This four-part series will provide ideas to impact your summer planning and provide unforgettable events your teens will remember forever! These ideas are centered around summer special events and holidays.
Third in the series is VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL. VBS is an interesting subject for most youth ministries. Most churches can’t do it without the help of the youth, but some abdicate too much of the responsibility to the youth. How can you make serving at your church’s VBS something your students will look back on with a smile?
- SWAT TEAM: “Servants with a ’Tude!” Servant attitude, that is! Create a “summer mission project” mindset. Have special shirts made and set up a SWAT team headquarters where your students debrief the VBS day (or night). Serve special SWAT-only snacks and share God-moments from working with the children. Invest in future children’s ministry leaders by providing a children’s ministry “tip-of-the day” for your youth. Make sure to talk about how each day’s VBS Bible Story is relevant to your students’ lives.
- STUDENT ONLY VBS TRAINING: This is often a forgotten step. Work with your church’s VBS director to hold a FUN training event for the students serving at VBS. When unknown expectations for youth are not met, it never leads anywhere positive. Give the youth a chance to sample the snacks or make the crafts so that they can be ready to help the children on day one of your VBS event. I’m always amazed at how much my teens like doing the kids’ stuff!
- VBS REUNION DAY: Children LOVE the teens they connected with at VBS, so provide a “hard to pass up” chance to bring the teens and children back together! Have your students work on a reunion follow-up event in keeping with the VBS theme. Show pix from the VBS week and sing all the songs. Play games related to the week. To send this event over the top, combine the reunion event for the kids with a Parents Night Out. It provides tired parents a much-needed rest and it is an awesome outreach opportunity into the lives neighborhood families.
STEPHANIE CARO is a member of Group’s National Presenting Team and the team leader for their Youth Ministry REAL Ambassadors. She is a regular contributor to several youth and leadership ministry publications, including Group and Rev! magazines and has written/contributed to numerous ministry resources.