5 Tips to Stress Less During Church VBS Programs

The word "VBS" written in vintage, dirty metal letterpress type on a whitewashed wooden background with ink and paint stains.

School is over for many and if not, the end is certainly on the horizon. Kids are dreaming of days filled with play, whiles parents are filled with the challenge of finding fun and educational activities for them. Fortunately, many churches are gearing up for Vacation Bible School (VBS)… the perfect solution for both parents and kids.

VBS provides church ministries with a tremendous opportunity to touch the lives of children with the Good News. While VBS may be a week long, we know most preparation begins months in advance. As you approach the home stretch, we’d like to share a few last minute ideas and tips we hope help you stress a little bit less and have a lot more fun.

  1. Show your volunteers how much you appreciate them – A VBS program isn’t successful without the hard work and support of the volunteers. They are the face of your ministry and the first people children and parents will meet when they arrive. When putting together sign-up sheets for tasks before and during VBS, make sure to include a sign-up sheet for snacks and floaters! I’ve donated my time to various programs at different churches, some with a designated snack room and floaters, others without. A quick break can do wonders to energize your team and keep them coming back year after year! Such a simple step that makes a big difference. It also helps those who can’t personally volunteer their time feel like a part of the VBS team.
  1. Use music in your programming – Songs and music provide a tool to connect with kids and to help kids connect to God. It should be a large part of your VBS program. It can help reinforce the lessons they learn as well as create the background for the experience as a whole. We get many calls and questions about using music in VBS programs and what licensing churches need. The good news: there is an easy and affordable license solution with CCS’s PERFORMmusic License. Coverage is IMMEDIATE and allows you to play and perform more than 20 million Christian and secular songs from ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC.
  1. Keep crafts simple and age-appropriate – Sure, a stained glass window made from tissue paper and pipe cleaners might look amazing on Pinterest. But in reality, sticky five-year-old fingers and tissue paper may not be the best idea. Nothing can get more frustrating than a craft project gone awry. Keep it simple and engaging and the kids will love it! Bonus points on turning their handprints into something meaningful, moms love it!
  1. Obtain all legal clearances – Many fresh, exciting “packaged” VBS kits are available and many churches are discovering how helpful they are in simplifying the planning. Typically, these kits contain songs, lessons, skits, and everything you need to pull off a dynamic VBS experience. Depending on the publisher, the use of these kits may also simplify your copyright concerns. Read the fine print to see if the purchase of the kit grants you the rights to reproduce, distribute, perform, display, record, or otherwise use their copyrighted materials. If their terms of use give you the explicit rights to do these things, you don’t need to seek additional permission to use them in a specified manner. However, its very important to be aware that when publishers grant these rights, the performance rights are usually not included, and they often grant them only for a limited period of time; typically, one year from the purchase date. Any rights that are NOT explicitly granted in the terms of use require copyright licensing.
  1.  And finally, although always number one, make prayer part of the process – You can begin praying now for the children who will be attending and for the parents who will trust you to guide them daily. Pray that your volunteers have the wisdom and strength to lead by example throughout the week. And pray for God’s hand upon your shoulder throughout the week, for without Him none of this would be possible!

If you have any questions about copyright compliance requirements for Vacation Bible School please give us a call today at 855-576-5837 or have a live chat on our CCS site with one of our copyright experts to discuss your specific licensing needs.

A mother to three and marketer by trade, Toni Kemper joined the CCS team in 2016 as the Communications Coordinator and jumped right in learning the ins and outs of church music and copyrights. She is passionate about writing and enjoys contributing to the Copyright Coach. Toni is also passionate about education which fits right in with CCS’s mission to educate the church community on copyrights, as well as why you will find her volunteering in the Children’s Ministry department of her church.

About Christian Copyright Solutions: CCS’s quest is to help churches and Christian ministries “do music right.” CCS is an expert on church music copyrights and our primary focus is providing licensing and clear educational resources to churches, as well as representation, administration, and advocacy for copyright owners. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. The information contained herein is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel.

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