One person enlisting every worker can be an overwhelming and joyless responsibility. One person enlisting three or four key leaders, who in turn enlist three or four workers, who in turn enlist more workers, takes tremendous pressure off the director plus insures a wide variety of people will be discovered and enlisted.
No matter the size of the church it is impossible for one person to know the likes, dislikes, hobbies, abilities, and spiritual gifts of every member of the congregation. When the responsibility is shared people who might never be asked, simply because they are not well known, are given the opportunity to share in the VBS experience. Some of your church’s best future leaders may just be waiting to be discovered.
Let me tell you about Tim, a highly-skilled high school math teacher. Tim had been a church member and actively attended an adult Sunday School class for a couple of years. I knew him, but not well. While I would have considered asking him to work with teenagers in VBS, I’m not sure I would have ever asked him to lead Bible study for 5th and 6th graders. Fortunately, one of the ladies assisting me with enlistment thought he might agree to serve as an assistant in an older kid’s VBS class.
Tim agreed, fell in love with 5th and 6th graders, and within just a few weeks was directing the preteen Sunday School department. Tim went on to create and lead a kid’s basketball ministry that attracted hundreds of neighborhood kids and parents.
He was a future leader waiting to be discovered, and might have been overlooked had I have been the only person enlisting VBS workers.
Each church, based on its individual needs and resources, should determine the responsibilities and qualifications for VBS workers. However, there are a few qualifications that should be standard to every church.
A VBS worker should:
- be growing in her personal relationship with Christ,
- like the assigned age group and have a desire to work with them,
- understand learners in the age group she teaches,
- be patient, loving, and willing to be trained,
- possess gifts and abilities for her assigned tasks,
- be dependable and committed to the work of prayer, planning, preparation, and presentation,
- be eager to share her faith and be involved in evangelistic follow up to the families discovered during VBS.
Enlistment should begin with prayer. Ask God to reveal the people He has already called and gifted for each position. Ask Him to prepare their hearts and minds in advance of your contact.
When it comes to enlisting VBS workers, a mass appeal from the pulpit or printed in the church bulletin rarely works as well as a personal invitation. People who will never volunteer for responsibility might gladly accept it if personally asked.
Enlist a leadership team made up of age group division or department team leaders, worship rally team leader, promotion team leader, registration team leader, and continued connections team leader. Once these leaders have been enlisted turn the enlistment responsibilities over to them. Require each team leader to enlist his or her own team. Doing so will build in accountability.
To avoid the possibility of the same person being enlisted for multiple positions, meet with the leadership team to discuss the number of workers needed and make a list of the best potential workers for each position. A church directory is vital to this process.
Provide a list of expectations or a job description for every position. Never ask someone to accept a responsibility without first sharing expectations. Also, never ask someone to give an answer on the spot. Encourage each potential worker to take time to pray and talk to his family about the ministry opportunity. Let him know you will contact him in specific number of days for his answer.
March is typically a critical time for enlisting workers. If you have completed the task, celebrate! If you are in the process, stay focused! If you haven’t started, today is the day!