You’re a few days away from Vacation Bible School, and it seems like you have a month’s worth of work left to do. To top it all off your pastor has sent you an email asking you to help with another project. Oh, and don’t forget Sunday’s coming with its own to-do list.
I felt like this was my story when I first started in kid’s ministry. A few months into the job, I got some incredible advice to create teams to come alongside me to help me lead in my ministry area or for any special events. These teams were a game-changer for my ministry and me. We all know that VBS is a massive project to take on, especially when every Sunday you’re having a “mini-form” of VBS happening. One of the best ways you can set yourself up to have a successful VBS (and a less stressful one) is to form a team of leaders to help evaluate, plan, and execute a VBS…a Vacation Bible School leadership team.
Why is a VBS Leadership Team vital?
You don’t have to lead alone
Ministry is tough, but even more so when you feel like you’re going at it alone. When I first become a preschool director, I thought it was a sign of strength that I could handle things on my own. What I soon realized is that this was a recipe for burnout. Leading doesn’t have to be lonely.
A leadership team creates more capacity for your event
We can get so busy working IN the ministry, that we forget that we need to make time to work ON the ministry. Before I established a VBS leadership team, I was consistently tending to the VBS checklist. The problem with that was that I had no time to think strategically about the future. This group of people that came alongside me in VBS helped to shoulder the responsibility of leading.
You create vision carriers
There is only one you. It’s hard to spread the message about your awesome VBS when you’re the only saying it! When you multiply the number of people who are passionately excited about what’s taking place in your ministry, you increase your message’s reach.
Who needs to be on your VBS leadership team?
A temptation of mine in the past has been to put all my friends on my teams. I was missing out on many talented people! Putting the best people on your team creates the best outcome for your ministry. There are a few different types of people I look for when assembling a VBS leadership team.
There are certain people in your ministry that when they speak, people listen. Their opinion carries weight with others. Those are the people you need as your vision carriers. You also have an opportunity to put an influencer on your team who may not be entirely on board with the direction and insight into your ministry. When you do this, you have the chance to bring along someone into the process of developing and creating a VBS event.
If you can engage them, then they can influence people in their circle of leadership. A disclaimer to this is that it can be a risk, but one definitely worth evaluating.
We all have people in our ministry area that seem to go the extra mile. The Small Group Leaders who don’t punch out when small group is over. The volunteer who consistently asks you how they can help. It’s the people who step up and lead when you need them to do so.
When you add parents to your leadership team, you gain insight into how your VBS environments and resources translate to your audience. Adding parents to your team will help you evaluate if your ministry is effective.
People with different talents and personalities
Type As, creatives, systems people, introverts, and extroverts – they’re all needed around the table. If you surround yourself with only people who think like you, you’ll find yourself with a one-dimensional ministry. Assemble people who represent different viewpoints.
What does a VBS Leadership Team do?
In our kid’s ministry, we are always evaluating. Some items we assess for a VBS event are our environments, curriculum, volunteers, and resources. We ask the questions of what’s worked well in the past and what hasn’t worked well. Opening yourself and your ministry up to feedback to a highly-invested team makes you a better leader.
When we begin to put pen to paper about the direction VBS needs to go, this is the team who I ask to help in the planning. They help to get the ideas rolling and to create the overall plan.
I like to have a team leader who is responsible for each specific area of our VBS. For me, that means that I need team leaders in these areas:
- Elementary Small Groups
- Large Group
- Volunteer Support
- Front Desk/Welcome Desk
- Decor Prep
The goal is for each team leader to assemble a team with volunteers from our church who will be accountable for helping to execute. The team leader will check in with the leadership team and me from time to time to give updates. team leaders help to break up the number of volunteers you are leading. For example, instead of being personally responsible for 100 volunteers, you now will lead a team of 10. That’s way more manageable for you. And delegating leadership always empowers your team!