It’s the season for fall break, fall festivals, and fall holidays. But it’s also the time you should begin planning for your 2014 Vacation Bible School. The earlier you plan, the better your experience will be.
Some of you have already gotten your VBS catalog. These seven tips will help you keep it simple and make your VBS planning a complication-free experience. The last thing you want causing frustration is an event as fun and life-changing as Vacation Bible School.
1. Set up a meeting with your pastor.
Ask him to share his heart for the purpose and potential of VBS. Use this opportunity to get on the same page and align your vision and goals with your pastor’s.
2. Make sure VBS dates are on the church calendar now.
Find a week that does not compete with other ministries. Be ready with a couple of good dates that can work, in case someone else has already booked your first choice. Nail down the date on the church calendar and begin publicizing your VBS dates to the congregation now.
3. Enlist a co-director or small leadership team.
There is tremendous energy in dreaming, planning, and dividing responsibility with another person who has a shared passion.
4. Create a calendar of bite-sized chunks of work that needs to be accomplished over the next nine months.
Begin with your VBS dates and work your way backwards. It’s amazing what you can accomplish by breaking the work to be done into small parts. It keeps the workload from getting overwhelming and reduces the stress on everyone involved.
5. Enlist key leaders early.
Get division or age-group team leaders and others on board as early as you can. Then make them responsible for enlisting their own teams. Be sure to give a clear list of responsibilities and expectations before enlisting any workers.
6. Communicate. Communicate. Communicate!
Lack of communication – with church staff, congregation, and VBS volunteers – is one of the biggest culprits of complication and stress. Make sure everyone is constantly informed of the who, what, where, when, why, and how of your VBS.
7. Get the VBS resources you need to plan – now.
Have you heard about the new VBS Jump Start Kit? It’s a new resource that contains everything you need to begin planning and promoting for VBS 2014 — the Administrative Guide for Directors, Decorating Made Easy, music, posters, and more. Watch a video about how it can help you at Lifeway.com/vbs.
Jerry Wooley is The VBS GUY!! He serves as the Vacation Bible School Specialist for LifeWay. Don’t expect to talk with Jerry for too long without him asking you about VBS. Jerry loves the local church and serves in various roles (including VBS teacher extraordinaire) at Inglewood Baptist Church.