How to Start a VBS Program

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A Barna Study found that two-thirds of churches offer Vacation Bible School programs over the summer. While this is a high number, perhaps you are a part of the one-third of churches not currently running a program. Whether you are just starting to explore VBS or have thought about starting a program for a while, we hope to answer some of your questions and ease some of your concerns.

What Is VBS?

You may be wondering what VBS is. Is it babysitting time? Playtime without a lot of biblical content? Biblical content without a lot of playtime?

Vacation Bible School programs teach biblical truths in a fun way that will grow a child’s understanding of who God is. VBS also shows kids how they can have a relationship with God through the life, death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. They are shown these truths through Bible lessons, which are continually reinforced through crafts, games, drama, snacks, and music that tie in to what they learned.

What Is the Format?

The most typical VBS week is a five-day program running Monday through Friday at a church or community center. On average, these programs are three hours per day, running either morning (around 9 a.m.–12 p.m.) or evening (around 6 p.m.–9 p.m.). While this is the most common, most programs are adaptable to work in a variety of circumstances. This could be anything from a three-day program, to a backyard Bible club in a home, to running it at a Christian camp or in a local park. The possibilities are endless!

What Do I Need to Get Started?

Most VBS providers offer Starter Kits. This is a basic pack that includes leader guides and a few samples of the products available for kids. Answers VBS has the option of a Starter Kit or a Super Starter Kit (Contemporary and Traditional), which contains leader guides, music pieces, teaching posters, promotional samples, and lots of extras to kick VBS off right.

Once you have your material, you will need volunteers, including a director, teachers, stations leaders, drama actors, and many adult or teen helpers.

Exploring Operation Arctic

As you begin your search for a VBS program, make sure to check out Answers VBS’ Operation Arctic. This year’s theme focuses on the authority of the Bible and how we know that we can trust that the BIBLE

  • Is the Book of Books, unique in every way.
  • Has had an Incredible Impact on the earth.
  • Is the Bedrock Base to build our lives on.
  • Is God’s Letter of Love to us.
  • Is Exciting to Explore. Let’s learn it, live it, love it!

Learn more about Answers VBS and Operation Arctic at

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