When it comes to recruiting volunteers for VBS, the obvious place to start is with your regular weekly children’s ministry volunteers and teachers. But you might also find volunteers in some unexpected places. Keep in mind that volunteering for VBS can take many shapes and forms; people can volunteer to help prep, help decorate, or help serve during the week. Here are some great ideas we’ve heard over the years:
- Youth group: We’ve heard of a lot of churches using their youth groups as crew leaders and station helpers. They usually keep it to 16 and older, but if 7th- through 10th-graders want to volunteer, they are great as assistants.
- Retired community: One church has a couple of older gentlemen who serve as greeters at VBS. All the kids refer to them as the “high-five guys” because they give high-fives to every kid who comes in. It’s helped create relationships that span decades.
- The church quilters/crafters/bridge club: Need help creating a lot of decorations or putting together packets for kids? Check in with one of the clubs or groups in your church that meet regularly, and see if they can donate some of their time to helping get organized for VBS.
- Calling all carpenters/set designers: Looking to build an amazing VBS environment? Put out a call for carpenters/designers/artists in your church. Ask them to donate half a day to help build the VBS set.
- College kids home for the summer: Promise them free food and they will come in droves.
- Other church staff members: Tap into other church leaders, such as your youth pastor or women’s ministry leader, and use them as station leaders. They often serve the kids’ parents or older siblings, and it’s another way to foster relationships and help families connect.
- Empty-nesters or stay-at-home parents: Sometimes these people have more flexibility to help complete prep projects. You can even set it up so they come and get stuff during the day, work on it at night, and return it to you when it’s all done!
- Professional teachers: This group would be great as station or crew leaders and tend to have more flexibility in the summer to be able to help out for a whole week.
- Small groups: I recently talked to a VBS director who had small-group-sponsored areas. Small groups could sign up to help decorate an area or do a morning of snack prep.
- The rest of your Sunday morning team: These are your welcomers, your sound engineers, and your safety and security teams.
VBS is one of the most exciting weeks of the summer, and it’s a great way to include everyone in the church—you just might have to think outside the box.
Looking for more information on recruiting volunteers? Check out more tips and tricks below!