There are VBS leaders who begin planning the next year before the current VBS has even begun. On the other end of the spectrum are VBS leaders (quiet often enlisted at the last minute) who begin preparations with just a few weeks or even days to go. I can speak from experience about both.
I have been the guy who enjoyed the luxury of time, as well as the guy who had two weeks to order curriculum, enlist and train a team, promote the event, and purchase supplies. When possible, time - and lots of it - is definitely the preferred strategy.
Whether you are already planning for VBS 2016 or will receive the assignment two weeks in advance, there are five essentials that should not be overlooked.
1. Pray – "Don't worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God." Philippians 4:6
2. Dream and Set Goals - "Enlarge the site of your tent, and let your tent curtains be stretched out; do not hold back; lengthen your ropes, and drive your pegs deep. For you will spread out to the right and to the left, and your descendants will dispossess nations and inhabit the desolate cities." Isaiah 54:2-3
3. Enlist the Best Team - "Now as we have many parts in one body, and all the parts do not have the same function, in the same way we who are many are one body in Christ and individually members of one another. According to the grace given to us, we have different gifts: If prophecy, use it according to the standard of faith; if service, in service; if teaching, in teaching; if exhorting, in exhortation; giving, with generosity; leading, with diligence; showing mercy, with cheerfulness." Romans 12:4-8
4. Train the Team - "Now everyone who competes exercises self-control in everything. However, they do it to receive a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one. Therefore I do not run like one who runs aimlessly, or box like one who beats the air. Instead, I discipline my body and bring it under strict control, so that after preaching to others, I myself will not be disqualified." I Corinthians 9:25-27
5. Promote, Promote, Promote - "Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men, knowing that you will receive the reward of an inheritance from the Lord - you serve the Lord Christ." Colossians 3:23-24