Thursday, June 13, 2013

Take the Time to Support and Appreciate Your Vacation Bible School Volunteers!

Summer is here and churches will be holding their VBS outreaches and while there are so many things to think about and do when it comes to getting ready for your Vacation Bible School, I want to add one more thing to your list. Don't worry . . . this thing is so much fun! Be sure to implement a complete volunteer support and appreciation ministry! In this day and age we are all so busy . . . and yet, in spite of being busy you have people who have volunteered to serve on your VBS team! We do not need any other reason to support and appreciate our volunteers!

  • The first thing we need to do is to personally thank each person who volunteers. Don't assume they know you appreciate their willingness to be involved, take a moment to personally tell each person thank you.
  • Go to your prayer team and be sure each volunteer has a prayer partner who will specifically pray for them throughout the week of VBS. Prayer is the most important thing you can do to support your volunteers. Make a list of all your VBS volunteers and be sure it is handed out at prayer meetings the month before and during the week of VBS as well. Ask your church's "shut-in's" if they would be willing to serve as VBS prayer warriors and give them this list.
  • Be sure to talk with your pastor and schedule a volunteer commissioning service - ideally the Sunday before your VBS begins. At this service have each of your volunteers stand while the pastor thanks them for their service and then prays for them. Children's ministry matters and VBS is the main, if not only, outreach of most churches each year. It is entirely appropriate to take time in the morning service to support your volunteers with prayer. Check in your director's manual as some of them have excellent, well thought out volunteer commissioning services you could use or adapt for your church.
Look in your director's manual for additional ways to thank your volunteers. Some of the publishers give you ideas you could use each day as a little reminder to your volunteers they are appreciated! There are so many ways to support and appreciate your volunteers . . . maybe you could do one, or more, of the following . . .  
  • Some churches provides breakfast for volunteers and their children each morning during the week of VBS - this gives volunteers one less thing to have to think about in the morning as they get ready!
  • Plan a volunteer celebration lunch for the last day of your VBS. Provide a picnic lunch and give volunteers time to share and celebrate how they saw God work in the lives of children - and in their own lives - throughout the week of VBS.
  • Ask people in your church who were not able to serve as volunteers to donate a few hours of free babysitting, print up coupons for the babysitters and then give to your volunteers who have children. Host a spaghetti dinner for all your volunteers and their spouse/guest and ask people in your church, again who did not serve as a volunteer, to prepare and donate their best dessert which serves six to eight. When your VBS volunteers arrive for the dinner they will be able to relax and enjoy the evening - they are sure to enjoy the dessert bar!:^) (only involve people as babysitters who are able to be screened for child safety issues - or provide child care at your church in another location, staffed by screened workers who didn't participate in VBS and provide a simple sandwich picnic for the kids)
  • When you present your VBS report/service to your church to let them know how it went, be sure to have all your volunteers stand and then present each volunteer with a single daisy.
There are so many wonderful ideas of ways to support and appreciate your VBS volunteers - these are just a few, but whatever you do, be sure to plan to support and appreciate your VBS volunteers!

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