It’s never too early to start planning for VBS! You may be a veteran when it comes to VBS, or maybe it’s your first year taking on such a big event. Either way, there are useful strategies to recruit quality VBS volunteers.
You certainly don’t want to just fill positions with warm bodies. You want good people with a passion for kids and Christ. Many volunteers are needed to run a successful VBS, so be sure to get the word out.
Whether you’re months out from your summer Vacation Bible School or you’re trying to wrangle some last minute volunteers to fill in the gaps, here are some tips to recruit great VBS volunteers.
Before you do anything, spend some time in prayer. Gather any current team leaders you have and seek the Lord about who He would bring in. Ask Him to bring the workers because the harvest is plentiful. It’s great to be excited about getting more volunteers! Just don’t jump ahead without first seeking God.
2. Communicate the Vision
Share the vision behind why you’re hosting a VBS. During church announcements, include not only the dates or that you need volunteers, but add the passion behind the why. Include the vision on the website and VBS event page. When people understand how impactful VBS is to children (and entire families and communities!), they may be more inclined to get involved.
Get the word out about the need for volunteers. Use your church website to share the details and host an online registration page. Share with your social media followers that you’re looking for VBS volunteers. Set up a fun and engaging table in the church lobby to draw attention and recruit people to help.
4. Reach Out to Previous Volunteers
Use your church management software (ChMS) to contact previous VBS volunteers. You’ll be able to run a report of former volunteers and then connect with them via phone, text, or email. Remind them about how much fun they had last year. Along with asking them to serve, you can encourage them to extend the invite to people they know.
5. Host an Informational Meeting
Some people want to know how large of a commitment they’ll have to fill. If you host an informational meeting, it can let prospective churchgoers understand that there is a wide array of opportunities for VBS. They could be a part of the planning committee or serve during the actual week of VBS, or both! The point is, having a meeting that shares the general overview and commitment can be helpful to gain more volunteers.
6. Inform About Multiple Ways to Serve
Not everybody is super passionate about hanging out with kids all day. And that’s okay! Encourage more volunteers to sign up by informing them that there are various ways they can get involved. They can help with registration/check-in each morning or help with administrative tasks ahead of time. If people know there are more options than standing in front of kids and teaching, they may be more inclined to serve. However God has gifted people, there is a place for them to serve at VBS!
7. Provide Training and Resources
Having an orientation manual for volunteers can be very helpful. Along with the dates and times, you’ll want to include important preparation items for your volunteers to review prior to training. Such items will include the overall VBS theme, lesson summaries, and relevant Scriptures. Then, provide training for the volunteers. Have a general session with everybody to briefly discuss important things like safety, discipline, and rules. You can even host role-specific training depending on where people are serving.
8. Appreciate Your Volunteers
Okay, so thanking your volunteers isn’t necessarily part of the recruiting process. But you may be more likely to keep those volunteers if they know they’re appreciated. Send a heartfelt “thank you” in the confirmation email after they’ve signed up. Celebrate them at a fun-filled, kick-off meeting. Include food and maybe even a small gift or prize. When VBS is all said and done, you’ll definitely want to do something to appreciate your volunteers. They may even want to come back next year to help out!
Now Start Recruiting!
Now that you have been equipped with the tips to recruit great VBS volunteers, get the tools to make it even easier. Ekklesia360 can make your website stand out and your VBS program shine. e360 ChMS will keep you connected with your volunteers. If you want more information about how these features can help grow your VBS volunteer pool, contact us today!