Every leader approaches VBS in his own unique fashion. While Bob plans a year or more in advance, Melvin jumps in a few weeks before the big week and pulls it all together in a blur of frantic activity. Most of us, like Sam, fall somewhere in between these two extremes and begin planning about four to six months in advance.
Whether you’re an Early Bird Bob, Last Minute Melvin, or Sure and Steady Sam, there is a multitude of actions that need your attention before kids gather for the first day of VBS.
Over the next nine months we’re going to challenge you to tackle your VBS prep one bite-size step and one week at a time with the “Monday Morning Checklist.” Each Monday we are going to post three to five action steps that will help you take your VBS prep to the next level. Tackling these action steps throughout the year will also relieve a lot of last minute frustration and stress.
ACTION STEP 1: PUT A PERIOD OF VBS 2015
Your VBS for this year may have been weeks or months ago, but have you put a period on it? A friend has reminded me often that before I can truly move to the next event I need to put a period on the current or most recent event. He is trying to tell me it is important to tie up lose ends from one event before becoming distracted by the details of the next. Since the lose ends might include evaluation, putting a period on the previous event can serve as a good reminder of things to do and not do the next time around.
LifeWay’s CentriKid Camps office team takes an entire week at the end of August to evaluate every aspect of camp. Once done they celebrate and put a period on the year. Prior to “Eval Week” they have spent a considerable amount of time debriefing the summer with camp directors, compiling evaluations from church group leaders, and gathering a wealth of information from the 200 plus camp staffers. All of this information is similar to an annual physical exam. By spending this time evaluating the heart beat and pulse of the summer they are able to see what worked well, what didn’t, and then make extensive plans and assignments for next year.
Today’s Checklist includes five action steps necessary to put a period on VBS 2015.
- EVALUATE. You may not have an entire week to give to evaluation, but you definitely need to set aside time to meet with your top leadership team to review expenses, discuss worker evaluations, and makes notes of what aspects of your VBS need for improvement. Notes will be valuable in the weeks to come.
- FOLLOW UP ON FOLLOW-UP. Confirm that ongoing connections are being made with all unchurched families discovered during VBS. You also need to make sure proper contact has been made with everyone who made decisions during the week.
- APPRECIATE WORKERS. If you haven’t already said thank you it is not too late, but it will be if you do not do so soon. Make it simple by writing a note or making a phone call.
- CLEAR THE CLUTTER. Tour the building to insure all VBS decorations have been removed, properly disposed of or stored. Help ongoing ministry leaders who use the rooms make a fresh start for Fall by removing the leftover reminders of Summer.
- REPORT AND CELEBRATE. Make sure you have shared stories from the week with the pastor and congregation. The entire congregation was motivated to help you prepare for the week of VBS, so make sure the entire congregation has the opportunity to celebrate. Share numbers and information about goals that were met, but also share the stories of lives that were changed and needs that were met through the ministry. LifeWay’s VBS team would also enjoy celebrating with you by receiving your Church VBS Report. If you need a copy of the report form contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEXT WEEK’S MONDAY MORNING CHECKLIST – Meet with the Pastor