Spring is upon us, and summer is right around the corner. This brings the anticipation of sunshine, beach excursions, and for most children’s ministry leaders, it also means Vacation Bible School! It may feel early to begin the planning process, but there are at least 4 things you can put in place now to help ensure a successful VBS this summer.
1) Form a team
Determine how many roles you need to fill for your leadership team. A fun and successful VBS requires many hands on deck, so make sure you don’t try and go it alone. There are certainly people in your congregation who have talents and skills that are well-suited for working with children in this way. Try to challenge yourself to look beyond your “regular” volunteers, and ask some folks who might be untapped gold mines of wisdom and energy. They may just need someone to actually see them and ask for their involvement. The worst they can do is say no!
2) Pick a curriculum
There are so many great programs and curricula from wonderful Christian publishing companies. Most companies will send out samples and gladly tell you more about their particular curriculum. It is helpful to communicate with other church leaders in your area and ask what direction they are going with. Some families like to attend more than one VBS, and if you are doing the same curriculum as four other churches in your city, you will limit your attendance simply by that one decision.
3) Choose a date
Make sure you get input from other ministry leaders in your congregation as well as your team before determining a date for your VBS. It is also good to find out when other churches are offering their VBS. You may want to decide on a date that other churches are not using to try and be available for more families. Definitely investigate what is going on in your community during the summer to make sure you aren’t competing with other fun, family-friendly events.
4) Gather resources
Many churches choose to do extra fun activities either during the week of VBS or as an ending finale. If you decide to do something like have the ice cream truck come or have a night where children can have fun on inflatables or have a cookout on the last night, you will need to plan ahead and make sure you have those resources available. Many times you need to make reservations with vendors months ahead of time. Once you have decided on your date and your curriculum, then it is easier to make decisions regarding your theme and what kind of extra fun you want to plan.
So many hours of planning and effort go into VBS each year. For many churches it is one of the biggest events they hold each summer. There are many details to iron out and put into place but starting with these four big decisions will get your planning well underway.