Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Plan Your Vacation Bible School Volunteer Recruitment!

Once you decide which Vacation Bible School resource is the best "fit" for your unique ministry it is time to begin sharing your goals and vision with the people in your church and start thinking about the important and fun "task" of finding your volunteers! Once again, look in your director's manual and you will probably find well thought-out and designed recruiting information - everything from how to determine how many volunteers you need to specific "job" descriptions for each position you need to fill. Sit down and spend some time familiarizing yourself with these "positions" and then pray. Ask God to lay on your heart the people who He would have serve in those positions. Involve the people of your church by sharing your vision/goals and ask them to pray God will lay on the hearts of all of them exactly how they may best be involved.

Once you've begun to pray and have involved the people in your church in doing the same, look over your volunteer lists from 2010 and be sure to invite those who served last year to join your team again this year. The next step is to check your director's manual again and see which recruiting resources will best fit in your church - some publishers provide recruiting video clips, reproducible recruiting flyers and recruiting ideas. This is where you need to know the people in your unique church. Do most of the people work . . . if so trying to call them will likely result in you leaving a lot of messages on answering machines. Are most of the people in your church on Facebook? If so, consider using social media to reach out and share your vision/goals and how they can be part of your VBS ministry. Perhaps the people in your church are very, very busy and emails would be the best way to invite them to join your VBS team. Or do the people in your church appreciate the personal touch so making time to personally talk with each of the people you'd like to be part of your VBS team might be the best idea for you?

Consider setting up a "Summer 2011 Sneak Peek" booth in the foyer of your church. Decorate it  to fit with the setting of the VBS you chose, play the music and print up info flyers . . . put questions related to the theme and setting . . . no answers - just questions the first week. The second week begin answering your questions - do this for one month. Be ready to talk with potential volunteers and keep a list so you know who wants to volunteer for sure as well as those who are thinking about it so you know who you need to follow up with.

One of my favorite recruiting ideas involves scheduling a trip to your local Target or Wal-Mart type store on February 15th! Why February 15th? It is the day after Valentines Day . . . the day all those wonderful heart-shaped chocolates go on sale for at least 50% off! Stock up and then use some of those hearts to "tag" with a note that says something along the line of "Join Our Team and Share God's Love with Children in our VBS!" and hand them out to specific people. Or, tag a heart candy with a note that says, "I'd love to have you on our 2011 VBS team! Contact me for more info!" and station a few people at the doors of your church with instructions to hand one to every person 16 and older. This is sure to get their attention . . . and getting the attention of the people in your church is the next step to recruiting volunteers!

Recruiting Volunteers means praying, sharing and getting the attention of the people in your church . . . be sure to do it all with enthusiasm! Don't use "guilt" or "desperation" to get volunteers. If you are excited about the opportunity VBS provides to reach children and families with the Good News of Jesus and help children grow in their walk with Him, then the people in your church will "catch" that excitement!

Tomorrow we will consider training those volunteers so they are ready and equipped to reach the children in your church and community through your VBS ministry!

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