8 Last-Minute VBS Recruiting Ideas

8 Last-Minute VBS Recruiting Ideas
June 1, 2011 CVDaily Editors

Help! How can we recruit more volunteers for Vacation Bible School? We need lots of workers!

The best way to recruit VBS volunteers is to start the process early in the year! No matter where you are in the process, here are a few options for your leadership team to explore:

  1. Pray! Begin any recruitment effort with earnest prayer. Get as many prayer teams involved as you can. Email weekly prayer updates to those involved, and make sure to inform them of the praise reports as you see your prayers being answered.
  2. Conduct a Media Blitz. Use a wide variety of publicity methods to get the word out regarding positions that are still open. Newsletter and bulletin announcements aren’t enough. Try some of these ideas:
    • Have a table display each Sunday, decorated to match your VBS theme. Hand out a flyer that describes the positions available.
    • Present short promotional skits before services.
    • Show video infomercials/testimonials highlighting the joys of VBS service.
    • Have characters in VBS-themed costumes hand out involvement cards on Sundays.
    • Pass out recruitment flyers during other children’s ministry programs (Sunday school, children’s church, midweek classes, and so on.)
  3. Recruit as you Register. Have you started to register kids for VBS? Design the enrollment form so there’s a place for parents to sign up as helpers. Offer options to serve from a one- or two-day commitment to all week.
  4. Hold a Pre-VBS Family Night. Need help making decorations for VBS? Get the whole family involved. Have a night where kids and parents can come together to paint, cut, or do papier mache to create the items needed. Entice them by showing a family movie afterward. Get to know the parents there; if they cared enough to come help prepare, they may be interested in helping during VBS. Explore their gifts and abilities to determine the best ways they can help.
  5. Phone Calls, Phone Calls, Phone Calls. Follow up on all your leads with a personal contact to see if the individual is interested in helping. Rather than making a cold call, send out a letter, email, or videotape to invite their participation in this ministry. The phone call is a follow-up to see if they have questions and have made a decision.
  6. Hold a VBS Info Night. Host an evening to showcase your VBS program and explain the many opportunities for involvement. Use theme-related decorations and refreshments, and show the curriculum video to present the big picture. Make sure people understand that they’re under no obligation to serve by attending. A high-energy evening can inspire undecided people to become a part of the team.
  7. Recruit the Youth. Most churches only enroll children up to grades five or six for VBS. So what’s your church doing with its junior and senior high youth? Get them involved! Even sixth graders can be a great help if they’re placed with proper adult supervision and receive training.
  8. Begin Planning Next Year Now! Make it a continual process to look through spiritual gift assessments to find people to consider for your children’s ministry. Remember: Getting unchurched parents involved can be a great way of getting them through the church doors. But your long-term plan should be to staff this ministry primarily with those specifically gifted by God to serve in this role.

Vacation Bible School is a church-wide event, so your recruitment must also involve the whole congregation. Keep this ministry on the front burner, and the fire of enthusiasm it sparks will attract workers for you.

If you’re frustrated in your efforts at recruiting church volunteers, you’re not alone! Download Church Volunteer Recruiting: 7 Keys to Helping Believers Discover their Spiritual Gift of Faith and the Rewards of Service today and discover new strategies for building dynamic ministry teams.


  1. Carolen Weeks 13 years ago

    I am looking for an exciting way to serve snacks to children in VBS for the theme “Hometown Nazareth. Where Jesus was a kid. Has anyone esle did this theme?? Thanks

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