Lifeway’s 2023 VBS theme leads kids through ‘Twists & Turns’


NASHVILLE (BP) – Next summer, kids will pass go and collect truth about Jesus in “Twists & Turns.” Lifeway Christian Resources’ 2023 Vacation Bible School (VBS) theme celebrates games of all kinds, from classic tabletop favorites to video games and more.

With “Twists & Turns,” kids will play their way through VBS while learning that Jesus guides them through the ups, downs and zigzags of lives. Most important, kids will encounter the Gospel and learn that sin’s message of “game over” is overcome through Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.

“Games are the universal love language of kids, and God made children to learn best through play,” said Melita Thomas, VBS and kids ministry specialist for Lifeway. “Parents and church leaders get to capitalize on that with this theme. New games, old games, elaborate games, simple games, board games, cooperative games and video games – they’re all part of ‘Twists & Turns.’ I’m excited to use something so accessible to help kids understand profound biblical truths.”

The biblical lessons in “Twists & Turns” flow from the motto “Following Jesus changes the game” and the theme verse, Psalm 25:4: “Make your ways known to me, LORD; teach me your paths” (CSB). The weekly outline includes the following daily focus points and Bible stories centered around Jesus and the life of Peter.

Day 1: Jesus is holy. Bible story: Peter followed Jesus.

Day 2: Jesus is trustworthy. Bible story: Peter walked to Jesus on the water.

Day 3: Jesus is forgiving. Bible story: Peter denied Jesus and was restored.

Day 4: Jesus is worth following. Bible story: Peter spoke boldly about Jesus.

Day 5: Jesus is for everyone. Peter told Cornelius about Jesus.

“Kids will discover it’s not all smooth sailing in the game of life –even after becoming a Christian,” Thomas said. “When we trust Jesus as Savior and Lord, He changes our trajectory. When we follow Him, He leads us down the right paths. And when we mess up, He’s ready to forgive us and get us back on track.

“I’m also excited that the Bible stories in ‘Twists & Turns’ follow a single character, Peter, the entire week,” she added. “The continuity of following one person’s encounters with Jesus makes it easy to teach to kids. Peter was bold and fearless at times, and the next minute he was cowering in denial. He had big successes and big failures. In short, he’s just like us. My hope is kids will see themselves in Peter and choose to place their trust in Jesus as their personal Savior. That’s what VBS is all about.”

VBS remains one of the most popular church programs in the U.S., Lifeway Research shows. Six in 10 Americans say they went to VBS growing up, and 95 percent of parents whose child attended VBS say it provided a positive experience.

More information about “Twists & and Turns” can be found at

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