We are busy preparing for our church’s VBS (we call it Summer Bible Camp) next week. Details – big and small – must be planned out, tweaked, and re-tweaked to welcome a few hundred campers and volunteers to our program each day. If you are overseeing VBS, you know exactly what I mean!
This summer will mark my third year leading VBS at my church. Each year has brought different joys, challenges and lessons. I often give myself pep-talks throughout the weeks and days leading up to kick-off to encourage me when I start feeling overwhelmed. Can you relate?
When it’s all said and done, I rely on tried and true strategies that keep me sane before, during, and after the madness – I mean planning. 🙂
- Work ahead. VBS season falls during my busiest time of year (ministry-wise and personally) so working ahead on projects helps me not to cram at the last-minute.
- Limit unnecessary meetings and appointments. Doing this allows me to be available to meet with VBS leaders and help them brainstorm ideas, gather supplies, answer questions, etc. If I’m diligent about working ahead, I can be available to them and give them my undivided attention.
- Clearly label borrowed items. That way, you can return things with ease once camp concludes.
- Eat breakfast every day. Trust me, you’ll need the fuel to start each day off right.
- Speaking of food, plan simple, easy-to-prepare meals. I use my slow cooker almost every day during VBS because I’m too exhausted to cook. I’ve also been known to keep the pizza delivery guy’s number on speed dial during VBS week!
- Go to bed at a decent hour. I don’t know about you, but I’m no good if I’m sleep deprived. Close your computer, put the electronic devices away, turn off the TV and lights, and go to bed!
- Accept offers of help in putting things away. Many hands make light the load!
- Take inventory of supplies for future reference. Not only will this save you time down the road but it can also save you money.
- Organize as you pack things away. Clearly label supplies so they can be easily located for future use.
- Celebrate the wins. You and your team have worked incredibly hard to plan a wonderful week for the children and volunteers. Take time to celebrate the stories you hear and the children who received Christ or took next steps in their faith journey. Celebrate your volunteers, your planning team and all that God did during the week!
- Debrief and evaluate with your team. Talk about what worked well and what needs to be changed to make next year’s VBS even better.
- Rest! You deserve it for a job well done.
- Power up with prayer. As the days become busier and the details are far too many to count, spending time with the Lord in prayer helps you stay focused on what’s most important. Encourage your team and volunteers to pray throughout also by providing a prayer list for them to pray through together.
Keep the conversation going! What would you add to this list? Share your ideas below!