A gigantic scavenger hunt can be organized to collect needed items for VBS craft projects. 

Print a list of needed items in the church newsletter, alerting people that on a certain date children will be coming to their homes searching for these items. 

Send out e-mail reminders.

Enlist parents to drive cars and assign areas.


Remember birthdays of your Sunday school pupils by sending a greeting card or birthday e-mail.  Take a cupcake or inexpensive gift to the child's home.  These gestures show that you are choosing to care.

You might consider having an "It's Everybody's Birthday" party once a year for your class.


Be a patient listener.  children's narratives can sometimes be tedious, filled with lots of details. But carefully listening to a child says, "I care about you."

To show you are listening, interject a question or comment such as: "That sounds like it was fun" or "how did you feel when that happened?"


The Parable Praise Party books have been released:  Come Back Home, Lost and Found, Safe in the Fold. (Click on titles to order.)

These books tell the biblical parables of the Prodigal Son, the lost coin and the lost sheep.  These delightful books are for ages 4-7.


Materials Needed:  Stuffed animals, mailing labels, marker.
Write one word from the verse on each mailing label and attach lightly to each stuffed animal.  Pass out the animals to the children.  Let them line up the animals in the correct order.  Say the verse three times together.  Pass out the animals again and have the children place them in the right order.  Say the verse three more times.  Choose a child to remove one animal.  Quote the verse together.  Choose another child to remove another animal.  Say the verse in unison.  Continue until all animals have been removed and the verse is being said from memory.


Isn’t being a Vacation Bible School Director a fulfilling ministry opportunity? The responsibility is tiring, at times frustrating, and often difficult. But you play a key role in directing your church’s largest outreach program for children and their families.

What a terrific way to impact the boys and girls of your church, their friends, and your community. In one week, every child receives the time equivalent of an entire quarter of Sunday School instruction.
As you press through the challenges, you’ll sense God depositing something priceless and eternal within you. When the exhaustion passes, you’ll realize your life has been changed forever. And won’t it be fun when we all get to heaven and attend the great VBS Directors’ Reunion in the sky!

The task before you is an awesome one, with a variety of components needing to mesh together for a great VBS experience. There are so many people with whom you will need to work in accomplishing this task, and to whom you must convey your passion for this event and its life-changing possibilities.

As VBS Director, your agenda will be filled with exciting challenges and necessary deadlines. But leave yourself open to the wonderful blessings that will occur in the lives of everyone touched by this ministry, including you!


To obtain a clear focus, it helps to take a panoramic view of the values:

1. Concentrated Bible study for pupils and a unique evangelistic tool. More children make a decision for Christ during VBS than at any other time during the church year.

2. Opportunity to strengthen the spiritual life of teachers as they present God’s Word and to increase their concern for children’s needs.

3. A passport into unchurched homes.

4. Increased Sunday school and church attendance.

5. A demonstration to your community that your church chooses to care by providing a ministry designed for their children.


If a genuine “WOW! I’M SO EXCITED” doesn’t well up within your spirit as you think about directing VBS this year, you may need to prayerfully define, or re-define, your purpose for having Vacation Bible School. Perhaps the overwhelming responsibility of planning has blotted out your vision of sharing with boys and girls a living, loving Jesus.

God knows the best way to get things done at your church. God knows the most effective method for reaching children within the sphere of your church's efforts. Ask Him! Pray until you receive a God-given, clear vision of how to reach the boys and girls in your community.

Then always make a connection between your prayers and what you hear people saying. For instance, maybe you’ll start hearing: “We sure have lots of kids in our neighborhood. Sure wish there was some way to reach them.” Perhaps this year, instead of a traditional VBS, you feel God leading your church to sponsor one or more backyard Vacation Bible Schools. Your major purpose would then be community outreach and evangelism.

Or maybe after praying, you’ll realize your biggest headache each year are the crafts which means getting the needed personnel to help and rounding up the supplies. By eliminating crafts, this time slot can be used for playing Bible games to reinforce concepts, showing biblical DVD’s, and presenting special features.

To stay focused on your purpose, write down what God tells you through prayer and use it as a standard of measurement. An example might be, “To bring as many children to salvation in Jesus Christ as possible.” Karen Brinkman set four basic VBS goals at her church: (1) education--the children will learn about God, (2) witness--the children will take home crafts and newsletters to share with family members, (3) community--program will include children from outside the church, and (4) recreation--the children will have fun.

The “We’ve Always Done It This Way” syndrome can quench what God wants to accomplish at your church this year. Complacency stands as an enemy to change. Are you willing to step out of your comfort zone? Are you willing to be flexible? Are you willing to try something only God can do? Are you willing to accept His purpose for your VBS? Are you willing to do everything possible to make this event life-changing?

Once you have a clear vision, then share it passionately with your volunteers. Repeatedly communicate the vision with clarity and purpose, until your staff becomes of one mind and heart together and rises to the challenge ahead.


Potential volunteers often misunderstand the task they are asked to perform. No one can satisfactorily function in a given role unless it is clearly understood what is expected. Included in the job description should be some indication of what the volunteer may expect from the church, as well as what the church expects from the volunteer.

A job description is a list of the general tasks, essential functions, and responsibilities of a ministry area. Each description should include: position title, essential duties to be performed, and to whom the position reports.

It’s helpful to begin each responsibility with an action verb, such as: approve, assist, conduct, coordinate, delegate, design, establish, evaluate, facilitate, guide, handle, implement, improve, instruct, maintain, manage, operate, plan, prepare, present, recruit, schedule, strengthen, teach, train, trouble shoot.

For instance, for your recreation director you might write: Select age-appropriate games and activities for the 30-minute recreation time; demonstrate games and activities to the VBS staff at the training session - so teachers and helpers are familiar with the rules; direct each recreation segment. 

The music director job description might say: One of the most effective ways to learn Christian truths is through music. Words or concepts which are difficult to memorize in prose form may be learned quickly when combined with a memorable tune. Long after VBS is over, many children will still be singing the songs they have learned. You have the opportunity to select the songs which each group will be learning during the Music Segment and to creatively teach them. You are responsible for obtaining needed audio and/or visual equipment for use during the music segments. You will lead each age group in performing at the VBS closing program.


People are often reluctant to help in VBS because they feel unqualified; think someone else can do the job better; fear the unknown; are afraid they will fail; do not understand what is involved in the specific assignment; or are turned off by the poor enlistment technique of “there’s no one else who will do it.”

If VBS is God's work, you can count on Him to provide the needed help. Rather than a general call from the pulpit (“anyone interested in working in VBS see so-and-so after church“), directly contact people. Sixty percent of people in any congregation do NOT respond to general announcements! One-on-one recruitment is always the most effective, and also eliminates the possibility of individuals responding for a position who are not qualified. Ask specific people for a specific job.

Running an effective Vacation Bible School requires an excited, dedicated and coordinated staff. Have in hand a list of all needed positions, such as: advertising, Bible discovery, nursery child care, class coordinator, crafts, decorating, games, mission project, music, photography, preschool, puppetry, registration, set-up/dismantling crew, supplies shopper, snacks, teacher assistants, transportation, etc.