic. Visit http://azsbc.org/vbs by March 28 to register.

Email Dempsay at cheridempsay.home@cox.net with questions.

To register for the Spanish-language VBS clinic, which is free, call the Arizona Southern Baptist Convention at 480-945-0880 or 800-687-2431.