Personally, I subscribe to the philosophy that everyone who works with children at VBS is a teacher … there's no such thing as just "helpers" or "workers." Because children are such wonderful sponges, they're always learning. So everything we say (or don't say) and do (or don't do) is teaching something. The question we have to ask ourselves is WHAT are we teaching? (Anybody else just get convicted?) That means we have to take our jobs seriously. … EVERY job seriously. We're not just there to have fun, to serve snacks, or to wear kids out on the playground so that they can sit still during Bible study. We're all teachers … in everything we say and do. And what are we teaching? The gospel!
VBS is unique in that every aspect is intentionally designed to provide opportunities for age-appropriate evangelism. Every activity, every rotation, every song is specially crafted to fit the point of the day, making it possible for every person the child encounters throughout their VBS day to “live out” the gospel in front of them. That makes every job important. Each point of engagement becomes an opportunity to talk to a child about what the Bible teaches and about what the Holy Spirit might be saying to him or her.
It's important to say thank you to those who are committed to this important work. In the spirit of Teacher Appreciation Week, how will you show appreciation to all of the VBS teachers who will live out the gospel in front of kids this summer? Here are a few ideas to get you thinking:
- Provide childcare 20 minutes before and after VBS. This will allow leaders to spend an extra few minutes on last-minute preparations, prayer, and cleanup.
- Set up a Concession Stand with lots of game-day snacks for volunteers to enjoy during the week. Ask a different Sunday School class to host the stand each day. The class can provide all the snacks and supplies for the day.
- Commission VBS leaders for their task during a Sunday morning worship service. Invite workers to stand before the church while the pastor or other appropriate person leads in prayer for their stamina, abilities, and love of children. Print a sample service from the Pastor’s Helps section on the Administrative Guide CD-ROM.
- Shoot video clips of boys and girls telling what they like about their teachers. Put the clips together with music from VBS. Show the resulting video during your VBS Celebration or during the worship service the Sunday following VBS.
- Purchase a VBS 2018 Jersey Backpack or an I Heart VBS Apron for each leader to show your appreciation.
- Present each leader with a handwritten thank-you note on a VBS 2018 Note Card during your VBS Celebration.
- Honor VBS workers by making a donation in their name to the Cooperative Program or mission organization of your choice.
- Create a special kit for each leader. Consider placing a VBS 2018 Whistle Key Chain or a VBS 2018 Notepad in each kit.
- Take a picture of each leader with her class and place the photo in a VBS 2018 Picture Frame before giving it to her.
- Recognize each leader at your VBS Celebration or in the Sunday Morning Worship Service following VBS, and thank each leader for being part of the team at Game On!™
- Send a personal thank-you note a week or two after VBS. You might include the number of kids/ families served and the number of salvation decisions that were made during VBS. Explain how their time made a difference for the Kingdom.
What teacher appreciation ideas do you have? Share them in the comments section below!