We may have conducted the event for years. We may think everyone on the team and in the congregation know why we conduct the event. We may assume everyone is on board and fully supporting the event. We may even think we have a clear vision or purpose for the event in our own mind.
In reality most of us rarely take the time to ask the question: “What do we hope to accomplish by this event?”
Vacation Bible School is a perfect example of an event without a clear purpose. As the leader you may know the purpose, but does your team and the congregation embrace that purpose? Too often I talk to church members who have no clue why their churches conduct VBS. Typically they assume VBS is just a fun program for the kids. On some level that is true – but I’m hoping that is not the ultimate purpose of your VBS.
You need to begin by having a conversation with your pastor. Ask him what he believes to be the purpose (or his vision) of VBS and what results he would like to see from the week. It is essential you and the pastor be on the same page concerning the purpose and desired results. Otherwise, you have already begun the planning process with dueling expectations.
Next, spend time making sure your leadership team fully embraces the purpose and desired results. You will never achieve the desired results if every member of the team has a different purpose for conducting the event. While each person might a valid purpose, there must be one common purpose that is owned and pursued by every member of the team.
Purpose gives foundation to planning, promotion, and enlistment. Purpose determines what you give priority to during the event. Purpose determines how you spend your event budget. Purpose determines how willing volunteers will be to join the team. Purpose will determine how eager the congregation supports and promotes the event.
People – especially potential volunteers – are much more willing to respond to a purpose than an event.
Of the 11 Things I Have Learned in 11 Years as Your VBS Partner having a clear purpose is at the top of the list.