A friend often reminds me that organization is my friend. His reminder is specially true when planning an event – especially an event that involves as many people as Vacation Bible School. As my friend says, no one wants to be part of a mess, and without a checklist and calendar event planning tends to become a mess in a hurry.
When creating a planning calendar the key is to begin as far in advance of the event as possible. A year in advance is my recommendation, but if that is not realistic for you start as soon as possible.
The first step is to place the event itself on the calendar in big bold letters. By doing so you now have your target. Everything you do from this day forward will either lead you towards your target or distract you from it. The goal is to make the time you have between now and the event work for you and avoid the last minute rush and stress of throwing VBS together in a few weeks or days.
Now that you have your target date begin working the calendar backwards similar to the way you might plan a big family Thanksgiving dinner. For example, what can only be cooked the day of the meal, what can be cooked the day before, and what can be prepared a week before and kept in the freezer.
Give each VBS planning activity a date on the calendar. By doing so you are creating mini target dates throughout the process instead of having one huge target date the day VBS begins. Mini targets might include: the day worker enlistment begins, the completion of worker enlistment, supplies purchased, and the day promotion materials are mailed or delivered. You get the idea.
Work with your planning team to list every aspect of VBS preparation you can think of. With list in hand begin assigning dates to each activity. Try to calendar activities as far in advance as possible. For example, do supplies really have to be purchased the week before the event? Would it be possible to purchase them two to three weeks in advance and get that chore out of the way. Sure, there will still be that last-minute need for supplies, but at least the bulk will have already been purchased or collected and distributed.
A good goal is to try to keep the week before VBS as open as possible to allow space to deal with emergencies.
Next week’s Monday Morning Checklist – Plan for Continued Connections.