We couldn't have been more excited about the results of weeks of planning and preparation. We ultimately landed on doing our VBS from 10AM-Noon each day of Spring Break. Our rotations consisted of the bible story, crafts, snack, music, and recreation. The volunteers that signed up to help overwhelmed our team leader. Without their willingness, hard work, and dedication, we would not have been able to do what we did. For example, we had a couple of guys from our church who also work at a local workout facility and they transformed some of their activities and workouts they do with their clients and made them kid-friendly. They loved it! We also had a small team from Union University (in Jackson, TN) come and spend the week with us and serve as team leaders for the different grade groups.
Like many churches, we had a very small budget to work with. So we had to be creative. We opted to not spend dollars on many decorations, but instead, focus on the essentials while making sure the kids had fun while they were with us. One cool and fairly cheap idea we had was for each group to have a different color bandana - so we would be able to instantly know who was a part of what group. It worked out really well!
The week was capped off with a family event. We desired to be very intentional. We wanted the parents to hear directly from their kids what they learned throughout the week, and we wanted members from our church to connect with these new families. So on the last day, we asked parents to arrive at 11:30AM. They came in and we all gathered in a circle and our kids (along with our worship leader) sang some of the songs they learned throughout the week. The kids also shared about the different crafts they made and the bible story that went along with each craft. We ended the event by providing Chick-Fil-A box lunches for everyone! Our volunteers and church members intentionally spread out among the different families to have conversations with the kids and parents about what they learned as well as just getting to know them. We loved getting to meet new friends and hopefully by connecting in this way, as families might visit our church, they'll have a familiar, friendly face when they show up on Sunday.
With over 40 kids taking part and getting to meet over 20 new families, we considered our first ever Spring Break VBS a success. It took tons of planning, preparation, and time to make it happen, and now we continue to pray that the Gospel message we shared each day would take root in the homes of these 20+ families and that the Lord would soon draw them to our church. Praise God for his provision and his grace! He showed up in a big way during our VBS and we are already looking forward to what He has in store for us in the future!!