Jeremy and I just finished our week of VBA! For those that wonder about about the “A”, we have a Vacation Bible Adventure, because kids are in school for most of the year and it’s summer time! Not time for more school, but time for some adventure! It was hard not to love this year’s theme from Group Publishing (our one stop VBA shop) – PandaMania! I happen to be very fond of pandas and the Chinese theme was a lot of fun to work with! We turned our long hallway at the church into a bamboo forest!
Now every VBA is different. Of course, the theme changes every year, but so does the vibe of the students and the leaders. We’ve had VBA where the attendance close to 70 and then we have years, like this one, were we top over 120 (122 kids to be exact). We have a lot of BIG events in our Bethel Children’s Ministry, but VBA would fall under probably the biggest because it is the longest. We’re not talking about a 2 hour in and out event! We have 4 days of a fun and then a parent’s night to showcase what the kid’s have learned over the week.
There is a lot of planning that goes into each VBA and there is a lot of evaluating once VBA has taken place. As a leader, I’m constantly growing through each opportunity the Lord gives me. This week has been no exception! Here are some things that I’m trying to master as a growing leader!
- Expect the unexpected! It seems that even when I think that I have every detailed planned out, there is always something that is out of my control. This year, we had supplies for 120 kids. We order 110 supplies thinking we would have extra (since last year we had 86 kids at VBA), but when our registration deadline came in with 103 kids, I knew we needed more supplies. Even with ordering 10 extra supplies, we still had 2 surprises that put us over the limit. Situations like this cause me to stress! I want everything to be fair, I want everyone to be happy, but we were low on supplies! We were able to get creative and somehow it all worked out! We have great kids at our church who were super flexible and shared their crafts willingly with others (major shout out to Caleb Angat).
- It’s all about people! With such a detail driven event, it’s easy for me to forget the true meaning of VBA! It’s all about connecting kids with God. Greeting parents and helping leaders all goes into this overall success of the week. I was blessed by the conversations I had with parents about how they were impressed with that their student had learned that day. I was honored to work beside wonderful volunteers who gave 110% and made the week so exciting for the kids. The greatest gift of all was the conversations I had with the kids and the looks on their faces! It was a joy to watch them bust a move and sing loud and proud about how God was wild about them!
- Take an afternoon nap! Jeremy and I came down with a cold bug that seemed to be going around a lot of our leaders. This made resting and taking advantage of down time a necessary part of VBA week. I’m learning that I have a limited energy supply (I’m totally shocked by this). I took part in many an afternoon nap during VBA. A lot of things can demand my time during such a busy week, but the only way to get through an event like VBA is to recharge the batteries in some way each day so you can be ready to go for the next day! Also, with such an active event, I’ve learned that good walking shoes are a must as well! Happy feet are very important!
As always, there will be things to tweak and improve! Each VBA is a learning experience. God has blessed me with the opportunity to grow and serve in such a wonderful environment. I want to say thank you to all the leaders and parents that made this last week such a success for our students! Since I am so impressionable with music, I would like you all to know that the theme song for the week is still very much stuck in my head!
“He’s WILD, He’s WILD, God is WILD about us!”