Are you looking to get your VBS program started with a big boost of energy? Are you wanting to motivate VBS volunteers? Do you want to have a fun time? Hosting a VBS kickoff meeting can accomplish all of these things!
If you’re not sure where to start, use this blog as a guide. You’ll find the basic steps here and you can add in your program’s specific information, as needed.
Get ready to jump-start a great VBS experience!
The first step
Setting well-defined goals will make planning your VBS kickoff event much easier. It will also help you keep the event moving along at a good pace—being respectful of everybody’s time. For example:
As a result of this meeting, volunteers will know
- that they are part of a dynamic team committed to sharing Jesus’ love with children;
- our theme and the related Bible truths we want to share;
- words and melodies for the main songs we will sing;
- important safety procedures; and
- pertinent housekeeping details.
Behind the scenes
If you want to host a great kickoff meeting, gather the materials you’ll need in advance. For example, before the meeting, do the following:
- Decorate the meeting room with your VBS theme in mind. This will help everyone get in the mood for VBS!
- Gather name tags for everyone, yourself included. Include each person’s VBS role on the name tag.
- Put together folders that include all the important information about VBS—the kickoff meeting agenda, VBS schedule, daily themes with corresponding Bible stories, VBS safety procedures, and contact information.
- If possible, create a simple PowerPoint presentation that further outlines your agenda and the material you’ll be presenting.
- Arrange for snacks. Could you connect the food with the VBS theme?
- Organize small thank-you gifts for the volunteers. Consider giving each volunteer a $5 gift card to the local coffee shop or a small devotional book.
Before you come together at the kickoff event, you’ll want to set the tone and help your leaders get organized. For example:
- Prior to the meeting, give volunteer teachers, musicians, worship leaders, and craft coordinators their basic materials or guidebooks. This way, they’ll have time to look through the material and come up with questions.
- Invite church staff, especially your pastor, to attend the first part of the kickoff meeting or all of it.
- Advertise the meeting and make sure to provide personal invitations—postcards, emails, phone calls, and so on.
As the event begins, you’ll want to communicate your appreciation to each volunteer. For example:
- Greet each individual warmly.
- Give each volunteer a name tag and a thank-you gift.
- Help volunteers begin to connect. VBS will be much more enjoyable if volunteers can get to know the other people who are serving alongside them. You may consider having each “team” (craft team, music team, and so on) sit together.
As you call for everyone’s attention, thank them for coming and for contributing to the success of VBS! Call attention to the agenda in their folders and launch into your presentation. Remember to incorporate as much audience participation as you can. For example:
- Integrate movement. Every five minutes or so, have everyone stand and join you in singing one of the VBS songs. If the songs have motions you can teach, all the better!
- Involve others in presenting the information. Your pastor might comment on the Bible stories, the craft coordinator might lead everyone in making a sample project, and so on.
Play your favorite icebreaker game or use one of CTA’s ideas.
This devotion should correspond with your VBS theme. Also plan to sing one or two of the VBS songs.
Introduce your church staff members and VBS leaders to the group.
Briefly walk through each day of VBS. This is a great place to have your pastor or another volunteer jump in as a leader. In advance, ask this volunteer to give a quick overview of the main objective of each day and the related Bible story. Sing a VBS song following each day’s summary.
Explain this year’s VBS mission project and tell the group where the VBS offerings will be donated.
Go through the schedule, the location of supplies, and other housekeeping details.
Review safety procedures
Make sure every volunteer understands your registration, drop-off, and pick-up procedures. Also briefly review emergency plans.
Invite volunteers to contact you if they have questions after the meeting.
Pray for your volunteers, for your church staff, for the VBS students, and for their families.
You are welcome to copy this article for one-time use when you include this credit line and receive no monetary benefit from it: © 2018 CTA, Inc. Used with permission.