When it comes to recruiting and retaining volunteers from year to year with VBS, and even in weekly teaching opportunities, there is nothing that matters more than vision and value.
Your volunteers need to know why they are needed. What need are they meeting? What eternal purpose are they serving?
Meet with volunteers and help them understand the importance of the work they are doing. Pointing kids to Christ and helping them discover that He wants to have a relationship with them is the most pivotal and impactful way to spend our time. Children need consistent teachers who can show the love of Jesus. As a teacher, you may be the only picture of Jesus that they ever see. This is the time in a child’s life that their foundations are being built for life. Teachers help set an accurate view of who God is and who God says that they are that will carry over into their adult life.
As you seek to recruit and retain volunteers, the other key to success is making sure volunteers know you value them. A thank you note or a volunteers dinner goes a long way in ministry! Let volunteers know the effort they are pouring into these kids is notgoing unnoticed and that you appreciate them using their gifts for the glory of the Lord.
If you frequently remind your leaders of their importance in the work of the eternal Kingdom of God and the value of their presence in the ministry at your church, you will be able to guard against burn out and help your volunteers to serve to best of their ability.
What ways do you remind your VBS volunteers that they are valued? How do you share the vision of the importance of their work with them?
Over the river (Little Pigeon River) and through the woods (Mt. Pisgah National Forrest) to VBS 2013 Events we go! It is going to be a COLOSSAL week!
This is the week we (LifeWay’s VBS Events Team) look forward to all year – the first in a series of awesome fun events – where VBS groupies from all 50 States, Canada, and Mexico (and sometimes even a groupie or two from Great Britain or Korea) join together for two days of exciting VBS sights and sounds!
Over 1200 VBS leaders will be our guests at Ridgecrest Conference Center later this week for worship with Dr. Shane Garrison and Austin Adamic, teaching by some of the best VBS practitioners in the country, inspiration and creativity of LifeWay’s VBS Graphics and Publishing Team, and a performance of the Colossal Coaster World Musical by a great children’s choir. AND if all this is not enough, how about 60 degree weather (we typically have ice) in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.
If you are not registered for the Ridgecrest event, there is still time to join us January 18-19 in Fort Worth, January 31-February 1 in Nashville, or February 8-9 in Kissimmee. Like I said before, these events are going to be COLOSSAL so don’t miss out.
To learn how you can be part of a one of these awesome Preview events go to lifeway.com/vbs/events.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard preschool Sunday school referred to as day care or babysitting. I know none of you have ever said that… but just in case you need some help recruiting teachers for these small ones or want to encourage current teachers with how they are making a difference in these little lives, here are 5 reasons to teach our youngest, sweetest ministry participants.
Bible teaching as infants and early toddlers lay the spiritual foundation for those children for years to come. Even babies can begin to recognize Jesus as a familiar name. They will learn that church is a safe place where teachers care for them. They will learn that they can trust what teachers say at church. These are formative years not to miss!
Children as young as 1 year old can remember simple events. They can remember reading from the cool Bible with all the pictures when that action is repeated week after week.
When their needs are met at church, they develop trust for the teacher and the truth that they are speaking to them. This builds into them trusting that their spiritual needs can be met by Jesus.
At 1 year, most children are beginning to make simple choices. Red or green. Cheerios or bananas. Talking about Jesus and making decisions that honor Him can become commonplace. As they develop their ability to make choices, they will know that Jesus wants to be a part of those decisions.
Children will associate God’s name with love and trust. Again, these associations lay a solid foundation for preschool teachers to build on.
Teaching Babies–2s is like a jump start into knowing about God. As they trust and love God, they will begin to understand what a relationship with Him looks like as they continue to grow and learn. Babies–2s are learning at church, too. They may not be able to use their words to thank you, but they are daily growing as they use their senses and develop skills at church to discover who Jesus is!
Hopefully it is looking a lot like – and sounding a lot like – Christmas where you are today. It certainly is here in the VBS office! But it is also looking and sounding a lot like four weeks until the first national VBS Preview at Ridgecrest Conference Center in North Carolina.
We are in perpetual motion putting the finishing touches on a not-to-be-missed event! We have now hit capacity at Ridgecrest and the Nashville Friday/Saturday events, but there is still room at Fort Worth, Nashville Thursday/Friday, and Kissimmee.
A complete list of breakout sessions is now available at lifeway.com/vbs/events. Check it out today!
In addition to the basics for Colossal Coaster World and Club VBS: Jungle Jaunt, you will have the opportunity to explore decorating options with Mark Jones and the VBS Design Team, be introduced to LifeWay’s newest VBS resource Backyard Kids Club, be challenged by the preaching of Dr. Shane Garrison, and participate in worship with the Austin Adamec Band.
I’m looking forward to seeing you soon for the Colossal Coaster World Experience!
This past weekend I completed my Fall VBS 2013 Jump Start traveling schedule. The past few weeks have found me in Arizona, Illinois, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Alabama, and Michigan helping church, associational, and state VBS leaders prepare for a Colossal Coaster World experience.
It is always fun to see how people (VBS Groupies) across the U.S. interpret a theme. Each location plays host to a variety of theme-related food, decorations, and costumes – which I think add the most unexpected touch of all. It started me thinking – what if people wore theme-related costumes to VBS Previews? Talk about creating a fun atmosphere!
With just 39 days until the first Preview at Ridgecrest, North Carolina, I’m challenging all of you to make this the most entertaining Preview ever by showing up in a costume that shouts Colossal Coaster World!
Jerry and Roberta dressed as tacky tourists for our CCW theme release party.
Each event guest wearing a costume will receive a chance to be selected as a member of the VBS 2015 Think Tank team. This is the team that will create the 2015 theme! One Think Tank member and one alternate will be chosen from each of the five Previews. (An alternate is being chosen in case the team member is unavailable to attend Think Tank.)
As Rhonda shared yesterday, we are in the midst of writing curriculum for VBS 2014. We have great VBS creatives in town from across the U.S. writing for babies through sixth grade. Student, adult, and Special Friends resources are not far behind.
These writers have been given the goal of noon Saturday to have materials for leader guides and packs written, polished, and ready for the editors. Please pray for these ladies as they will be putting in extremely long hours each day. Pray for God’s message for VBS 2014 to come through loud and clear.
While these writers are busy developing resources for 2014, another group is in the building putting the finishing touches on 2013 resources and planning for VBS 2013 Previews. It is truly exciting days around One LifeWay Plaza!
Speaking of VBS 2013 Previews, I hope you will plan to join us at Ridgecrest Conference Center, North Carolina, January 11-12; Travis Avenue Baptist Church, Fort Worth, Texas, January 18-19; LifeWay Christian Resources, Nashville, Tennessee, January 31 – February 1; or First Baptist Church, Kissimmee, Florida, February 8-9.
We are going to have great fun! Looking forward to having you as one of our very special guests.