A VBS Summer To Remember
VBS can be a fun, exciting, and legendary time. However, it can also be quite a challenge. Luckily, if you’re feeling frustrated, worried, or scared about VBS, we’re here to help ease some of that tension and get you started in the right direction! Here at MediaShout, we strive to serve the church to the best of our ability. Our main expertise lies with church presentation software, and with these tips, you should be able to integrate parts of your VBS program seamlessly into your worship software and we would love to help in any other area you might have questions for in relation to this process!
1. How To Choose Your VBS Theme
A common thread between the structure of VBS and a normal church presentation is that it all revolves around a basic “theme”. Choosing and using that theme can feel overwhelming at times, so we’ve collected some of the best resources for finding and choosing the theme that best suits you and your team this summer!
A. Lifeway– https://vbs.lifeway.com/
Lifeway has been a staple in the church business area for years. Their website geared towards VBS further demonstrates how much they care about the church overall. Even on their page, they mention that their care is more geared towards the KID’S experience rather than the theme itself. They’re a great place and resource to check out.
B. Concordia Supply- https://www.concordiasupply.com/Vacation-Bible-School/VBS-2021-Themes
Concordia Supply is an “all-in-one” shop. They offer themes and products from a number of different groups that are mentioned here. If you’re looking for a large number of options pulled from many different VBS resources, this is an amazing place to look.
C. Group- https://www.group.com/
“Group” started as a “church magazine” geared towards collecting and sending out tons of church ideas for anyone interested. Over the years they have expanded into creating awesome resources for VBS, Kids Church, and Youth Group services, and their heart for serving the church has never changed.
D. Cokesbury- https://www.cokesburyvbs.com/
Cokesbury is a great VBS resource as they make their options concise and easy to choose from. Their website is extremely user-friendly and they even offer an option to create a Free VBS-themed webpage for you and your church to use for registration and publicity!
E. WorshipHouseMedia- https://mediashout.worshiphousemedia.com/search?term=vbs
WorshipHouseMedia is a great place for church media of all kinds. Our personal partners for selling media offer loads of awesome countdowns, welcome videos, and backgrounds you can use specifically for VBS! Check them out at the link above!
2. Using Your Worship Software With VBS
Worship software is a powerful tool in your arsenal for your church services and VBS. It’s a great way to send videos, images, and music out to your projectors, or TV’s keeping the kids (and let’s face it the leaders too) engaged in what you’re doing! Here are some common questions and suggestions we give when we hear from churches as they prepare to combine their worship presentation software with their VBS 2021 theme.
A. Can I bring VBS PowerPoints into the program?
The answer here is a resounding yes. Displaying PowerPoints through our program has never been easier. Often times when purchasing content for VBS, you’ll have the option of purchasing a PowerPoint file with slides ready to be used. With our program, you can import this PowerPoint, customize it as needed, and display it easily and efficiently! You can download a free 30-day trial of MediaShout 7 to see just how easy it is to integrate PowerPoint into your church presentation!
B. How do I use CD’s or DVD’s for VBS?
The trick here is finding a modern computer that has older equipment. Many newer computers are doing away with DVD and CD drivers as we move to a more digital world. On top of that, DVDs and CDs have some pretty well-known issues such as skipping and scratching during a service. You have to bring up the right menu, sub-menu and find the correct video on the DVD. Then, do you remember the days when you would play a DVD and halfway through it would skip, freeze, or stutter from scratches? If you’re trying to play it from a PC, how frustrating is it to drag the video over to your projector screen? It looks a little strange to those looking at the screen. We can get around all of this! We recommend a totally FREE app called “Handbrake” that converts these DVDs and CDs into video files and audio files that you can easily insert right into your church presentation software. I’d highly recommend using that to ensure your VBS program flows as efficiently as possible! Need instructions for Handbrake? Check it out here.
C.) Where can I find VBS Songs?
Praise and worship were always the most fun when I was attending VBS or other church camps I was involved in. Finding them may seem challenging, but we have a few easy solutions. SongSelect is my top recommendation. A membership with them allows you to download VBS songs for 2021 without having to spend countless hours typing them in manually. They integrate directly with MediaShout, making your job much easier. Have the song up literally in seconds. Many of the sites above that provide VBS themes also provide VBS songs!
3. How To Prepare And Publicize
A major key to success for your VBS 2021 is to simply prepare and get the word out about it in the first place! Here are a few ideas we have in regards to this!
A. Get the Churches Help!
In the ever-evolving world, we need to know the importance of social media. For better or for worse, social media is here to stay. Encourage your church to post to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, that you are offering VBS this year. Many people may not be sending their kids to VBS simply because they just don’t know you offer it! You can purchase great backgrounds from our media store to make these announcements really pop. There are also free media options like “Pixabay” and others that we will get into in a moment.
This one may seem like a no-brainer but don’t take it lightly. This could be one of the top ways to reach your community. We recommend simply delivering a care package of sorts to surrounding neighborhoods of your church with information regarding VBS this year. Get creative with these “care packages” and make them interesting for both the parents and the kids you’re trying to invite to your church! We’ve collected a few sites to help you get started with this one as well:
1. Accurate Mailing Service: https://accurateaz.com/church-mailings/
This page helps you get a good idea of all it takes to set up a successful mailing campaign for your church, they offer consultations and ideas on the best way to reach your target audience.
This article gives you some simple steps to making your layout concise and easy to understand. If you’re looking for tips on how to make your direct mailing effective, this article may provide some solid information for you and your church.
C. Church Presentation Software Announcements!
We touched on this before but, utilizing worship software is a great way to get the word out about VBS to your church community. Let your congregation know the days for VBS 2021 registration and communicate it as much as possible! Create cool and readable slides to get the message across, and don’t forget to stream! We’ve realized that before someone visits your church they almost always look at your Facebook page to get a look and feel for what they will be going to. Incorporate VBS announcements into your live stream to further communicate all that you and your church have to offer! Take advantage of our software and test it out with a free 30-day trial. You’ll be convinced this is the best route for you to go when building a presentation for VBS.
4. How To Do It On A Budget
In times like these, every dollar counts. Luckily God is faithful and has us covered if we’re obeying his will. Here are some ways to partner with God in creating a powerful and fun VBS event on a budget.
A. Ask and you shall receive!
One way to budget that may be helpful is to see about the possibility of joining and partnering with another church and doing a combined VBS for 2021. This could be a great way not only to save a little bit of money but to connect with other local churches in your area and build a lasting relationship there as well!
B. Look for previous VBS content
Many companies are offering VBS content at a discounted price. It still has great content and at a cheaper price and it may be something considering until a larger budget comes into play! Here are a few cool options to consider:
1. Children’s Ministry Deals – https://www.childrens-ministry-deals.com/a/search?type=product&q=vbs
This site has a bunch of VBS curriculum packages for free and at discounted prices. Ranging from “game” videos to entire packages, the site has it all.
2. Cokesbury – https://www.cokesbury.com/vbs
Cokesbury again has some amazing resources for your VBS event. This site offers different VBS programs for discounted prices you won’t want to miss out on!
C. Use Free Resources
You’d be surprised at how many times I’ve found amazing content to use for my presentations for free. There are a number of resources to use that cost nothing but at the same time have amazing value.
Here are a few we found in our research:
1. Pixabay – Pixabay.com
2. Unsplash – https://unsplash.com/
3. Grow Curriculum- https://growcurriculum.org/free-vbs/
4. Concordia Supply – https://www.concordiasupply.com/Vacation-Bible-School/VBS-Free-Resources
5. Trust In God
Let’s face it, though this article covers a lot, there are a THOUSAND different directions your VBS could go. Remember that VBS doesn’t have to be one way and one way only. As you’re reading this article you may not like the ideas that we have, and that’s okay. But if anything, take these tips into your research as you go to help limit frustration and anxiety in getting ready for a VBS to remember.
A. Take a deep breath
Preparing for an event like VBS can bring a whole lot of stress in that the Lord certainly never meant for you to carry by yourself. If you’re having trouble “taking a breath”, there may be something going on spiritually that you’ll want to look into. Check out a recent devotional and our other devotionals we have on this to remind you of the goodness and peace of God.
Philippians 4:6 – In nothing be anxious; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
B. Have faith
If God has placed a desire on you and your church’s heart to have VBS, have faith that he will see it through with you!
2 Timothy 2:13 – if we are faithless, he abideth faithful; for he cannot deny himself.
C. Have fun
One of the greatest advantages of our walk as believers is that we don’t do it alone. Don’t let the feelings of anxiety come against you and steal your joy. Remind yourself of why you volunteer and the fact that it is all done out of love, a point elegantly made in this blog as well. Lean on each other and have fun in your preparation for VBS 2021!
Ecclesiastes 4:12 – And if a man prevail against him that is alone, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
How are you feeling about VBS 2021? Worried, nervous, excited, hopeful? Do you have any personal tricks or tips you use for preparing for VBS? Let us know in the comments below!