Leading a Vacation Bible School - especially for the first time - can seem like a journey off the map. Whether following in the footsteps of a legacy or charting your own course, VBS can be overwhelming. Especially when you consider most of us led our first VBS as a result of someone - typically the pastor - walking up to us on a Sunday morning saying, "We need you to direct our VBS this year. There's really nothing to it. All you have to do is enlist workers, order resources, and get the word out. And, please spend as little money as possible."
Talk about overwhelming. But it doesn't have to be if we break the responsibilities down into bite-sized pieces. During the next few weeks Thursday Are For Training. We will divide the director's responsibilities into the following six steps and concentrate on one step each week.
Step 1: Know Your Purpose and Theme
Step 2: Start Planning
Step 3: Enlist and Train Your Workers
Step 4: Promote and Publicize
Step 5: Register Participants
Step 6: Continue the Connection
To get started check out Page 1 of LifeWay's' VBS 2015 Journey Off the Map Administrative Guide. You will find each of these steps along with references to suggestions and tips for getting the job done.
You should also check out the Monday edition of this blog. Each Monday we are finding Advice From the Experts on a variety of topics ranging from enlisting workers to stocking a resource room. Advice From the Experts is information born out of the trial and error of others. With these tips in your back pocket no one will ever know it is your first VBS to direct.
In addition to information in the Administrative Guide and this blog, there are two other great opportunities for training.
First, go to www.ministrygrid.com/web/vbs. For the next few weeks you will find free training video sessions especially for new VBS directors. Sometime in March the content will switch over to Journey Off the Map training for preschool and kids leaders, so don't delay.
You also want to learn about training being offered in your region - and possibly in your own community. Contact your local or state association or convention of Southern Baptist churches and inquire about VBS training. During March and April there will be hundreds of training events conducted by volunteers across the United States and Canada. These events are designed to help you prepare your team for the tasks ahead by providing training for age-group leaders as well as directors.
Next Thursday we will tackle Step 1: Know Your Purpose and Theme. Until then, take a deep breath and shake off the anxiety. Leading VBS is not as overwhelming as you think.