How to Make VBS Volunteers into Year-Round Volunteers


VBS is over, and you survived! I saw most of your posts on social media. Maybe you felt like you made it on a wing and a prayer, but to me it looked like you were doing way more than surviving. You were thriving. Way to go!

Now that the dust has settled, we get to start turning our attention to what I like to refer to as the “Fall Semester Festivities!” These include fall festivals, trunk-or-treat events, Thanksgiving celebrations and of course Christmas programs. And we get to sneak in some VBS 2020 planning woven in between all of these activities and our regularly-scheduled Sunday morning programs!

I’m pretty tired just from typing out that list.

Regardless, I wanted to give you some leadership GOLD to lighten your load a little bit. I learned about this idea years ago from Andy Stanley, and I’ve been able to work it into my leadership role in children’s ministry.

Many moons ago, I heard Andy speak about the idea of replacing yourself. The idea boiled down to finding strong leaders and giving them opportunities to serve – ideally from your own list of responsibilities. And if you hand off these pieces well, then the leaders you pick will end up doing a better job at your job than you did. In turn, that frees you up to lead even better. It’s a WIN for you, your team, and your ministry.

What in the world does this have to do with trunk-or-treat and Vacation Bible School? Everything.

Find your VBS volunteers’ strengths and use them year-round

You probably have a list in your mind of the VBS volunteers that stood out during your program this summer. And you have the chance to re-engage them this fall in easy ways that will develop them and help you. Consider the various roles at VBS and think about where these volunteers would shine on Sundays:


Did you have someone that was an awesome VBS greeter who could do the training and coordinating with your  team of greeters for your fall festivities? You could help him or her identify that potential team and turn them loose to recruit and nurture those relationships. This will give you a built-in greeter team just for special events.


Was there someone who LOVED the jobs associated with VBS decorations? Well, by all means – get them back in the loop for your upcoming programs! See if they have the time to pursue Pinterest and Facebook Groups for ideas. Then, propose the décor for one or two upcoming events. Help them find more people who enjoy the same tasks and build a decorating team with your support.

Leaders and Coordinators

What about your teams leading the VBS rotations? Did you have someone who stood out as a VBS games team leader or crafts volunteer or even a snack coordinator? If so, then you have an opportunity to handpick an experienced team of volunteers to come alongside you in planning the next round of special programs!

Don’t miss this chance to give your rising all-star leaders easy ways to serve using their natural giftings over the next season! Remember, people want to be asked to do something significant. If you don’t ask them, someone else will.

Building your volunteer leadership team

Here are some easy next steps you can take to begin building your volunteer leadership team:

  • Identify your MVPs from VBS 2019.
  • Match their strengths to roles on your ideal leadership team for your upcoming events.
  • Set up a time to meet with each person on your list. It can be over the phone or in person.
  • Make the ask for a small commitment first – possibly helping with your next upcoming event.
  • Plan a time to make the bigger ask for a longer-term commitment.
  • Plan regular team leader meetings to help the team dynamics begin to take shape.



Another bonus to leveraging others’ talents this time of year is that you’re investing in these relationships and handing off responsibility well before it’s time to engage your 2020 VBS leadership team. It’s great practice for YOU, and it begins to build a solid team of leaders who learn how to work together!

The one principle you need to turn VBS Volunteers into year-round volunteers!