Summer is the perfect time to grow your church’s children ministry. The classic opportunity to reach a bunch of children is Vacation Bible School. This is traditionally a time of games, bible study, crafts, and just a plain ole good time with friends. There is a lot to plan when it comes to pulling off a fantastic VBS. One major focus that parents will place a high value on is security. Knowing they can drop off their child at your church and are going to be protected and cared for is so important these days.
There are a lot of logistics and planning that goes into pulling off a huge event like VBS. At the top of that list should be security. If parents feel that their child is not safe, they will not even consider bringing them to your church. So, what steps does a church ministry need to consider to meet this expectation of parents and protect these precious little ones while on church property? Here are five thoughts to consider:
1. Volunteers – Having a lot of help from your congregation eases stress when planning this big event. Knowing you can plug folks into key areas around the church property is important. It also helps if your numbers spike with children to know that you are prepared.
2. Identify security with vests/shirts – Your security volunteers who are helping need to be easily identified. That is accomplished with some type of vest or shirt and also a name tag. This also shows parents and others that you are taking security serious.
3. Have good communication for your security staff – If something does arise, it is important that your security staff be able to communicate quickly with one another. The simplest way to handle this is a walkie-talkie system where everyone is on the same channel.
4. Have a solid check-in system in place – A good check-in system allows parents to be matched with their kids so no one else can pick them up. It should make critical information like allergies and medical needs clearly visible.
5. Have a shift plan and schedule ready – Depending on the size of your property, you may need to consider a rotation plan of where your security volunteers will be. It is important that you do not have any gaps during the event.
6. Hire your local police to spearhead the event – There is nothing like a local policeman and patrol car in your parking lot to show you’re serious about security. You can even incorporate this into your program with a “meet the police” night – the kids would love it.
Obviously, the size and location of your church will dictate the extremes that you may have to go in providing the proper security. Having a plan will insure your VBS is incident-free and knowing all the little children are well protected while on church grounds. Have a great and safe VBS this summer sharing the love of God to the children in your church and community!