With the clock ticking down to the final minutes until Vacation Bible School, chances are you are living in full panic mode. If so, it's time to take a step back from the frenzy of activity, celebrate your progress, and create a strategy to ensure your VBS begins well and ends strong.
Here are six steps for creating a last-minute preparation strategy that will turn the frenzy into fun!
Step 1: Evaluate
Conduct an honest evaluation of all your team has accomplished to this point. Regardless of when your preparation began, there is a good possibility you are more prepared than you think. Most VBS teams are blessed with experienced volunteers. Remember to delegate as much responsibility to them as possible.
Step 2: Seek God's help
Spend time in prayer and in God's Word. Thank God for accomplishments and ask Him to reveal all that needs to be done. Pray with paper and pencil in hand. As God brings tasks and people, to mind jot them down. Take time to re-read the Bible content for the week. Ask God to reveal any actions needed to ensure His Word is proclaimed clearly. Finally, thank God for helping you make your final to-do list. Ask Him to give you the time and energy to get it done.
Step 3: Organize
Arrange your task list into next steps. Every project and to-do list can be overwhelming as a whole, but they become manageable when turned into a series of actions. First, compile all your to-do lists into one master list. If you are like me you may have one list tucked in your Bible, another in the car, a third on your desk at work, and a fourth in your head.
Break each to-do list entry down into next action steps including who needs to be involved, a shopping or supply list, a resources to collect or make list, and a must be completed by date. Spread your completion dates across the calendar to insure you do not put yourself back into panic mode by requiring every action to be completed on the same day.
Step 4: Assess as a team
Pull your leadership team together for a brief check-up. Review your master task list and delegate responsibilities. Some in your team may be in panic mode as well, so help them step back, evaluate, and organize their tasks.
Step 5: Simplify
We all want our Vacation Bible Schools to be the best they can be, but our dreams are often beyond our available time and resources. Having every room decorated can make VBS fun and adventurous, but what is meant to be fun for the kids can result in stress for the workers. What happens in the room is much more important than what happens to the room. I have been known to spend so much time creating an environment that I end up too exhausted to give the content equal time.
Over-the-top decorations may help you begin well, but a well rested and prepared worker is necessary for ending strong. Give both yourself and your team permission to simplify on everything but the Bible content.
Step 6: Final details
Conduct a final walk-through with your leadership team and church facility staff before you begin tearing your church campus apart to rebuild it into your awesome VBS-themed spectacular. Make sure everyone is on the same page concerning rooms being used, furniture and equipment being moved, and traffic flow as kids rotate among activities.
Take pictures of rooms before you begin rearranging so you will be able to return everything to its place after VBS. Discuss which doors are to remain open and which will remain locked during VBS hours. Make sure the facilities team knows which VBS activities will generate the most trash and will need the most attention throughout the week.
The main priority of final preparation and VBS week VBS itself is to maintain focus on why you do VBS. With that goal in mind, you are assured of beginning well and ending strong.