Here are five takeaways I've learned from 10 VBS' at FBCM:
1). Your pastor must be involved. I walk around and encourage leaders, pass out Air Heads to children, and take pictures. If your pastor doesn't attend, his absence is saying, "I've got more important things."
2). Your leadership team must be top-notch. John Maxwell says, "Everything rises or falls on leadership." FBCM is blessed to have Wendy Moore as our VBS director. Wendy also serves as the Western Baptist Association's VBS director and every January travels to LifeWay in Nashville for National VBS Training. She begins planning our VBS in November. She has surrounded herself with the best two assistants (Beth Johnson and Cortney Rogers) whom are good enough to easily direct any VBS in our area. These three ladies are prepared and excited every night of VBS and it shows.
3). Prayer cannot be overlooked. The Saturday before VBS we hold a prayerwalk through every room - praying for the teachers and children to respond to the Gospel. Every night we met at 5 p.m. to pray for that evening. God answers prayer and your VBS should be dependent upon Him.
4). Promotion begins two months before. We began promoting VBS at our Easter Egg Hunt on April 19. We registered children who came for candy - and they came back for VBS 6 weeks later. We also bought Facebook ads, mailed postcards and included a VBS postcard when we visited every home in our zip code for FBCM's 185th birthday celebration. Lack of promotion is a lack of planning.
5). Hold a VBS family night. The Sunday evening after VBS is when the children and their parents come to the church's sanctuary and perform their music routines. Our praise band plays worship songs, we had a drawing for a new bicycle, awarded "best picture" of VBS (a young lady won a Bible), and had an ice cream sundae party afterwards. This is a positive, high-energy event that ends VBS on a positive note. We also celebrate the 32 children who got saved during VBS.