Last week we explored the necessity of defining the purpose of your VBS before diving into details. I hope you took time this week to meet with your pastor to discuss his expectations and arrive at a common purpose.
Now that you know the purpose, and the type of event your are planning, it is time to jump in with both feet and get started. LifeWay's VBS 2015 Administrative Guide for Directors provides some great resources and templates to help you develop a planning calendar, set up a budget, and create a schedule. Each of these steps are critical to the planning process - especially if you are not a detailed person to begin with. Together they become the foundation or framework for all the details that come next - such as enlisting workers, making room assignments, and publicizing your event.
By developing a planning calendar you are creating a big picture view of all that needs to be accomplished between now and the first day of VBS, but in manageable bite-sized chunks. The earlier you begin putting tasks on paper, prioritizing, and assigning due dates the better you will be able to spread out and delegate the tasks. This should help you avoid as much as possible the panic caused by a last minute race to the finish.
The best way to create a planning calendar is to begin with the week of VBS and work backwards. This will give you a more realistic view of how much time you actually have between today and VBS, and it will help you more appropriately allocate the amount of time needed for each activity. Working backwards makes it easier to identify needed steps. For example, by establishing training dates first you should realize your deadline for enlistment is not the day before VBS, but at a minimum the day before the training event. Work with your key VBS leaders to create a calendar that is as detailed and complete as possible.
Once you have double-checked dates and finalized the calendar, go back and add as much detail as possible to each entry. For example, when applicable add worker's name and contact information. Or if you are planning to use a community park for a kickoff event, add contact information for the person at city hall who schedules park reservation. The more information you can add now the easier it will be manage your work later.
Key dates for your calendar should include worker enlistment, purchasing curriculum, gathering or purchasing supplies, publicity activities, kickoff or registration events, worker training and planning meetings, decoration preparation, room preparation, and VBS Celebration (Family Night). For more ideas check out the planning calendar on pages 12 and 13 of the Administrative Guide for Directors.