Getting your heart ready for VBS

IMG_9942Frazzled. That's me leading up to VBS last year. I was in a demanding job, involved in three church kids programs and a Bible study, and trying to keep dinner cooked and house cleaned. I was also absent for two nights of VBS and had to prepare for a substitute! I was a wreck!

As I sat on my living room floor late at night preparing, I felt a sense of despair that I couldn't get deeper than a to-do list. Oh I’d get the pieces cut and bagged, and I’d have my teaching outline, but my heart wasn't there. My spirit wasn't prepared for VBS.

I suspect I’m not alone. Between family, work, church, and community responsibilities … we’re drowning VBS workers! How do we prepare our spirits for one more thing?

First, we start early. Like now.

Now directors, before you wring my neck, I know this isn’t early! You're in the throes of VBS prep already, but for the rest of us, donning coats and gloves daily, summer seems far away.

But if we stop thinking that way and start preparing, I think we'll find some extra time, as well as a much richer VBS.

Some ideas:

to do

Be in the Word.  Apply God's words to your life. Ask God to help you know Him. One of the best gifts you can give your VBS kids is to be growing spiritually.

Spend time with kids. Play with your own, babysit or volunteer, but use this time to rekindle deep love for kids. Ask God to show you how He loves them and to help you love them that way.  Truly listen to what kids say. What do they care about? What do they fear? If you know them and love them, your ministry will go beyond a to-do list.

Ask your director how you can help. And pray while you help. If you work on name tags, pray for the child that will touch each name tag. If you collect craft supplies, pray that God will help tactile learners embrace truth during crafts, etc...

Make good use of time- Prepare ahead for what you'll be doing so when the time comes you'll be calm and ready to spend time with kids. I’m guessing if you asked for your materials early, your director would jump for joy! Pray for God's inspiration and presence in your corner of VBS.

Spend some time with God about the things you are afraid of, and specific VBS worries. Confess them and ask Him to use your fears and weaknesses to minister to children.

Pray for God’s boldness as you speak to each of the kids you encounter at VBS.

Pray for teachers. Hold other teachers up in prayer. Pray for their energy, courage, and spiritual preparation.

Notice a theme? Pray, pray, pray is the most important form of preparation. People say, “all I can do is pray, we can only pray, or please just pray,” but though I’ve never been a strong prayer warrior, God frequently reminds me that prayer is not an “all,” an “only,” or a “just.” It is talking with the Creator of the universe, who loves and cares for us and wants to make His will known.

What are ways you can prepare spiritually for VBS? How can we pray for your preparation?




  1. Karen Claunch says

    I have been a VBS director for many years. I find it very encouraging to look back over past years and recall the ways I've seen God move. It's especially great to remember those who accepted Christ during VBS. I've seen children get saved...resulting in their parents getting saved and in future years serving as VBS teachers! It's why we do what we do!

    • bbrown says

      Karen, what a great thought! Thanks for sharing! Maybe it would even work to keep a journal of those things every year after VBS (for those of us with bad memories :) so you have somewhere to go and look at these memories when you need some encouragement or a focused way to prepare.

  2. Becky Longshore says

    Just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed and appreciated this article. This is my first year as assitant VBS director. I have always taught. I am going to share this with all the teachers/workers. Thanks!!

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