It's Friday of the last big week of VBS for 2016. Football teams and bands are in full practice mode, school supplies are flying off the shelves, and it's time to turn our attention to life after VBS. However, there are still some important VBS details to take care of.
- Take time to thank and praise God for His mighty work during VBS, for the faithfulness of the workers, and for the unchurched families who were reached.
- Review all recorded professions of faith and decisions to insure appropriate follow-up has been conducted.
- Work with children’s ministry leadership and the pastor to schedule baptisms and begin new Christian classes.
- Assign all prospects to the appropriate Sunday School classes for continued connections.
- Express appreciation to all workers and don’t forget the behind-the-scenes people such as the cleaning crew.
- Meet with the pastor to review the week and make preliminary plans for next year.
- Collect and record worker evaluations.
- Record your own reflections of the week – what worked, what didn’t, and what needs improvement.
- Survey the building for decorations and supplies that didn’t get removed.
- Report results and celebrate the week with the congregation
We are asking our VBS Friends across the United States and beyond to take a moment today to pray for Alaska Baptist Convention VBS leader Jimmy Stewart, who was severely burned Sunday in a gas explosion. Jimmy is now in a burn unit in a Seattle hospital.
Jimmy is a great supporter of VBS and has faithfully and enthusiastically led the Alaska VBS training team for many years.
LifeWay's VBS community is a praying community so please join us as we #Pray4Jimmy
REVIEW ACTUAL COSTS. The first step is to review the actual costs from this year and compare them to the projected budgeted needs. I actually like to have financial information available from the previous three or four Bible schools for comparison. By reviewing the expenses from multiple years I get a clearer picture of year-to-year consistent, increasing, and decreasing costs. Having information from multiple years also helps with projecting for growth.
ASSIGN DONATIONS A DOLLAR AMOUNT. When reviewing expenses keep in mind you may have received donations of supplies, decorations, and snacks that are not reflected in the totals. While you hope to receive similar donations next year it might be risky to assume that you will. As best as possible I assign a dollar figure to donations that are typically received. With this information I either budget funds to make up for any loss from low donation response or make a plan to solicit similar donations.
KEEP GOOD NOTES AND DOCUMENTATION. Numbers are important to a budget, but just as important is the justification for the numbers. For each budget line I include notes that will help me remember how I arrived at the number. The notes will also help anyone else who has to pick up my budget and make sense of it. This information not only helps me justify the budget to the finance committee, but is a tremendous help when I start preparing the budget for the next year.
BUDGET FOR LAST MINUTE OPPORTUNITIES. For me inspiration tends to comes at the last minute - long after the budget has been finalized. I like to create a budget line for last minute fun ideas and opportunities. This makes sure I have a few dollars for those unexpected opportunities (promotional items, decorations, appreciation gifts) that come up at the last minute.
WORK WITH OTHER MINISTRIES. This is also a good time to work with leaders of other ministries to determine which expenses might be shared. The music or worship ministry might be able to share some of the costs for stage sets and props. The hospitality ministry might be able to share or cover the expense of paper goods used for snacks. The evangelism or outreach ministry might be able to share a portion of the expenses for continued connections (follow-up) activities.
BUDGET FOR TOTALL VBS EXPERIENCE. Obviously your budget needs to cover the expenses of the week, but don't forget about pre-event and post-event expenses. Publicity, early registration events, worker training, VBS celebration (Family Night), and continued connection plans need to be funded as well.