The single most significant event we undertake every year for our kid’s ministry is no doubt our Vacation Bible School. VBS takes a massive amount of time, resources, people, and planning to pull off. Finding the best way to manage such an expansive project becomes a non-negotiable to the success of our VBS.
For every minute spent organizing an hour is earned. – Benjamin Franklin
Time is one of our most precious commodities as leaders. If we take the time to organize ourselves effectively on the front end, we will save time overall for our teams. So, where do you start?
Get the right people in the room. In a previous post, I discussed the advantages of putting together a VBS Leadership Team. This team is instrumental in kicking off the planning and preparing for your Vacation Bible School. They need to be comprised of people with different strengths and backgrounds that help you look at your VBS from all different angles. They can help to inform you about the needs of your specific VBS program.
Decide what and who will manage your VBS areas. Identifying the areas within your VBS that require leadership will help you to pinpoint who will manage those projects/areas. An example of some of these areas of responsibilities may be
- large group (worship, drama, bible storyteller, host, tech, etc)
- elementary small groups
- preschool programming
- prep/planning support
- snack/food prep
- welcome team
- volunteer support
Goodness, it’s a lot to think about and manage, right?
That’s why you need to be able to identify who will be responsible for these areas. Initially, you can make these lists anywhere you see fit. A couple of options would be an excel spreadsheet or a google doc. Try to create some type of worksheet that is easy to read and readily accessible to your leaders.
This is also a good time to take an honest look at your own gifts and abilities and ask yourself the question, “Do I have the project management skills to manage and execute this important moment for our ministry?” If you are not wired in this way, then you may want to think about delegating the project management responsibility to someone else in your ministry. It’s exciting to be able to come alongside someone and watch their leadership grow while allowing you to use your gifts and passions fully.
Determine the best project management tools for your VBS. Whether you’re at a smaller or larger church, you need to find the best way to communicate with your leaders and manage the details of your Vacation Bible School project. There are quite a few project management systems out there that you can use. Programs like these are great options to be able to manage projects and to-do lists within a team organization:
They all have different price points and functions, so you will want to research what’s best for your team. As a church, we use Google Drive to house everything for our team. We upload ideas, meeting notes, and project management documents for all of our VBS areas into a folder, and we give all of our leaders access to this folder to edit and add what they need to communicate. Some other ways you can communicate with your leaders are email, Slack, Voxer, GroupMe, and Marco Polo. My personal favorite is the Marco Polo app. You can leave a video message in a group, and the other members of the group can watch it when they have time. The video messaging part of the Marco Polo app is excellent for showing others what you’re working on or sending pictures.
Really, it all comes down to your preference for how you like to organize and manage projects. No tool is a great tool if you don’t use it. No matter what though, you want to start your VBS prep off right by getting yourself and your team organized. Plan your work, and then work your plan.
What tools do you like to use to project manage your VBS?