There are basically two parts to scheduling your VBS: dates and times. Simple enough, especially if your church has scheduled VBS for the same week for decades. But, are you sure you have the right dates and times for the people you are trying to reach?
It all goes back to knowing your purpose. Why are you conducting VBS? Who do you hope to reach? What do you want to be the end result of the week?
Before moving to Nashville I served on staff of an inner city church. For decades VBS had been scheduled from 9:00 a.m. to Noon on the first or second week of June. This schedule had served the church and the neighborhood well. But about 15 years ago something begin to change.
The purpose of our VBS was to reach unchurched kids and families, but more and more of the unchurched neighborhood kids were required to attend summer school.
At first we were able to work around the school schedule by moving VBS to the last week of June, but as the summer school term continued to expand we had to keep pushing VBS further into the summer. Finally, the end of summer school and the beginning of teacher development days collided. We needed school teachers to help us with VBS so we had to make some decisions.
We could either abandon our primary purpose for conducting VBS and schedule for kids not attending summer school, or we could move to an evening schedule.
We chose an evening schedule, but that is not the point of this post. The point is, make sure the dates and times of your VBS work for your purpose and not against it.
Once you have selected dates and times you can begin working on the daily schedule or format. Check out pages 17-22 of LifeWay's VBS 2015 Administrative Guide for Directors. You will find a variety of sample schedules. You notice I wrote "sample." You might not find a schedule that is just right for your situation, but you will find some great tips and starting points.
When choosing your VBS dates don't forget to check community calendars. You definitely do not want to schedule VBS on top of a community-wide baseball tournament or the week a traveling carnival will be in town. While you are at it, check out the VBS dates of other churches. Wouldn't it be great if every church in town didn't schedule VBS for the second week of June?
Join the conversation: What is the biggest challenge in scheduling your VBS?