Monday, February 15, 2010

Recruiting VBS Leaders and Helpers

Your adult teachers, leaders, and helpers have some of the most important roles in setting up and running your VBS program. They are the ones who will provide fun Bible-learning experiences for your children and will act as guides to help the children explore Bible truths.

This is a big job, so meet with your Christian education director, children’s pastor, or Sunday school superintendent. Begin with prayer, asking the Lord to direct you to the people whom He wants to teach your children. Ask Him to prepare the hearts of these people to be receptive to becoming leaders or helpers.

To ensure your children the very best experiences in your VBS program, look for leaders and teachers with the following qualifications:
• Dedicated Christians who seek to live for Christ daily, who study God’s Word, and who know the plan of salvation
• Are tuned in to kids, and able to build upon their natural interests
Enjoy sharing in the children’s joy of discovery
• Are warm, outgoing, and have a genuine love and sensitivity for children
• Appreciate and seek to follow God’s command to teach children
• Have a basic understanding of children in terms of their physical, mental, and emotional development as well as their spiritual needs
• Are reliable and disciplined to prepare for each task
• Are suitable role models for children
Make a list of qualified people who might be interested, and make an appointment to visit them in their homes or at church. Explain your VBS program and the responsibilities of a leader or helper. Ask him or her to pray about the decision, and leave some VBS materials for review.

It is good to involve a variety of people in working with your VBS program: fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, college students, or adults with older children may all enjoy working with kids. Make a concerted effort to get men involved in the program—particularly the students’ fathers. They will love it, and so will the kids. Having male role models often helps to reduce discipline problems, especially with your preteen boys.

Assign your high school and older middle school students as assistants to the group leaders for your VBS program. This is excellent training for the students and can be a big help to the adult and college-age leaders.

Organize a list of “substitute” teachers from which to draw in case a regular leader or helper is unable to attend one or more days. Be sure to fill each vacancy each day of your VBS.

There are most likely people in your church who aren’t available on a weekly basis or don’t want to be tied to a schedule, but do like to help when presented with a special need. These are the people who can help you by preparing craft materials, cutting out visuals, painting set backdrops, or making or providing snacks. Throughout the process, ask God for direction and guidance. Pray with each person you invite to be part of your VBS team. Give each one specific guidance and instruction so he or she understands exactly what the responsibilities will be.

Thank God for bringing each person to your VBS program. Spend time in prayer together before beginning each day of your VBS. Thank God for the blessings He has provided and ask for His guidance and wisdom to overcome the challenges. Now enjoy mentoring the children in your care, and have fun!

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