VBS FUNdamentals (Fun with a Purpose)

by Amber Pike May 22, 2023

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What are the non-negotiables in your VBS program? These are the things that are a top priority.

Strong biblical teaching is most likely your top non-negotiable, but does fun come in at a close second? It should.

Obviously, you want a strong emphasis on teaching. That is, after all, why we do VBS—to teach boys and girls God’s truths. Strong biblical teaching is most likely your top non-negotiable, but does fun come in at a close second? It should.

VBS should be fun! Kids don’t want to spend a week of their summer being bored. They’d much rather spend time at the pool than go to a lackluster VBS. They are kids—they want to have fun! Fun, however, needs to have a purpose.

Adding in elements of fun just for the sake of fun doesn’t accomplish your purpose. But you can use fun as a tool to point kids to Jesus.

Here are three FUNdamentals every VBS needs to have.

FUNdamental #1—Make Your Environment Exciting!

From decorations to hype music to smiles on the faces of the leaders, from the moment boys and girls walk through the doors, they should see and feel that your church is excited it is VBS week!

Think about what kids see when they walk in. Is there a fun photo op greeting them? Does the staff wear matching VBS shirts? From big decorations to tiny details, making an exciting environment brings kids back.

FUNdamental #2—Teaching Time Shouldn’t Be Boring!

God’s Word is exciting! You should be excited to teach it!

God’s Word is exciting! You should be excited to teach it! Think about how you are presenting God’s Word. Are you captivating boys and girls?

What tone of voice are you using? How is your body language? Are your facial expressions conveying excitement? If you are having fun teaching, that excitement catches on with the kids.

Think about some other ways to add fun to teaching time. Add in an active game. (Sometimes, kids need to engage in learning time with their bodies, so have them sit or stand instead of just answering a question.) Teach wearing a medieval costume or greet kids in an old English accent. Bring the fun into lesson time!

FUNdamental #3—Add a Little Silly!

What happens when you add a taco hat to VBS? Or crazy hair? Or a tutu? It elevates your fun level! There still needs to be purpose, however.

Can a silly hat be placed on a volunteer armed with a bucket of candy? Give them the job of listening to kids say the daily memory verse.

Can crazy hair be part of the team competition along with the mission’s donation? This can encourage kids to invite friends or donate so that their team wins.

Can dress-up day match the VBS theme? (Knights, princesses, and princes!)

Even silly games during the ceremonies can be given a purpose. Instead of playing Simon Says, call it “By Royal Decree.” Have a leader wear a crown when playing, then close the game by tying things back to the King of kings and the two kingdoms.

Kids learn through fun. It helps them engage and aids in memory. Fun can invite kids in. It can ease a child’s anxiety and cause them to want to return. So, what should you do? Make fun a FUNdamental part of your VBS! Buy an Airzooka (trust me on this!). Use confetti streamers. Wear your hotdog hat. Pump up the fun level. Just don’t lose sight of the purpose. Kids are meeting Jesus at VBS. (And that’s pretty exciting!)

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