The good ideas I’ve seen in our churches will probably be spread out over a few blog posts because there were many ideas. If you haven’t already seen them, check out the pictures from my VBS tour posted at our Virginia Baptist Childrens Ministry page on facebook. It is always helpful to see how other churches set up their Vacation Bible School and see crafts and games in action. I hope these lists of ideas will be helpful planning your next event, including VBS.
* Share resources with other churches. While there are some copyright issues you want to investigate, I saw a lot of churches sharing their resources with one another, especially when it comes to decorations. One childrens’ minister said it was also helpful to spend a day visiting another church doing the same theme to see it in action. Churches shared volunteer resources as they helped each other put up and remove the decorations. Some areas have even gone to doing an area wide Vacation Bible School with other churches in the same area.
* Special Sixth Grade Class. For one church that does not include sixth graders into the youth ministry, VBS provides an opportunity to give them a view of things to come. They attend XBS (Extreme Bible School) which includes special activities and access to the youth room facilities during free time.
* Pastors Getting Involved. I saw pastors doing everything from dressing up in costume and taking on a Biblical character to doing crazy dance moves. It means so much to children and their families for the pastor to be so accessible and involved. It gives kids a great connection to the pastor as we want the kids and their families to continue in the future of the church. It is also great for connection with youth and young adults as the pastor serves along-side of them.
* VBS as Outreach to Preschoolers. This year had many churches scrambling to reschedule VBS to a later date in the summer as a terrible winter pushed the start of vacation past their traditional VBS dates. One church with a weekly preschool used this as an opportunity to reach out to families of the preschoolers. In the now extra week between when the preschool closed and the public schools were getting out, the church did a special preschool VBS. This allowed for the leaders to tailor worship, crafts and activities to the preschoolers. It gave the leadership of the church the opportunity to connect with the parents of the preschoolers that are only connected to their preschool and not the church. It also freed up more volunteers for the VBS done later for the older kids.