Summer opens up new opportunities for your Children’s Ministry. Many congregations take advantage of young people being off school and an increased number of available volunteers to hold Vacation Bible School. Vacation Bible School (VBS) is a specialized Christian education program which is typically held for several hours each day, lasting up to a week. Much like other Christian education opportunities, VBS is an opportunity for children, parents and volunteers to study God’s Word together and grow as disciples of Jesus.
VBS typically has a special theme highlighting a specific set of Bible stories or Biblical truths. Themes can vary widely, but always help children to bridge between their experiences now and Scriptural stories. This theme is reinforced through age appropriate Bible lessons, music, arts and crafts, games, skits and videos. Some churches put up special decorations or even have special costuming which aligns to the theme.
VBS can attract children and their families from across your community. If you have non-members join you, consider how you want to follow up with invitations to more connections and to worship with you. This may mean collecting contact information for you to send emails or mail as a follow up. You can also have flyers with information about regular worship and Christian education opportunities like Sunday School.
Some congregations use variations on a typical VBS program and schedule. This can include longer sessions over fewer days, spreading the programming out to once a week through the summer, including parents or families rather than separating by grade level and more. Congregations may also opt to include childcare or camp which extends to whole day. Some of these decisions can help relieve schedule pressure for families or better engage volunteers, so evaluate your program each year for ways to improve. Regardless of size or context, it’s important that your VBS is a program which helps point young people and their families to Jesus.
Each year Concordia Publishing House provides a curriculum that can be used for your congregation’s VBS.
There are many different tasks and types of workers needed to pull off a successful VBS. That’s why we’ve listed a variety of ways for you to recruit, train, and appreciate volunteers.