What If You Can’t Do a 5-Day VBS?

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Answers VBS is written for the traditional five-day VBS format, but for some churches this simply doesn’t work. Perhaps you can’t get enough volunteers due to work schedules or maybe most of your volunteers are seniors who are understandably exhausted by day three, or maybe you are doing a VBS for children with sensory issues who cannot handle five full days of VBS. That’s fine! There are other options. Simply adapt the curriculum to meet your church and community’s needs.

We polled VBS leaders on our Facebook Answers VBS Discussion Group, asking what VBS format worked best for them. For some, VBS started on Sunday and went until Thursday. Others did Monday through Friday. Others did a four-day VBS Monday through Thursday with some adding a fun family event on Friday to end the week.

Some VBS programs run in the morning, others in the evening—and one church even ran a morning VBS and an evening VBS! One church had a breakfast, Bible study, and time of prayer for all of the volunteers before the kids arrived. We’ve also heard of churches doing sensory-friendly VBS programs that are only for a few hours one day.

The important thing is to do what works for you and for the children and families you are serving.

Many churches choose to host something on the Sunday morning following VBS to bring kids and their families back to the church or they do something on the last day of VBS to bring in families with their kids. Here are a few of the suggestions we garnered from Facebook for a final fun event:

  • Carnival with games and food (check the Director Guide for ideas)
  • Family night with awards
  • Picnic
  • Family pool event at a local swimming pool
  • Evening program with a special activity and treats
  • Family fun time with dinner, games, and a closing program (including the last episode of the VBS drama)
  • Ice cream social
  • Special VBS Sunday morning service for kids with a regular service for parents, with food and games afterward

Join our Answers VBS Discussion Group to post your questions or share advice with other VBS leaders. We’d love to connect with you there!

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