King's Business - 1966-04


L a s t s u m m e r a Vacation Bible School depart­ mental superintendent made more than 100 tele­ phone calls to get only 20 workers for her depart­ ment! People gave her all kinds of “ reasons” why they couldn’t serve in VBS. “We’re going to our cottage by the lake for the summer.” “My husband’s not sure yet when he’ll get his vacation, so I’d hate to commit myself to VBS now.” “ I teach in Sunday School, and I just don’t feel I can take on VBS too.” “ I just started working to supplement my hus­ band’s income.” “ I have two small children, both pre-Nursery Department age, so I’ll need to stay at home with them.” This year these replies or facsimilies thereof may be heard by VBS recruiters in-many churches —perhaps even yours! More pastors and VBS directors bemoan the coming of VBS — because they know they’ll face the nigh-to-impossible task o f securing a sufficient number of willing and available workers. Some churches have trimmed their two-week VBS to one week simply because they’ve felt they could more easily enlist workers for a shorter period. Other church leaders, in desperate straits, have even talked about closing their church doors to VBS! Obviously, worker recruitment is the fly in the VBS ointment! Is there nothing that can be done to remove this headachey aspect o f VBS preparations? Must a worker-shortage force us to shorten the VBS period and thus decrease its impact? Are there not some ways o f easing this enlistment problem? I offer no panacea to this problem, but the fol­ lowing ideas have proved helpful in some churches, and I hope may be of help to yours too. APRIL, 1966

1. Sell your congregation on VBS value! Ac­ cording to Mrs. Charles Jordan, a housewife who directed VBS for the Wheaton (Illinois) Evangeli­ cal Free Church last year, “ It’s much easier to enlist workers if people have already been sold on VBS.” Here the pastor can be a great help, by men­ tioning the need for workers, the spiritual values of VBS, the joy of teaching others God’s Word, the eternal rewards that come from serving the Lord in a church agency which touches many lives for Christ. In February a midwestern church included a church bulletin insert (something like the one on page-24) as the first of several plugs for VBS. 2. Start early. Many a prospective VBS work­ er has shied away from serving in VBS because he or she was asked only a few days or weeks before the school was scheduled to start. Having inade­ quate time to prepare adds to the frustration of an already tiring-enough two-week period. By Janu­ ary you should have chosen the director and the dates for your school. Then the departmental su­ perintendents should have been chosen in Febru­ ary, and all the workers by the end of February or March. Then when the departmental superinten­ dents begin enlisting their teachers and helpers (don’t expect the VBS director to do all the enlist­ ing himself!), the people get the impression that you are organized and well-planned. 3. Enlist teens. “Why not have a split-level VBS”—with the program for Nursery, Beginner, Primary, and Junior children one time in the sum­ mer and the school for teens and adults at a later date? That way the young people can assist in the children’s VBS. Several VBS departmental super­ intendents have told me that junior highs and senior highs make excellent VBS workers. Teens have energy, enthusiasm, rapport with the pupils, and what’s more, time! College-age youth also 23

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