Evaluating After is as Important as Planning Before

20140114-075705.jpgWe all know how important planning is to the success of VBS. But why take the time to evaluate after it is over? After all, what is done is done! 

I once had a boss who was so convinced of the value of evaluation he held evaluation sessions to evaluate the evaluation sessions. While this may seem extreme, what he taught by example is that we can never stop learning or improving, AND the only way to truly learn and improve is to evaluate the previous event before planning the next one.
Here are six aspects of evaluation I learned from my boss.
1. Evaluate as soon after the event as possible.
2. Evaluate with your entire team, with just your leadership team, and finally by yourself.
3. Insist that every critical statement be followed by a positive statement. Otherwise your goal of constructive evaluation can disintegrate into a grip session.
4. Take great notes, capturing every statement and suggestion. What seems like a ridiculous opinion at first may turn out to be the best takeaway of the entire process.
5. Don’t take negatives personally. You will never grow and improve personally, and your team will stop giving feedback, if you take offense at negative evaluations.
6. Review evaluation notes regularly as you plan the next event.
Jerry Wooley, @vbsguy, serves you as LifeWay's VBS Ministry Specialist and event planner .


  1. Margaret ("Peggy") Clyne says

    (I had to count on my fingers - 9+8=17. lol)

    Just want to say what a great theme Agency D3 was. Our church has used Lifeway's VBS curriculum for many years (New Life Baptist Church, Tortola, BVI) and we are always pleased with the materials -- especially the Christ-centered content. My suggestion is: Just as there was a poster of the Bible Verse, please consider including a poster of the Theme Song.

    Keep up the good work, and may God continue to bless you with His ideas to advance His kingdom.

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