Vacation Bible School can easily become plagued by a pursuit of sameness. After all, if it worked last year it should surely work this year. Why spend time reinventing the wheel? However, if we are not careful we will find ourselves settling for good enough instead of striving for the best.
While I believe in finding what works and sticking with it, I also believe in looking for ways to make good better and better best. This is only achieved through regular and honest evaluation.
The idea of evaluation often creates a sense of dread and puts us on the defensive. Who wants to have their work criticized? No one I’m aware of. But evaluation should be more than looking for what we did wrong – there are plenty of people on the sidelines ready to help us identify the negatives. Evaluation should be a time of celebrating what went well and dreaming of ways to make it better.
I love this quote from Van France, one of the founders of the famed Disney University, “Are we growing with the show (what he calls the Disney experience) or just getting older? The trouble with people is that we get hardening of the mental arteries, cirrhosis of the enthusiasm, and arthritis of the imagination…”*
In other words, we settle for good enough instead of striving for the best.
For many of you “the show” (your week of VBS) is already behind you or will be soon. How will you evaluate the experience? Will you just be happy it is over with and move on to the next project, or will you spend time reviewing the week looking for ways to make good better and better best.
By the way, it is reported that Walt Disney often said, “Best is never the best.” He challenged the Disney organization to never stop looking for ways to improve. How about your VBS? Is it the best?
*Quoted in Disney U: How Disney University Develops the World’s Most Engaged, Loyal, and Customer-Centric Employees by Doug Lipp