We’ve spent the last two weeks doing a comprehensive overview of some of the most popular VBS programs. This summer, thousands of churches will launch programs ranging in variety from high seas adventures to forest treks. Will your church be hosting VBS this summer? In case you haven’t quite decided which program is best for you, consider these ten questions that will help you narrow your focus and determine the right program.

1.  What is your goal?
At the very basic level, consider what you are trying to achieve through a VBS program? Evangelism? Encouragement? Community relationships? Determining your overall goal will help you decide the program that is best for your church.

2.  Who is your audience?
Who will be coming to VBS? There is a difference between audience—the kids who will most likely come—and target audience—the kids whom you want to come. If your target audience is widely unchurched kids who will be unfamiliar with biblical truths, this will steer your choice of a program towards something more basic and evangelistic.

3.  What is your experience level?
Not only should you think about your audience, but you should think about yourself, too. Hosting VBS is a huge administrative role. If you’ve never done it before, it may be smartest to pick a program that will be simpler to plan for.

4.  How many kids do you anticipate?
Size ought always to be a consideration. In our survey of the most popular programs, we’ve tried to point out which ones are more difficult to adapt for larger or smaller crowds.

5.  How many workers will you have available?
VBS isn’t about just inviting a bunch of kids out. It also means recruiting a lot of volunteers. Depending on the number of volunteers, you may need to make strategic adjustments in your planning.

6.  What are your facilities like?
Nearly any church can creatively plan a great VBS program, regardless of their facilities. However, this is a helpful factor to keep in mind. When planning rotation stations, game time, classroom accommodations, and snack area, realize that some types of programs won’t mesh well with some types of facilities.

7.  What is your budget?
A good VBS program is money well spent, but it is still money spent. What is your budget like? Are you able to afford a program that requires ordering a lot of crafts, or will you be able to get away with just creativity and lessons plans?

8.  How much time do you have left for planning?
As your projected VBS date looms nearer, take an honest look at the calendar to count down the days until VBS launches. Do you have time to do all the planning? What about recruiting staff? Ordering materials? Preparing decorations?

9.  What materials do you have from previous years?
Churches who have been hosting VBS programs for a long time probably have a great collection of past decorations. Trees from a past jungle theme may work well for this year’s Egyptian theme. This isn’t about being lazy . It’s about being smart and creatively using the resources you have.

10.  What sounds like the most fun?

Still having a tough time making a decision? Go for whatever sounds most fun. The kids will enjoy it if you enjoy it. Pick a theme that you think you’ll love getting involved in. You’ll be glad you did.

For more VBS curriculum packages please visit: Christian Ed Warehouse

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