Vacation Bible School is an institution in many churches — but what if it’s not an option for your congregation? This post offers some alternative ideas for reaching kids instead of a a traditional VBS program.
Three VBS Alternatives
What to do instead of Vacation Bible School?
Vacation Bible School is a tradition in many churches but it’s not always feasible to present such a program to the community. If you are limited by volunteer staff, finances or time—or for any reason then there are options available to you. Think outside the box! You can still reach the children in your community and an impressive and powerful way. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Team Up with a Community VBS
If putting on a Vacation Bible School is impossible now why not reach out to local churches and ministries? Chances are they’ll understand. You could pool your resources! You don’t have to do everything yourself. Ask them when they plan to offer Vacation Bible School. Offer your hands and bring along your team to build the larger vision of bringing children to Christ. It’s okay to set aside your ministry bragging rights in the name of Higher Purpose.
Take Your Bible School Online
The internet is a great resource and it’s a place where a lot of folks are going now to reach a wider audience. Have you thought about taking children’s ministry events like Vacation Bible School online? You don’t even have to have a technical degree to get started with these fun videos. A kid-friendly YouTube channel with a few connected videos and links to crafts and other resources is a good way to bring the Vacation Bible School concept into the future.
If you go the YouTube or Vimeo route, you can take all the time you need to edit and refine your videos and add all the fun things that you have in mind. You can film snippets with different volunteers doing different things like performing with puppets or hosting a game. Share craft ideas on your VBS video too. This is an especially innovative idea for teachers and pastors that like to create their own VBS themes. (I happen to be in that camp.) Let your imagination loose and see what happens!
One Night Only – VBS Event
If a three or five-day Vacation Bible School is just not possible then why not compact your activities into a one-night event. Often called kids’ crusades, a one-night event is a wonderful option for smaller churches or those operating on a limited budget. A kids’ crusade is also a great option to increase the excitement level in your children’s ministry between larger Vacation Bible School programs. A one night Nickelodeon style event centered around one Bible verse or one Bible concept is a perfect way to excite your volunteers and any visitors who are interested in your church. Look at current culture for inspiration.
Why not Host a Not-So-Angry-Birds night and share with children what the Bible says about anger and how to control it. Can you imagine stacking a dozen cardboard boxes up just like in the Angry Birds game? You know those boxes are going come down several times and kids will love it. What a fun way to present the gospel to children! And it only takes one night!
Don’t Miss our Vacation Bible School Resources
In 1984 the first Bible school enrolled forty students and lasted four weeks. A local school was used for classes, while an adjoining park was used for recess.
Share Your Thoughts Below: What would you do if you couldn’t do VBS?
I hope these ideas give you some shortcuts to getting around the Vacation Bible School conundrum.
Implement these ideas and feel free to share your own in the comments below.