Each year, you pour a tremendous amount of time and energy into VBS planning. Make sure all of your hard work counts by setting your “end goals” for VBS—begin with the end in mind. One very practical way to do this is to prepare your closing program first. The closing program is a great way to share VBS songs and recap the Bible stories, memory verses, and take-home points from the week so the children can show (and teach) their family and friends the things they have learned.
Choose your end date. Be sure to schedule a closing program when most adults can attend—such as a Friday night or Saturday morning. The closing program date will influence when your program begins and what kind of format you choose. Our Director’s Guide offers several options for VBS schedules—everything from the traditional 5-day VBS to a weekend retreat to a one-hour VBS held over several weeks.
Music. We provide several options and suggestions for using the Barnyard Roundup music. All of our songs are carefully written or selected for their teaching qualities, so don’t feel compelled to use every song. Gauge students and daily progress so the children learn and remember the music well. Overwhelming them with too much also leaves a lasting impression but not the right kind. You will quickly see which songs they remember and enjoy so plan on using these in your teaching and closing program.
Setting and space. Where will you hold your VBS? At church? A park? Someone’s back yard? Depending on the space you choose for your VBS will influence how many sites you can have active at one time. This could also affect the amount of time you will need for each day’s schedule and where you will host your closing program.
Presentation tools. Our Director’s Guide provides a detailed closing program script, an outline based on that script, and a colorful PowerPoint presentation that you can use and edit with our own VBS pictures and details. You’ll also find ideas for “showcasing” what the kids have learned and tips for socializing with parents before and after the program.
Involve your Pastor. The closing program is the perfect place for your Pastor’s visible involvement. Because you’re likely to have a good number of visitors in the audience, VBS is an ideal opportunity for evangelism and witness. When the Pastor takes the lead in the event and the closing program, he is clearly identified. Visitors can connect with him and see your parish in action. When visitors return for a regular worship service, they’ll be glad they know the Pastor.
Planning your VBS doesn’t need to be overwhelming. As you unpack your Starter Kit, start with the Director Guide. This is your go-to-planning manual for every aspect of your VBS. In addition, review our VBS site. Take advantage of practical tools such as the planning calendar and checklists that allow you to benchmark your progress. By planning with the end in mind, you can focus your resources, time, and energy on the goals you hope to achieve.