12 Tips to Kick Off Your VBS Planning

VBS //

Ready, set, plan your VBS! While it may seem early, there are a number of things you can do now to make your VBS a success. Early 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.

  1. Pray for VBS planning and recruitment. Ask your Pastor to pray for VBSin 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.
  2. Get to know your VBS. Review the materials in your Starter Kit, resource guide, and website to get to know the theme, lesson outline, and how to use the materials. We always provide a program overview video as well as site videos and DIY decorating to help you and your volunteers with VBS.
  3. Begin reading the Director Guide.Read 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!”
  4. Start identifying and recruiting a Leadership Team.These roles may include an Assistant Director, leaders for the various sites, and a Secretary or Recruitment Coordinator. At CPH, we provide editable job descriptions on the Director CD (included in the Starter Kit). Another great tool for recruitment is VBSMate, a free online registration tool from CPH.
  5. Learn from last year’s VBS. Review notes and reports from previous planning groups. Talk to last year’s VBS leaders to get suggestions and insights. Hindsight is always 20/20, so use that to your advantage for 2017.
  6. Attend a VBS workshop with other VBS leaders.Find out if a local church or Christian bookstore sponsors VBS workshops. Plan to attend. It’s a great time to network and connect with others involved in Children’s ministry. Plus, there’s often free stuff and snacks!
  7. Write your VBS purpose statements and goals.Talk to your Pastor about the goals you want to set for your VBS ministry. Our Free Pastor’s Overview can involve your pastor. It includes a theme-related sermon, Law and Gospel points to know, and ways that they can encourage God’s people in VBS ministry.
  8. Choose dates and reserve your space. Add VBS dates to your church calendar, including all before-and after-VBS events. Make sure rooms and spaces are reserved. Consider alternative spaces, if needed, including outdoor locations. Need to adapt for size, space, or other concerns? Our Director Guide, located in our Starter Kit, provides suggestions for all kinds of different scenarios.
  9. Plan and schedule other VBS-related events.These volunteer training . . . Nothing spells confidence like early and consistent training! Help site leaders and volunteers familiarize themselves with your VBS theme. We always offer online site rotation videos for just this purpose. Be sure to plan something for volunteer appreciation, closing programs, and a follow-up celebration.
  10. 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.
  11. Get the word out.  The director guide and web site provide several resources to get your publicity campaign VBSMate provides a predesigned website to help you get the word out to your church and community about your VBS event.
  12. Check out the Mission Brochureto find out how you can get involved with local and international missions.