Organizing a Vacation Bible School can be a daunting task no matter the size of your church. This is my 9th VBS and I have figured out a few things over the years. Here is my list of Vacation Bible School Helps.
Choose a Curriculum that Excites YOU
I am the VBS Director for my church and this year I chose to use Group’s Egypt VBS: Joseph, from Prison to Palace. One of the main reasons I chose this VBS was because of the immersion philosophy of the curriculum. The scriptures are already alive and active, but anything I can do to support God’s Word, evangelize, and have fun with the kids is something of which I want to be a part.
Because I am *totally* sold out for this VBS, it is easy to cast a vision and bring volunteers on to help. If you don’t like the theme, or the activities, or the crafts, then chances are your volunteers and children won’t like them either.
Surround Yourself with Gifted Assistants
I am a leader/organizer type person, but that doesn’t mean I’m good at everything. In fact, a good leader recognizes what he CANNOT do and finds someone talented who CAN.
I have four assistants who are AMAZING!! I have one person who is a people person and is amazingly organized! She helps me find volunteers and communicates to them about training and anything else that needs to be shared. Another person who helps me is a fashionista and organizes all of the volunteer shirt and costume orders. She is also an encourager who designs our volunteer “Thank You” gifts.
My husband is my technology person. He helps me set up volunteer training videos and makes sure I have microphones that work. He also steps in to do some dramatic skits.The fourth person is my set designer. She listens to me as I describe the gym and stage area and creates the most amazing VBS decorations.
While I could do some of these tasks myself, there are other aspects of the Director position that I can focus on if those tasks are completed by others. Being a good leader means you delegate well.
Know Your Budget and Plan to Stay UNDER It
Perhaps you have a small church with a tight budget. Or maybe you are blessed with a large budget. Whichever you have, plan your money wisely. As soon as I know which VBS I want to do for the next year, I’ll use budget money from the year before to purchase the main kit. I know that we will need a certain amount for food since we feed people dinner before our evening VBS sessions. I know that a certain amount will need to be used for decorations. I also encourage those spending the money to be good stewards and only spend what is necessary.
Why stay UNDER budget, you may ask? I stay under budget because I might need to ask for more money from church leaders in the future. If they see that I have handled money well in the past, then as the ministry grows, they will allow our budget to grow.
It’s OK to Tweak the Curriculum
When I buy a VBS kit and begin to look through it I recognize things about it that don’t fit the needs or desires of our church. For example, with the Egypt VBS, I LOVE the idea of the Marketplace, however, we have quite a few preschoolers at our church who are not going to be able to do some of the crafts that are recommended. So I found replacements (as you can see below).
Also, budget-wise, I can’t buy all of the craft materials through the publisher, therefore I found replacement items or crafts that were more budget-friendly. This VBS also takes quite a few volunteers, so I cut out some of the drama sections, but I make sure that the main biblical truth of the VBS stays.
Another thing I changed with this VBS was the schedule. We do evening VBS, therefore we do not have time for all aspects of the VBS curriculum.
And it’s OK!
I get a little bit wacky during VBS week. There are things I will do and say in front of kids that I would never dream of doing in front of a group of adults. I guess that’s why I love KidMin so much!
Costumes, silliness, skits, awesome worship, solid Bible teaching, sharing the gospel…VBS is a fun outreach opportunity. Be sure to use publicity tricks and invite people from the community. Show how much you enjoy learning about God. If you do, chances are, the kids will begin to love learning about God as well.
Items I Used to Create the Egypt VBS
EZ Up Canopy Tent for the Marketplace (I bought 3 and borrowed the rest.)
Marketplace Craft Materials: