April Is for Training

20140114-075705.jpgJust as April showers result in a profusion of May flowers, VBS training results in a bounty just as beautiful and rich.

Spring can be hectic at best. If Easter, graduations, weddings, and little league do not fill your calendar there is always the flurry of activity in preparation for VBS! It is tempting to push training aside - especially this year with Easter so late in April.

Chances are you might be asking yourself, "is training really that important?" After all, most VBS workers have been doing the same thing for years and could successfully lead VBS in their sleep. Right?

The truth is, many VBS workers do have tremendous experience and need very little help or instruction. AND, getting workers to attend a training session can be challenging enough. Then there is the time and energy required to prepare and promote the training event. There is no wonder you might be tempted to just hope for the best and hope workers find everything they need to know in the leader guides.

But training is important - even for the person who has worked in VBS every year since LifeWay first published VBS resources in 1925.

To highlight "April Is For Training," LifeWays VBS team has created a series of posts containing six tips for your personal training or to use as you train VBS workers in your church. (By the way, six tips work great with LifeWay's six-sided Giant Inflatable Game Cube.) We begin with -

6 REASONS WHY VBS TRAINING IS ESSENTIAL

Game Cube Photo

1. Training creates and builds teams. When everyone comes together for training, individuals realize they are part of something bigger than just the part they play. They are given a glimpse of the big picture and purpose of VBS and the importance of participating not as an individual but as a team.

2. Training empowers workers and turns them into leaders. VBS volunteers rarely see themselves as leaders, yet that is exactly what they are. Training that empowers (gives a volunteer permission and knowledge to lead) helps a volunteer to begin assuming the role and responsibilities of leadership.

3. Training creates evangelistic urgency. Training gives workers the tools and confidence they need to present the Gospel boldly. It produces a challenge to make sure every minute and aspect of VBS is focused on presenting the Gospel.

4. Training produces a sense of assurance. Most VBS volunteers only work with kids once each year. Leader guides may provide the content but it takes training to confidently use it.

5. Training challenges the status quo. While very few people truly enjoy change, a VBS that never changes quickly becomes predictable and boring. Training challenges workers to dream big and do the work of VBS with excellence.

6. Training dots the i's and crosses the t's. Everyone needs to know the who, what, when, where, why and how of VBS. Training provides an opportunity to answer all the questions and get everyone on the same page.

 Jerry Wooley, @vbsguy, has served as LifeWay's VBS Ministry Specialist since 2006.

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