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Winning the Volunteer Game this VBS

church volunteers

Vacation Bible School (VBS) is a critical part of connecting youth in your church and community with Jesus Christ. For some children, this may even be their first time really hearing how He can work in their lives, so it’s important you don’t waste this opportunity.  

But there’s so much planning involved, right? Finding the right dates and communicating it with your church and community–just to name a few. However, without the right volunteers, both in quality and quantity, all your planning will be for nothing. In short, volunteers make your VBS event possible.

Since so many churches didn’t get an opportunity to host a VBS event last year, this is your chance to make a BIG impact on the lives of your youth. Let’s look at a few ways to find the right volunteers and get as many as you need to make VBS a success.

Skills and Interests

It’s safe to say that VBS isn’t like other events, isn’t it? To make your VBS a big hit, your church shouldn’t use just anyone…you want qualified individuals who’ll have a passion for your youth and your ministry.

Using Realm’s Skills and Interests, your congregation can inform church staff of their talents and spiritual gifts so you’ll know how they can be best used for your VBS event. For example, an individual could notate their skills as a nurse or teacher and have interests in taking part in your children’s ministry.    

Plus, Realm’s Skills and Interests are prebuilt so they’re out-of-the-box ready, but also completely editable so staff can customize them to fit best for the unique needs of your ministry.

Create Roles and Share Them with the Congregation

Once your congregation has added their Skills and Interests to their Realm profile, it’s time to build and share your Roles. Roles are the serving opportunities you’d like your congregation to fill, such as nursery workers, greeters, and any other important serving opportunities needed to make your VBS a success.

The beauty of Roles in Realm is that staff can request certain Roles are tied to Skills and Interests. For example, maybe you need someone to lead a class during your VBS event. You can request that the Role have the Skill of “teacher” and/or the Interest of “children’s ministry.” Staff can even request additional qualifications for Roles, such as age requirements or the need for a background check screening.  

Once Roles are built, they can be shared with your congregation who can find them in Realm and express interest to serve.  Staff can even promote key roles to your entire church through the Newsfeed in Realm.  

With Roles, you aren’t just finding anyone to serve during your VBS event…you’re finding the most qualified people in your church.

Build Serving Teams

Your VBS event — and the volunteers helping to make it happen — can only be successful if everyone works together as a team.

As individuals begin finding Roles that interest them and are a good fit based on their Skills and Interests, you can start adding them to Serving Teams. Serving Teams in Realm allow you to categorize your volunteers with similar roles for events so staff and volunteer team leaders can oversee a single roster.  

This also facilitates clear communication to the entire team so everyone is on board with the same message. For example, all the greeters or all the children’s ministry volunteers could be in their own team.  

Run Background Checks

Before you create and communicate your schedule to volunteers, let’s pause for a moment. So far, you’ve:

  • allowed your congregation to complete their Skills and Interests,
  • matched Skills and Interests with Roles (as well as provided ways for your congregation to express their interest to serve), and
  • grouped individuals who have similar roles into Teams so you can have a single roster for clear communication.

Before you go any further, this is a great time to ensure you’re providing the safest experience for everyone involved with your VBS, including those volunteering, your congregation, and your community at large.

By running background checks on your volunteers — such as anyone dealing with children or potentially handling money — you’re providing a safe environment for your VBS. Since Realm has fully integrated background checks, it’s as simple as visiting your volunteers’ profiles in Realm and requesting a background check screening to get started.     

Create and Communicate Your Schedule

Once background checks have been completed for specified volunteers, it’s time to create your VBS volunteer schedule.

Volunteer scheduling in Realm allows staff or volunteer team leaders to create a single schedule for an entire Serving Team. When creating the schedule, you can easily designate how many roles you need and what time they need to arrive to serve.  

Realm automatically serves up people in the team tied to that role, so you’re never hunting down the right person. Schedules can even be tied to your current VBS event in Realm, so there’s no need to duplicate work.

Once the schedule is completed, communicate it with your volunteers. They’ll see the request in their Realm account or Realm Connect mobile app and can accept it right there. On the off-chance that something happens, volunteers can even find their replacements.  

Lastly, there’s no need to worry if they’ll remember when they’re serving — Realm automatically notifies them twice (based on your desired frequency) before your VBS takes place.

If your church follows these five important steps above, you can rest assured your volunteers will be equipped, on time, and ready to make this your best VBS ever.        


For more resources on Vacation Bible School, please visit Church Growth.

Read More:

Prepare for VBS Now

To VBS and Beyond: 4 Principles for VBS Follow Up

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