By Cherie Werner
Praise God for people who are willing to help! So many of the things that happen in a church can happen only because of the people who step up to volunteer. What a blessing to have people who like to get involved and want to be a part of your ministry! As you prepare for VBS and look for volunteers, consider the suggestions below.
Pray for the Right Volunteers for Your VBS:
Ask God to bring the people he wants to bring and ask him to show you who would fit well into the different areas (jobs) you need to fill.
Ask Specific People to Volunteer:
A general plea for volunteers sometimes brings a few and is always a good idea to reach those who might not know you need help; however, your best bet is to ask specific people. Pay attention to the gifts and talents of people in your church and specifically ask them to fill positions that are available. At the same time, give the people you ask the option of choosing a different role that might suit them better.
Communicate and Provide Supplies:
Make sure to give your volunteers all the information they need to be successful. Be clear about expectations, job descriptions, and materials needed. Provide all the supplies they need or information about how to access those supplies. Make yourself available for questions or clarification so volunteers can feel comfortable and ready.
Try to have a time where all the volunteers can gather, either before the week begins or even before each night. This way you can start as a team with a prayer and devotion. If you have a chance to gather as a group during the week it will give you an opportunity to deal with any concerns or obstacles and can create a support system for those who may need help with something. If you are interested in a more formal training process you can find some resources here.
Provide a Pick-Me-Up:
Most VBS weeks include snacks for the students. Consider offering special drinks or treats for the volunteers throughout the week.
Add Some Fun:
Give volunteers the opportunity to win daily or weekly prizes with a trivia contest based on the Bible events for the week. (Make sure that the answers can be found in the Bible so that those who have jobs in other areas have an equal opportunity to participate.)
Something to Think About:
The benefits of VBS are not just for the children. God’s Word touches everyone who hears it. Give your volunteers a chance to grow in their faith with a daily reflection question that goes with the theme or events from the Bible. You could even share some faith-encouragement resources.
Give a Gift of Appreciation for Your Vacation Bible School Volunteers:
Consider showing your appreciation to your VBS volunteers with a small gift.
One Last Note:
As a final touch of appreciation for your helpers, send a personal thank-you note to each volunteer (or a least to those with key roles). Thank them for their efforts and time, and be specific. Tell them how what they did made a difference for you or others.
You are welcome to copy this article for one-time use when you include this credit line and receive no monetary benefit from it: © 2023 CTA, Inc. Used with permission.