Reserving a date on the calendar seems simple enough. Especially if VBS has been scheduled for the same week year after year. However, there are a few potential conflicts you might want to consider before carving the date and time in stone.
When making scheduling decisions be sure to keep the purpose of your Bible School in mind. The first step of planning should have included a discussion with the pastor to answer the questions: "Why are we conducting VBS?" and "What are the expected outcomes of VBS?" The purpose of VBS should determine the schedule, not the other way around. For example, if the purpose of VBS is to reach unchurched families you do not want to schedule your event for a time when unchurched families are unavailable.
Kale Rush, Kids Ministry Leader at First Baptist Church Social Circle, Georgia, recently shared that for years the church has conducted an evening Bible School. This year he led the church to conduct a morning school (in spite of opposition) and the result was a large increase in participation by unchurched families.
ACTION STEP 4: SCHEDULE VBS
CHECK THE CHURCH CALENDAR. What events are scheduled for the week of, the week before, and the week after the dates you plan to schedule VBS? A holiday (Memorial Day, July 4th) or church-sponsored trip (mission, youth, senior adult) can devastate worker enlistment as well as attendance. The number of available weeks seem fewer every year so it is important to check with other ministry leaders before scheduling the biggest evangelistic event of the year.
CHECK SCHOOL CALENDARS. Obviously it is important to check for the ending and beginning of the school year, but it is just as important to find out the last and first day for teachers - which can be quiet different from the dates set for students. Checking for teacher dates is critical if you are depending on school teachers to serve on your VBS team. If your church is in an area with multiple school districts and private schools don't fall in the trap of assuming all calendars are the same. You will also want to consider summer school schedules.
CHECK COMMUNITY CALENDARS. A quick call to the Chamber of Commerce, sports associations, and the parks department can prevent your VBS from being scheduled on top of a little league tournament or major community festival that will draw large numbers of kids as well as workers.
Next week's Monday Morning Checklist - Enlist a Leadership Team