The Healthy Church Hub


Summer is almost here, and for many churches that means Vacation Bible School (VBS) is right around the corner! VBS is a great opportunity to invest in children who attend your church and reach new families in your community.

However, because VBS has the potential to be a large event at your church, it’s wise to put effort toward ensuring it’s a high-quality event. 

Here’s a guide to help ensure your church has the best VBS ever in 2024!

Identify Your “Why”

Start with the end in mind. Before jumping into details, take time with your team to pray and identify why VBS matters to your church.

Then, use that “why” to set goals, choose a curriculum, and a theme, and get your church members on board. 

Remember that your purpose should align with the overall mission of your church.

Recruit Volunteers 

VBS won’t be possible without the help of volunteers. Especially since young children are involved, the more help, the better!

Start early, and remember, a personal ask always goes a long way. Here are a few other ways to improve recruitment:

  • Have a booth in the lobby each Sunday where people can learn how to volunteer. 
  • Delegate! Consider creating a leadership team or assigning a coordinator for each grade level and ask them to help contact potential volunteers. 
  • Be upfront about roles, expectations, and time commitments.
  • Host fun and informative training sessions focused on how to connect with kids and share the Gospel.
  • Make sure you have a volunteer appreciation station the week of VBS (and make this known in advance).

Hype Up the Theme

If you want kids and adults alike to be excited about VBS, go all in with the theme! One great way to do this is to transform your volunteer recruitment and participant sign-up areas into something fun.

Think tropical paradise, underwater submarine, cabin in the mountains…whatever your theme is, get creative and know there’s no such thing as overboard when it comes to VBS!

Another way to build excitement is to introduce VBS songs and motions early.

Consider playing them in the kids’ area or in children’s worship services. This is a fun way to get kids involved and it also helps them remember Biblical truths they’re singing.

Plus, it provides an opportunity to create motion videos you can use for promotion or in regular kids’ programming once VBS is over.

Promote, Promote, Promote

Start getting the word out now. Here are a few promotion avenues to leverage:

  • Announce it from the pulpit to get members excited. This is also a great place to invite them to volunteer. 
  • Include details in all internal communications including bulletins, welcome desks/information centers, and emails.
  • Lean into encouraging your families to invite their neighbors and communities. Bonus: get kids involved.
  • Provide tools and resources to help people invite others (ex. Magnets, invite cards, flyers, etc.).
  • Leverage social media and mass communication. 
  • Consider placing ads in local papers, magazines, radio stations, and TV stations.
  • Go door-to-door in the neighborhoods around your church and hang door hangers inviting people to VBS.

Think Through Details

You can’t be too organized when it comes to VBS. There are a lot of moving parts so it’s important to take time to think through the details. Some areas to consider include:

  • Registration (both pre-registration and day of)
  • Check-in and out processes
  • Security (including volunteer background checks, door locks, emergency procedures, security guards, and medical personnel)
  • Scheduling
  • Snacks (Be sure to consider food allergies)
  • Locations
  • Traffic Flow
  • Age Breakdowns

Create a Welcoming Environment

“Wow” moments should start in the parking lot and excitement should be evident before families walk in the door.

One of the best ways to do this is to have greeters in the parking lot dancing and directing traffic. It can also be fun to have volunteers line the walkway creating a welcome tunnel for kids.

No matter how you choose to do this, make sure all activities are welcoming, engaging, and intentional.


Lastly, to truly have the best VBS possible, it’s important to have an intentional follow-up plan in place. This could be what helps families in your community take the next steps and plug into your church.

Keep in mind, that your children’s pastor shouldn’t be the only person following up. Prepare your whole staff to get on board and clear their schedules the week following VBS so they can reach out to families who attended.

Here are a few other things to include in your follow-up plan:

  • Don’t forget to thank your volunteers. A thank you note or small gift goes a long way.
  • Make sure kids go home with a takeaway to help them remember what they learned about Jesus and share that with their parents. This could be as simple as a bookmark with the theme verse. 
  • Follow up with parents and invite everyone to your next event.  
  • Follow up with first-time visitors asking how you can pray for them. 
  • Share the highlights of the week with your members the following Sundays. 

Next Steps

When it comes to any event at your church, VBS included, it’s helpful to have a software solution that makes it easy to stay organized and connected.

This will help when it comes to volunteer recruitment, sign-ups, follow-up, and more. Ministry Brands Amplify was designed with churches in mind. You can try a free demo now and have it up and running before VBS!