The view outside my office is starting to transform. We're about 2 weeks out from VBS and we're seeing VBS Takeover 2018 happening. It's where our church campus becomes saturated with our VBS decorations and themes and props and t-shirts, snacks and more. I've been shooting promo videos with our music minister and I think he enjoyed yelling at me a little too much...
For one week, your church campus will be transformed with kids and families from around your community right in your backyard. People who never have set foot in your service before will be asking where bathrooms are and wondering what time pickup is. What better opportunity to serve your community and see the Gospel planted in the hearts of God's precious children.
How can you be a VBS Champion? I think you can a few different ways:
Champion It in Budget & Planning - If you want to champion your church's VBS, you must start in the planning and budget phase. In many churches, pastors have great influence on the programming, ministry, and direction of the church. Recognize that you have that so that you can champion ministries that help advance the mission. VBS does that. Make it a scheduling priority so that nothing interferes with it that week.
Champion It in Worship Services - The Sunday morning worship services are when the congregation is gathered, and it's during these gathering times that you can be a champion for your church's VBS. Communicate the vision. Talk about the theme. I'm taking the Sunday before VBS and preaching on this year's theme verse. Share promotional videos. Talk about how important it is to share, serve, and invest in VBS for Gospel ministry.
Champion It in Conversations - I get it, VBS is a lot of work. Volunteers work long hours to do decorations, plan Bible studies, figure out how to turn popsicle sticks into a craft, and more. It's hard. It's expensive. And it can be hard to see immediate fruit. But you as a pastor need to be the champion of VBS when you're just talking to people. Diffuse criticism by pointing out the role of evangelism in the life of the church. Encourage people to serve and use their gifting.
Champion It During the Week - Pastor, you're not the boss during VBS week. You are at the mercy and disposal of your church's children's minister. Be available as much as you can (yes you may have an emergency or a pastoral crisis, but this is the wrong week to be in your office hiding). Be accessible to guests and visitors. Jump in and serve however you are needed. And make sure you adopt a "Whatever It Takes" mindset where you might be serving snacks, taking out trash, or sitting and praying with a child making a major spiritual decision. You never know how God may use you that week if you're willing to jump in and serve.
And don't forget, you will definitely lose the mission offering challenge. So don't be too cool to get a pie in the face or a Gatorade tub poured over you. That's part of the fun.
Pastors, Gear Up! Get Ready! Game On!
Scott M. Douglas
A blog about leadership and the lasting legacy of family ministry.