It's that time of year again, VBS season is upon us. There's nothing like seeing the joy on those kids faces and seeing precious little hearts turn to Jesus.
If we're honest though, there's also nothing like the stress that comes with planning VBS. From coordinating decorations to training volunteers, to practicing skits, and answering countless emails, it's easy to get overwhelmed.
Our prayer is that these tips help you stay focused and encouraged during this busy season.
1. Remember, God is already working
When it seems like the weight of VBS is falling on your shoulders, remember that God is already working. He's preparing the hearts of children who will attend, He is stirring in the hearts of volunteers, and He is equipping you as you share in His work.
2. Make time to pray
Don't underestimate the power of inviting God to lead you every step of the way. Whether it's a budget meeting, volunteer training or curriculum review, start each project by turning to the Lord.
3. Ask for help
No matter what size your church is, you will need a team of skilled volunteers to make VBS happen. Take the opportunity to call for skilled artists, crafters and creatives in your church to get involved in decorating and publicity. These people may not have experience in Children's Ministry, but when they see that their skills can be used in the church, you'll be surprised how many will jump at the chance to get involved.
4. Think beyond VBS week
Take a moment to think about all the volunteers you use for VBS - youth, parents, creatives, music and sound techs, actors, story-tellers, crafters, etc. What if these volunteers stuck around for more than just one week? How would your Children's Ministry change if these people were involved year-round? Create opportunities for your VBS volunteers to continue to serve, and next year you may just have a surplus of experienced help for VBS.
5. Have fun
VBS programs are designed to be fun - so make sure you're having fun planning it! Try out the activities and crafts with your staff or leadership team. Fill your workspace with colorful VBS characters and encouraging verses. If you're having fun, your energy will be infectious to everyone around you.
How do you keep your cool during this busy season?
With all of the decorating you are doing for VBS, why not set up a small area to use as a VBS photo booth? Social media savvy parents and kids love taking photos on their phones making a photo booth a great way to interact with families before and after Vacation Bible School. Plus, we’ve thought through the details and done a bit of brainstorming for you already!
Standard has created awesome VBS themes for many years, including Deep Sea Discovery, which was a huge hit. The unfortunate news is that Standard will not be putting out a VBS theme in 2017.
This is a great opportunity to explore some new programs and get your church excited about all the great options in store for 2017. Our VBS experts have put together some recommendations, and we encourage you to take this opportunity to refresh your Children's Ministry and build excitement around these brand-new themes from tried-and-true publishers.
Standard VBS programs were based on a rotation format, but had the flexibility to be used in a classroom format also. To ease the transition, we've hand selected a few 2017 themes that you can use with whichever format you're most comfortable with.
What better way to kick off VBS planning and preparation with your team than with a themed meal? Eating together before the meeting allows time for your team to bond with each other and provides the energy needed to plan and prepare. Below are some fun ways to make your meal memorable and theme-focused.
The newest Weekend VBS from Group has us craving chocolate, marshmallows and graham crackers! Camp Out Weekend VBS 2017 is filled with s’mores, tents and campfires, all pointing toward Jesus, the Light of the World. Camp Out VBS is packed with Bible lessons and fun activities for kids. From learning about Jesus, to playing wilderness games, kids will have a blast during their adventure.
Camp Out has five twenty-minute rotations -- music, Bible exploration, wilderness games, Projects-With-a-Purpose and closing campfire. As students visit each station, they will be reminded that Jesus is the Light. During Projects-With-a-Purpose students make special gifts for others in the community or church; these projects allow them to apply what they are learning and to be a light for Jesus to the people around them. Camp Out also includes a twenty-minute Sunday Celebration. This time allows your entire church family to be involved in VBS, as well as providing a great opportunity to invite children and their families to your Sunday service.
Begin preparing for you summer Camp Out VBS 2017 by pre-ordering a Starter Kit and exploring custom t-shirt designs for your campers. Also, be sure to check out all of the craft and snack ideas we have on Pinterest for Camp Out!