Steps to Prepare Your VBS
Steps for Planning Your Vacation Bible School
1. Select a director. This may be your Children's Pastor, Children's Director, a Sunday school teacher, Pastor, or your Sunday School Superintendent. It is important that they have good administrative skills, understand how to work with children, and can delegate well in working with people.
2. Select your curriculum. Consider age appropriate, and interests of your kids in your church and community. Most curriculum is for 5 days. You can adjust this to a 2-3 day by adding a mission/bible station and using alternative days in the stations.
3. Select Date and Time. Consider all other ministries of the church for the area and time you want to use so that it will not conflict with other ministries. Set date well in advance (6 months - 1 year). Consider when your local school will be out for the summer, and other summer activities such as camps your children may be involved in that you know of in advance.
4. Decide what areas you will be needing workers for your stations or markets.
5. Recruit workers. Post a signup sheet on the church bulletin and advertise for workers in areas you will need in the weekly church bulletin. It is important to post so others do not feel left out if they so choose to volunteer.
6. Read over your Leader's Manuel.
7. Have an Information Meeting to inform workers of what the curriculum will be and what stations or workshop you will be planning. Give all workers the material they will need for teaching and preparation that will be needed.
8. Plan and Order decorations. There are many sites to find your decorations from that will not be too expensive. There are Kipp, U.S. Toys, and other sites that sell at a low cost. Check the Dollar stores for items as well. Some of your church people will have some things you can borrow. Be creative! Allow six weeks if you decide to make orders. It may not be that long, but just in case you have a backorder.
9. Decide on Locations: Decide where you will have each station/workshop/market for your VBS.
10. Give workers a typed agenda with location, times, ages, all guidelines/instructions that they will need in order to be efficient in doing their job as well as informed. No one likes to feel inadequate in doing what they have volunteered to do.
11. If you have a small church, you can divide up using fewer teachers in these ages: Pk-K; 1-2; 3-4; 5-6. You will need 2 workers per station. One worker always stays at the station while the other one will walk the students to the next station and return to assist.
12. Stations to consider are: Mission, Bible, Music, Snack, Activities, and Craft. Assembly time can be all together in the opening assembly and closing if you wish. Assembly would include: Welcome, explanation of any contest awards for attendance and bringing visitors, music, skits, agenda of VBS, introduction of workers.
12. You may consider having a closing program on a Sunday morning when the parents can come in to the church and meet the workers, pick up crafts, and see their child perform the songs learned from VBS. You also may want to hire a guest speaker like a Ventriloquist to give a performance. This can be built up and advertised as an attendance booster. One special speaker I have use is John Louis in Dayton, Ohio who gives an exceptional presentation and is quite inexpensive. Another one is Remy & Friends.
13. Snacks/Dinner. Get help from your church people for snacks each day. Have a carry in dinner (pot luck) on Sunday morning for everyone to come and celebrate your VBS event. Provide hotdogs, chips, drink on Saturday.
14. Advertise in your local paper, radio, and flyers around the community. Give them to your local school. You will need to go through the Superintendent of the schools for permission and prepare them. I had to place in bundles of 20 per classroom for the school. Suggest placing a large sign on your church property six weeks in advance and other ads place/distribute two week in advance. You can order reasonable online. Suggestion: order a sign that can be reused every year and simply change the dates.
15. Make sure you have meetings to keep people informed so that they feel comfortable and know what to do. Meet together before your VBS begins to make sure all questions are answered.
16. Provide workers stickers for prizes or small toys for their stations. Make sure they have all they need to be ready for the kids. Give them a bathroom relief if necessary. Walk around and keep a check on things.
© Kidzministry.net Jeanne McIntosh 2010