Plan with Prayer
Ready, set, mark your calendar for week one of VBS planning! While it may seem early, there are a number of things you can do now to make your VBS a success. Early VBS planning communicates confidence to your team, gets volunteers on board, and helps stretch your budget as you search for bargains.
In Proverbs 16:3, it says, “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” That’s why our first goal begins in prayer. Ask your Pastor to pray for VBS in worship regularly. Recruit a Prayer Coordinator and engage your church’s ongoing prayer support. Ask that volunteers, VBS leaders like yourself, and children who attend would be lifted in their prayers. Keep in touch with your prayer supporters and let them know the specific needs of your volunteers and VBS.
Get to Know the Materials
Review the materials in your Starter Kit, the VBS resource guide, and the resource site vbs.cph.org to understand how to use the materials. Need to adapt for size, space, or other concerns? Your Director Guide (located in your Starter Kit) provides suggestions! In fact, read your VBS Director Guide with a pen, a highlighter, and some sticky notes to mark great ideas, highlight questions, jot down people who would be ideal for certain roles, and more! Next time you look at your Director Guide, you’ll say, “I’ve done more than I thought I had!”
Recruit a Leadership Team
Effective VBS Planning includes having a supportive leadership team. These roles include an Assistant Director, leaders for the various sites, and a Secretary or Recruitment Coordinator. See editable job descriptions on the Director CD (included in the Starter Kit). Review notes and reports from previous planning groups. Talk to last year’s VBS leaders to get suggestions and insights. You can also learn a lot by attending a nearby VBS workshop. Find out if a local church or Christian bookstore sponsors VBS workshops. Plan to attend. You’ll meet other VBS leaders and can share ideas. Plus, often there will be free stuff and chocolate!
Once you assemble your team, you can write your VBS purpose statements and goals. Talk to your Pastor about these. Equip your Pastor with the Pastor’s Overview and other helpful files provided in the “Pastor” folder on the Director CD.
Plan, Prepare, and Publicize
Be sure to add your VBS dates to your church calendar, including all before-and after-VBS events and maake sure rooms and spaces are reserved. You may have to consider alternative spaces, if needed, including outdoor locations. Plan and schedule other VBS-related events, including pre-VBS events, volunteer training and appreciation, closing programs, and a follow-up celebration.
Finally, don’t forget to set your budget. Determine how your budget is set (from church line items, donations, a special offering, registration fees, fund-raisers, etc.). Set registration fees, if required, and plan fund-raisers. Next, announce your VBS dates in your church bulletin, newsletter, and website. The director guide and web site provide several resources to get your publicity campaign started.