Vacation Bible School or VBS is an established vital ministry in the life of the church.
- VBS creates a synergy within the church community.
- VBS kindles people’s creative side.
- VBS is an outreach opportunity to neighboring communities and helps spreads the Gospel.
- VBS is the place where volunteers and participants get to experience and learn God’s word and love.
As with any ministry event it is a journey of planning and preparation. TIP! Start early and make it fun! Directing your VBS program is not a solo project just for you but an opportunity to invite and help your congregation feel engaged and part of the life of the church. Get them involved…..all ages!
Many new VBS directors offer VBS because it has always been done. Stop to think and pray about why your church offers VBS. Once you have thought through and developed your reasons for having VBS you are on the right track and everything else falls into place.
Inviting and Developing your VBS Team
It is in people’s nature to want to help when asked. It is not a mass email, or a blurb in your church newsletter, but a personal ask. Call or Facetime leaders and ask them to serve in VBS. Surround this process with prayer and enthusiasm. TIP! Start creating a list of your volunteer needs – a strong VBS leadership team is a must – it can be a small team but a mighty one indeed. This team of leaders will be your foundation for a successful VBS.
These leaders will:
- Help you brainstorm.
- Share in the responsibilities for VBS.
- And help you dream BIG!
A benefit of involving volunteers in VBS is this short-term commitment often leads to connecting them into the life of the church. VBS is a ministry opportunity that is far reaching and offers lasting memories.
Choosing your VBS material
Each VBS curriculum has its own unique format and theological direction. It is helpful to get your Senior/Lead Pastor and key VBS leaders involved in this part of the process.
Some questions to ponder in assisting you with choosing your VBS material.
- Is this material in line with the vision of your church, its mission and core values? What is being taught? Is it grace filled? Is it Bible based?
- Is it child friendly? Does it teach to all learning styles? Does it nurture their sense of awe and wonder? It is a proven fact that children learn by interacting with others, by actively doing and being part of the discovery process.
- Is the curriculum sensitive to the needs of unchurched families? Is it racially and ethnically diverse? Does it support physically and emotionally challenged children? As you read through the VBS material do you feel it creates a space where children feel welcomed, accepted, and valued?
- Is it relevant to what’s happening in their lives?
- Is it user friendly?
Work with your team to make a great decision for all. You are a beloved child of God. God has called you to be on this journey so surround your VBS in prayer, embrace it and let God lead you.
By Jayne Andrews, VBS Enthusiast (20 plus amazing years of overseeing VBS as a volunteer/staff member)