When it comes down to making your final choice of Vacation Bible School for your 2014 children’s ministry, there are many things to consider and while I wouldn’t recommend choosing based on the director’s materials, they do matter. If your church has a new VBS director, complete information in the director’s handbook is essential so they are able to be sure they have all the bases covered. If your church has an experienced director, complete information helps assure nothing is overlooked or missed as plans are made for your VBS.
So what information should be included in a complete director’s manual? Well, as I talked about earlier this month, goal information is essential. If you do not know what it is you want to accomplish with your VBS, then your VBS may end up just being an “activity” for children rather than a “ministry” where they walk away remembering, understanding and living God’s Word for changed lives.
Certainly information designed to help you determine your format and schedule are helpful as are timelines to help you have things accomplished as you near your VBS dates. Information on recruiting and training your volunteers is sure to be used as are ideas for promoting, registering children and following up. I especially like to see ideas on how to involve your entire church by praying for your VBS, volunteers and the children and families who will be impacted by the VBS.
Sadly, we can not overlook information on screening volunteers and we absolutely need to take a second and even a third look at our facilities to ensure we have done all we can to make our church safe. Not very many director’s materials include information on being sure you have a severe weather policy in place and your volunteers know what to do in such an instance, but since summer can bring severe weather it is certainly something to think about.
I am happy to see more and more director’s manuals include information on how to involve children with special needs and would like to see this become part of all VBS materials.
These are just some of the things I look for when I evaluate VBS materials. If the VBS you select is missing any of these components in it’s director’s manual, be sure to add them so you have all the bases covered as you plan your VBS for 2014!