How to Start a VBS Program at Your Church

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So it’s been years since your church has offered a VBS program to children in the church and community. But you recognize the importance of this ministry to children—many adults point to VBS programs as when they came to a saving knowledge of Christ. You’re ready to take the plunge and become a VBS director, bringing VBS back to your church. But where should you start?

  1. Get the church on board. It’s more difficult to launch a VBS program without getting the church leadership excited about it. Sometimes getting your pastor and church leadership on board is as easy as telling them that you’ll be the director. Perhaps they stopped doing it because the pastor or his wife just couldn’t have one more thing on their plate! Having someone step up and say, “Hey, I’m passionate about this, I’ll take charge of it” can be enough encouragement for leadership to say, “Awesome, let’s decide on a budget.”

    In some cases, starting a VBS program may require a bit more convincing. After all, money does need to be carved out of the budget for another program. Help leadership catch the vision. Host a vision casting evening with your pastor and others who would be involved in approving this (this could be as simple as serving coffee and some desserts or a small dinner). Share a personal story about the impact of VBS (yours or someone else’s), the ability to disciple and build relationships with children from the church and community, and the opportunity to share the gospel with children and their parents. It may help to have your curriculum chosen in advance (more on that below), so you can highlight why you’re so excited to teach children with this specific curriculum. Be enthusiastic—excitement is contagious!

  2. Pick your curriculum. Before you delve into the details of planning, you need to choose the curriculum you are going to use. There are a host of options out there, but we don’t think you need to look any further than Answers VBS.

    This VBS program is unique. It’s not “fluff and stuff”—it’s meaty, deep, and gospel-focused from beginning to end. Children are taught big truths from God’s Word and discover how the Bible connects with the world around us. They are also taught apologetics, so they know why we believe what we believe and can defend the faith. And, of course, it’s fun, with songs, crafts, snacks, games, and even science experiments!

    Answers VBS adapts easily for churches of various sizes and needs. Churches with over 1,000 children in attendance use Answers VBS . . . and churches with 12 children in attendance use it too! Some churches do a traditional five-day VBS, while others do a three-day VBS (more on that below). Answers VBS will work for whatever your needs are.

    In the past, many churches wrote their own curriculum because they either couldn’t find something they liked or had limited options, which added a whole level of complexity to directing a VBS. But with Answers VBS, you get the meaty, gospel-focused teaching you’ll love, combined with music, games, and more, all in one place with a Starter or Super Starter Kit. No sitting for hours searching the internet trying to come up with one more craft idea (we did that for you!). We promise if you try it, you will love it

  3. Decide on a 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. VBS 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! Do what works best for you and your church.

  4. Get the word out! VBS is an “all-hands-on-deck” endeavor. You will need teachers, leaders, and other volunteers. Start spreading the word and the vision. Consider hosting a vision casting night (as mentioned above) with pizza or theme-specific desserts. Invite people from the church who are interested to come out for a fun, no obligations evening to learn about the “why” behind VBS, the curriculum, theme, and what they can do to help. Consider bringing craft, snack, games, or teaching samples to help potential volunteers get in the spirit. And decorate to match the VBS theme (e.g., Mystery Island, our 2020 Answers VBS, is a tropical beach theme). Keep spreading the word, encouraging others to get involved so the gospel and God’s Word can go forth.

Discover more about Answers VBS, and order your Starter or Super Starter Kit, today at AnswersVBS.com.


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