Recently I've been writing about the need to begin preparing for VBS 2012 right now by making decisions concerning budgets and schedules. There is another decision concerning VBS 2012 that needs to be made now as well, and it involves a conversation with the pastor. The agenda for this conversation needs to wrap around ONE question - "What is the goal/purpose of our Vacation Bible School?"
Most VBS people have an assumed answer to this question, but from time to time it important to affirm the answer and make sure everyone - pastor, VBS director, VBS workers, congregation - are on the same page and are working for a common goal or purpose.
We often say VBS is all about outreach and evangelism, but do our actions always match this goal/purpose?
The way we promote VBS and the way we follow up with the unchurched families discovered during VBS answers the question better than any words, sermons from the pastor, or pep talks from the VBS director. If we say the purpose is to reach the unchurched, what decisions will be different than if we say the purpose of VBS is to provide a fun week for the kids who attend every Sunday?
Each year I hear from a handful of pastors and VBS leaders who express disappointment in the results of their VBS. Upon deeper discussion I typically learn that the primary cause of the disappointment is the absence of a common and focused reason for the investment of time, energy, and resources in the ministry opportunity we call Vacation Bible School. It seems in these situations the pastor, VBS director, workers, and congregation all have different purposes, goals, hopes, and dreams for the outcome of the week. They all assume everyone is on the same page and then become disappointed when they discover after the fact that in reality they were not.
It is time to talk, dream, and plan with a common (and focused) purpose/goal for this amazing ministry opportunity called VBS. Before you go any further into the VBS 2012 planning process call the pastor and ask, "Can we talk?"