From planning, to decorating, to teaching, tell us your favorite VBS tips.

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One of the best things we ever could have done was to train and use our teenagers to serve in our "vbs"!  The bulk of our volunteer staff is youth and college age students and it is what makes it so great for the kids.  

Training them is key, but to watch them lead these children to Christ is an amazing thing.

That is a great tip Sandi. The best thing we ever did for VBS was to join together with other churches in our small community to offer an ecumenical VBS. We reached more kids, had more volunteers, pooled our gifts and resources, and witnessed to the beauty of different Christian denominations being one in Christ.

http://www.ministrymatters.com/all/article/entry/2438/dont-do-vbs-a...

I love love love the idea of teens serving the next gen. Churches don't utilize them enough!

Sandi Naso said:

One of the best things we ever could have done was to train and use our teenagers to serve in our "vbs"!  The bulk of our volunteer staff is youth and college age students and it is what makes it so great for the kids.  

Training them is key, but to watch them lead these children to Christ is an amazing thing.

Continually share your vision with the staff. Remind them the WHY'S of VBS. It will help everyone when the going gets tough (like when you pass out 600+ flyers and you have 2 new kids as a product of all 600 flyers, true story).

We have shifted our focus from supporting foreign missionaries with a VBS offering to raising money for our community  This last summer we were able to raise money for backpacks and supplies for a school a block away from the church.  The fun part was taking 4th-5th graders to shop for each kid, then the 4th-5th graders prayed over each back pack before we delivered them to the school.  

Wow Mark! How wonderful to get the kids to shop for supplies & then pray over the backpacks...I love that!
 
Marklandis said:

We have shifted our focus from supporting foreign missionaries with a VBS offering to raising money for our community  This last summer we were able to raise money for backpacks and supplies for a school a block away from the church.  The fun part was taking 4th-5th graders to shop for each kid, then the 4th-5th graders prayed over each back pack before we delivered them to the school.  

Our VBS is in the evenings, so families can attend together. If a parent signs up to volunteer, I give their family half off the registration price. 

Preparation, preparation, preparation. All the good ideas and intentions in the world won't do you any good if you don't plan them out.

Share resources with other churches!

We connect with several churches to share stage sets and room decorations for Lifeway VBS so that we are all being good stewards of our resources and hopefully positioning each of our churches to have better VBS's to reach more unchurched and lost families.

I would love to hear about the responses to that kind of community missional approach. I always wonder if our kids truly understand that some of the greatest needs arise in our own communities, towns, and cities. Are we more effective being missional, in the global sense, after we met the needs in our own culture. Can we do both simultaneously?

Thanks for the post Mark. This opens up an entirely new convo.

Marklandis said:

We have shifted our focus from supporting foreign missionaries with a VBS offering to raising money for our community  This last summer we were able to raise money for backpacks and supplies for a school a block away from the church.  The fun part was taking 4th-5th graders to shop for each kid, then the 4th-5th graders prayed over each back pack before we delivered them to the school.  

Instead of having a traditional evening closing program we have a hot dog lunch and invite the parents.  We have really been able to connect with the parents as well as share the gospel with those who have no church home.  We sing 2 or 3 songs, share our verse and then do a 5-10 minute gospel presentation.

 

If you don't have a lot of money for decorations, consolidate to where the kids enter the building.  You can create atmosphere in the other areas through music and activities, but you want their to be a wow factor when they enter the building so they get excited about what's happening for the week.

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