6 Tips You Need for Leading VBS Training


VBS training time is here! Are you a leader who likes to lead from behind-the-scenes and is a little intimated by training? Are you a leader who has been training people for years and years and just needs something to make it fresh? Maybe this is your first try at training your church leaders to lead VBS and you just need some tips to do so. Here are 6 tips to consider when leading a VBS training session… just to get the conversation going.

1. Start and end when you say you will.
Build trust and respect with your teachers now.
2. Get to know your teachers.
If you want your teachers to learn how to build relationships with the kids in the VBS class, make sure to be building relationships with them.
3. Don’t be all business.
VBS is fun! Make sure to work some fun into your training!
4. Empower other leaders.
If you feel like it is important to talk through what will happen at recreation or during missions, allow those teachers to speak to that. Empower every teacher by giving them your expectations and what success at VBS looks like, which is spending time with kids teaching them about Jesus, so that they may see Him and desire to follow Him!
5. Give leaders specific ways to pray.
Pass out a prayer calendar that has a specific thing to pray for each day between training and VBS. Pray for teachers as they prepare, kids as they get excited to come, and parents as kids go home and tell them about what they learned.
6. Consider ways to include the entire church.
Allow your volunteers to help you think about as many ways as possible to get your entire church involved in VBS. Share your prayer calendar with the church, ask them to come to the week’s night of celebration and get to know some of the families, or have them prayer walk through the church the day before VBS begins. There are tons of ways to include your church, so think through some ways to do so and make it happen!

If you missed last week’s post about training, find it here.

What is the best tip you can share with us about leading a VBS training session?

Social Media as a Ministry Tool: The Basics

Some of you may be thinking, “Social media!? There’s no way I can use that as a ministry tool. I’m too far behind already.” But guess what… if you are reading this blog post, you’re already more savvy than you think.

YOU are reading a blog post– and according to our data, chances are good that you got to this blog by Google searching for VBS or clicking on a link on Facebook or Twitter. So how can you use what you already know about the Internet to connect with your parents, volunteers, and community? Let me show you the way!

1) Just have a social media presence. There are many options to choose from, but Twitter and Facebook are the most commonly used social realms. I would say most parents use Facebook rather than Twitter. But determine what your parents and volunteers are using and sign up. Make sure it’s clear that the Facebook page or Twitter handle belongs to your ministry. Be sure to use a familiar logo so that users can easily identify the account as yours.

2) UPDATE, UPDATE, UPDATE! Twitter and Facebook are FREE ways to communicate–great tools! But those avenues are useless if you aren’t using them. Use your “status” to inform parents and volunteers of dates/times and ministry needs. Make sure that you update regularly and respond to questions from parents and volunteers.

A good example of a status update might be: “Amazing Wonders Aviation VBS kicks off in just one month!! We’re looking for excited volunteers to help us take flight! Interested? Let us know! ”

Interested volunteers could then interact with that status by responding and expressing their desire to help with VBS. This is especially helpful if you use youth and college students to help with VBS; most students that age are constantly receiving information from social media outlets!

Here are some other great examples:

“Don’t forget!! VBS volunteer training TONIGHT from 6-7pm in the Fellowship Hall. Can’t wait to see your smiling faces!”

“Registered to send your little camper to CentriKid yet? Deadline for registration is May 30th! Scholarships available. Contact Katie for more information.”

3) Have fun! It may surprise you how much fun social media can be. When you show excitement about your new-fangled tool, others will be excited to communicate with you. Enjoy “being part of the conversation” and engaging parents and volunteers in this way.

4) Follow US! If you’re on Facebook, make sure you check out the pages for LifeWay Kids, LifeWay VBS, CentriKid Camps, and LifeWay PreTeens. They’re great places to get updates about the latest stuff going on, ask questions and get in on the conversation with other folks in ministry. If you’re on Twitter, make sure to follow @lifewayvbs, @lifewaykids, @centrikidcamps, and our new curriculum, @gospel_project!

So there are the basics. Think you’re ready to get started? If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment here or email me: katie.decillo@lifeway.com. I’d love to help you out!

I’ll be back soon with more tips and tricks–stay tuned!



Foto Friday. . .Volunteers! ! !

Volunteer. What does this word mean to you? Merriam Webster defines the word as “a person who voluntarily undertakes or expresses a willingness to undertake a service”.

VBS volunteers are incredible! This last year at my VBS, I witnessed so many volunteers helping out in any way possible! Youth helping in the younger classes. . . adults teaching/decorating. . .senior adults teaching, counting pennies, serving snacks (even serving snacks to the volunteers!). . .even kids helping decorate!

A volunteer’s enthusiasm, energy and willingness is incredible! They are like a shot of adrenaline!

I’m not a trained theologian but I would imagine a VBS director’s verse might be:

Judges 5:2 When the leaders lead in Israel, when the people volunteer, praise the Lord.

So, here’s to all the unsung heroes of VBS. . .the volunteers! Thank you! ! !


I like this photo. . .VBS present and looking forward to the future!

Help! I Need Volunteers!

If you had to pick, what would go on the top of  your VBS checklist as a director? I would say that recruiting volunteers would be at the top of mine. Anybody who has ever worked at VBS knows that it is impossible to pull it off without people who are willing to give their time and volunteer! We need people who are willing to teach, make crafts, help with registration, organize the classes, and so forth. So, how do you get people to volunteer?

  • Pray. Prayer is so important. Ask God to help you to find the right people to volunteer for the positions you need, and for you to recognize those people.
  •  Ask People Personally. Making announcements is a great way to let people know the need for volunteers, but it is also important to take the time to ask people personally. Some people may think the announcement is for everyone but them, so personally seeking them out helps them know that you really value them and want their help.
  • Recruit in Pairs. Some people may be new to VBS or may not feel confident in teaching, so recruit them and a friend. This gives you two volunteers and helps them be able to work with someone they know.
  • Provide a Job Description. People want to know what they are volunteering for, so make sure that you are able to provide a true job description so that they know what they are getting into!
  • Provide Training and Resources. Volunteers need to feel confident. Therefore it is important to let them know that training will be provided and that you will make sure that they will have all the resources they need.
  • Be Organized. Nothing can frustrate someone more than volunteering to help and then finding that the leader is unorganized and cannot tell them what needs to be done.
  • Show Appreciation. Many people are taking time off from work or giving up something else to help in VBS. Let them know that you appreciate them and all their hard work.