Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Youth Forum' started by SaggyWoman, Jul 6, 2010.
Do you have VBS for your youth, or do you involve them by allowing to help in VBS?
Our students are amazing, invaluable
Oh, gosh...we wouldn't have VBS if it weren't for the youth.
Here's our game plan:
We target very early on some "all-stars" who are ready to soar without a net. We usually have 5-8 youth lead-teachers. Most are high-school age (very occasionally we might have a really mature rising 9th-grader). Some even have adult assistants. Lead teachers are responsible for everything that an adult lead teacher is. I do "look over their shoulder" from time to time, to make sure they're doing well and staying on schedule and budget. I also have to "shop" with some of them...since a few don't have the money to buy stuff and await reimbursement.
We do a "rotation" plan, so many of our youth are tour guides.
My rising 7th-graders and most rising 8th-graders serve as helpers to solid teachers--or assist at crafts, recreation, snacks, worship, etc.
The youth completely run the technology of the event: Sound, lights, PowerPoint, DVD's, plus the end-of-week family night production. (We do ours on Thursday PM, so that after Friday's day wraps up, we can break down everything. Better attendance, too!)
Under no circumstances can our youth just "show up." The ones that do every year (and every year there are 3-4) are sent home. You must sign up to help, and be cleared to do so.
We have a pool party and pizza lunch after VBS at noon on Thursday. We had nearly fifty youth that helped with VBS attend. Nice reward for them, and nice cool-off for us old folks.
This sounds small, but it isn't: We refer to our VBS as "Our VBS team." We refer to the youth in the same manner. The 70 year-old lady who taught VBS for the 40th, and likely last, time--well, we refer to the 12 year-old making his first appearance the same way. Does he have her skills, experience, or is he ready for prime time? Probably not...but we're gonna watch him grow into prime time material, God willing.
This year, 54 of our youth helped with VBS. Four had the privilege of praying with a child to receive Christ. You know what made me proud? Going into a hallway where I heard a kid wanted to accept Christ...finding the student with him; asking the student, "Do you need my help?" And hearing the wonderful, incredible reply that made my decade:
"Nope. God's got this one handled. I'm just getting to enjoy it."
edit...a summary statement: They can do more than you think. A lot more.
VBS is a huge event at our church. 450 kids and 175 or so workers make it a big deal and this is the one week that the staff is expected to work 5 days for the week (our normal week is Tuesday to Friday for the office). Our VBS goes from Kindergarten to 7th grade and anyone older than that can help out. My daughters (18 and 20) will be table leaders (with such a large group, we divide each age group up into tables with a leader on each one) and Bible story person (we have one or two per age group). I feed everyone and I use 3 strong teens to help bring all of the drinks and snacks to the different groups (anywhere from 40 to 90 cups of lemonade which gets heavy on those big metal trays) and they are a great blessing for us.
I know the youth pastors plan a few fun things for the kids right after VBS like a pool party and BBQ since they are already at church and it's easy to just go on to do a few more things. One year we had our "Youth Week" the same week and I think all the youth staff aged 10 years that year. Youth Week is like a VBS for the teens with lots of worship, guest speakers, activities galore and missions projects. Talk about burned out! It was terrible so we have them separate now.
Similar thing here. VBS is HUGE! This year, we had over 500 kids (pre-school thru 6th grade) with over 200 volunteers --- many of them teens, including our own two on the worship team. This year, the theme was the High Seas Expedition - very appropriate since our church is about a 1/2 mile from the ocean - and our entire sanctuary was transformed into a ship.
Each year, we adopt a mission project. This year, the children raised money to help send our teens to Haiti where they built an orphanage and had a week of VBS with the Haitian kids, plus we sent plenty of French Bibles along with them.
On Friday night, parents and children come back to the church and we have a two hour wrap up service, where the parents get to see what their children were up to the whole week. Then we end up with VBS Sunday, where the VBS worship team leads the worship. All in all, it is a great week of worship, outreach and fun.
Here's a link to this year's VBS video ----