Helping Hands: A VBS Volunteer Guide

As anyone who’s planned a Vacation Bible School knows, the “V” in VBS could easily stand for Volunteer! From planning lessons and activities to helping students grow in the spirit, volunteers are what make VBS the faith-filled experience it is. Check out these tips and ideas to recruit, guide and thank your Bible school’s volunteers.

Vacation Bible School How To Recruit

• Begin by contacting last year’s volunteers. Even if they can’t help this year, they might be able to offer you some helpful pointers. Don’t be afraid to ask!


• Get the word out. Post sign-up sheets around your church with blanks for interested volunteers to provide their name, phone number and email. You could also include an announcement in your church’s bulletin or newsletter. Remember to include at least one contact number as part of the announcement.


• No matter what, start early! Many potential volunteers plan vacations in the summer, so be sure to inform them of your VBS dates and times as soon as possible.


Vacation Bible School Guiding Your Volunteers

• Get to know them! Before you assign roles to your volunteers, learn all you can about them. A volunteer who loves to paint and draw might make a great craft time leader, and a musician or singer might feel right at home leading sing-alongs. Those with teaching experience are perfect for leading lesson time, and if you have a volunteer who’s a bit nervous about working with kids, he or she can still help by preparing snacks, decorating and cleaning up.


• Be prepared! A few days before VBS begins, meet with your volunteers to go over the lesson plans. Make sure they’re comfortable with the material, and give them a chance to ask questions.


• Dress them up! Encourage volunteers to dress up in your VBS theme or as characters from Bible stories. If some of your volunteers like to act, little skits and plays can bring lessons to life and make learning fun.


• Stay positive! Kids can be very receptive to adults’ moods, so be sure your volunteers keep a positive attitude. Hold a daily volunteer huddle before or after VBS to voice concerns, pray and most importantly, encourage!


How To Say Thanks

• Pizza Party! Sometime after VBS has ended, thank your volunteers with a pizza party. To make set-up easy, use an all-in-one party pack that includes tableware, napkins and decorations.


• Meet for lunch. If a pizza party sounds like too much work, consider meeting at a favorite restaurant to buy lunch for your volunteers.


• Gifts. Sometimes a little gift can say a lot. Give each volunteer a Bible mint tin and include a little note that says, “You’re worth a mint to us!” You could also give a personalized religious medal with your volunteer’s name and the name and dates of your VBS to let them know they’re true heroes!