6 Practical Ways To Find Workers For Vacation Bible School

How Can I Find Volunteers For Vacation Bible School?

One constant struggle in children’s ministry is finding the right workers. Here are some tips for getting the right volunteers for your VBS program.

1. Start early
Most people are more willing to commit, and even work around their vacation schedule, if you ask early. I try to start recruiting in February. It’s never too late, but starting early will make the job much easier.

2. Call and recruit last year’s workers
A simple phone call will show that you really do value their service. Once they agree to help, ask them who else they know who would be good to ask.

3. Recruit new volunteers face-to-face
Whenever possible, ask people in person. Sometimes you will have to call, but looking someone in the eye is the best way to know if they really want to help. If someone shows any hesitation, ask questions to find out why. Sometimes, they are afraid to take on the job and simply need more training. Other times, they may be over-committed but hesitant to say no. It’s your job to know the difference and value them enough to not pressure them.

4. Put a worker sign-up form in the church worship bulletin
We put a volunteer registration form in the bulletin from Easter until one week before VBS. This gives less connected people a chance to get involved. Often people step up who I did not think to ask. Tip: This should be a secondary way to recruit. It shows much more respect to personally invite people to be involved.

5. Put a roster, with blanks in the bulletin
If your roster is not full and VBS is less than 4 weeks out, it’s time to get serious. Publish your roster-in-progress to show the church where you need help. Ask the pastor to make a special appeal for workers.

6. Combining positions as a last resort
If the VBS still doesn’t have enough volunteers, you may need to combine volunteer roles. Simplify the schedule and even consider cutting activities. Take care not to “throw your workers to the wolves” because a bad experience will keep them form helping next year.

If all these efforts fail you may have to re-think your church’s Bible school for next year. Here are some options for Vacation Bible school that will require less workers next year:

Consider Changes For Next Year’s VBS

  1. Choose an evening VBS schedule. Normally, you can get more parents to help if you plan your program after they get off work.
  2. Partner with other churches to plan a Community Bible School. There are downsides to this, but many churches have partner to provide the best ministry.
  3. Plan a simplified vacation Bible school schedule. Having a weekend only program can also allow working parents to volunteer.
  4. Limit the number of children that can register. This is a worst case scenario, but sometimes safety concerns will have to come first. Again, I don’t like this option, but it may be needed in some cases.
  5. Find a larger church to send a mission team to help with your VBS. If your church is rural and needs outside support, this could be a good option. Contact the children’s minister at a large church within an hour drive.

I hope you found this article helpful. Please leave me a comment if you have more ideas to share.

Need More Help? You can find even more practical ideas on my Vacation Bible School resource page and my Vacation Bible School crafts page.


  1. Janet holcomb says

    Angela, we have our vbs 6-9pm. It gives plenty of time to get children to rooms and plenty of time to complete craft stress free also it doesn’t feel like you are rushing through he lessons. We have 6 different rotations and it gives us 30 min. 5 min to get to room and 20 min to do activity and 5 min to get to the next class.

  2. Tara Chang says

    Hello… In January of this year I was nominate to carry the post of Director for VBS….I was a bit hesitant at first because I have never worked in that capacity before….never the less immediately accepting the wholly Spirit impressed upon my heart to go with the theme “Fruits of the Spirit” ….Please share whatever ideas and advice that will help make it a success….my church is very small and does not have that many children….but I really don’t know where to begin.



  3. angela says

    We have 6 classes and can’t seem to get the times blocked for all the classes.
    vbs runs from 6:30 – 8:30. with music, crafts and class room time.

  4. says

    @Teena King: Thanks for sharing your experiences. I hear from readers who are always looking for encouragement and need to hear that VBS can make a difference. Keep up the good work!

  5. Teena King says

    Having directed and worked with VBS for many years, starting when I was 15 years old, I feel that the approach used was proven successful each time. I’d be glad to share information with others looking for these

    We experienced a near-total congregational volunteer staff, children’s attendance that amounted to 10 times previous years, excitement from both adults and children, retention and application of VBS lessons, and a return of a larger-than-ever-before VBS attenders to regular services.

    Yes, it took lots of planning and work the first few times, but, with much prayer, cooperation and good materials, we saw the prayers answered beyond imagination!

  6. Joey Hsieh says

    I love reading your tips and strategies. They are very practical. I am blessed today to find your site on the Internet.

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