7 Foundations For Creating The Best Event Of The Year

Author Steven Cribbs    Category Leadership     Tags

Vacation Bible School has been a part of children’s summers for, well, longer than you or I have been around. Our church is known for running one of the largest, and best, VBS’s around (I am not trying  to brag here – this comes from year after year comments from children, parents and leaders of other churches).

[This is part of the Why We Cannot Wait For Summer Series. Have you seen the other posts yet?]

VBS - The Big Event

In fact, we often get asked how we do it. People want to know how we bring a thousand children and hundreds of adults and teens together to create an experience that no one forgets.

It all starts with two words…Let’s Pray!

1. Prayer

Actually, it starts with a lot of prayer. We want to be a part of what God is doing; a part of God’s Big Story.  If we don’t intentionally put God first, we will never end up doing anything more than participating in our own small story.

2. Ideas and a Can

Generating ideas of what an event will be is obviously foundational.  We don’t try to reinvent the wheel here. We know where our strengths lie and where we need to build off of the strengths of others. So, we start with a curriculum and set of ideas created by experts and then add our own expertise, passions and experiences to develop the vision that God gives for our church.

Where does the “can” come in?  We are intentional each year in seeking God over the curriculum.  However, for the last few years, we have used curriculum from the same trusted publisher…and, they send out the starter kit in a fancy can.

3. Vision

Ideas are great.  But, there has to be something more to it; something bigger; something that ties everything together.  Enter vision…

Vision, simply stated, is a mental picture of a desired outcome. Vision is more than an idea.  It is a portrait, a symphony, a detailed description of the desired outcome.  It provides purpose and direction.

Vision becomes the foundation to build upon and it is essential for helping us get to where we need to go.  Vision establishes boundaries for decisions and gives us all a common destination to focus on.

4. Communication

Once we have the vision, we share that vision constantly within our team, our church and, well, really anybody who will listen. Communicating the vision, and our excitement for that vision, is a significant part or establishing the foundation that will draw crowds that want to be a part of something much bigger than themselves.

The vision spreads…

5. (Months of) Planning and Preparation

Literally. We spend months preparing for the biggest event of the year. The planning and preparation is essential. Whatever we leave to the last minute suffers the potential of floundering and failing to live up to the best it can be.

We evaluate past events, gain insight from other related experiences and gather insight from other leaders and experts.  We talk through, and walk through, as many aspects of the event try to experience and anticipate as many angles as possible.

Do we plan everything as well as we would like? Definitely not! There are always last minute changes, pieces that fall through the cracks and items that suffer the fate of running out of time. We give our all, do our very best and trust God to fill in the cracks and make it into what he wants it to be.

6. The Right People In The Right Places

I will write more about this in another post. However, I have to mention here, that an essential part to our success is teamwork – using people where they are passionate and gifted to do things that we could not have done on our own. We identify key positions and connect people that have the passions and gifts necessary for leading in those positions. Then, we give them the freedom (with the general desired parameters) to create an absolutely incredible experience.

7. Prayer

Yes.  Prayer is at the top of the list.  It is also intentionally at the bottom of the list.  And, really, it must be interwoven throughout the process.  It is easy to use prayer as a checkmark item…  “have we talked to God today? Yes?. Great. Mark it off the list”.

However, there is so much more to prayer than that.  God speaks when we seek him.  God gives ideas when we ask.  God provides energy, solutions, help, and exactly what we need when we cry out to him.  God has much for us; he is just waiting for us to come to him.  Just as I have heard my pastor say… God can do anything.  But, he saves some things for when we ask.  If we don’t pray, some things go undone.”

There you have it.  This is how we get started – with some of the most important foundational components – in developing the biggest and best event of the year.

Question:  What do you see as foundational components in developing the biggest and best event of the year?  You can leave a comment by clicking here.

6 Comments to “7 Foundations For Creating The Best Event Of The Year”

  • Jeff Randleman June 20, 2011 at 9:39 am

    Great stuff! Sounds like you guys had a great VBS! Ours will happen while I’m in Arizona on a mission trip with our teens, so I’ll miss most of it.

    As far as adding to yopur list… I think people are impoortant, not only in the right places inthe event itself, but in the brainstorming, planning and prep phases as well. You covered everything pretty well!

    FYI, should “even” in your question at the end of the post be “event”?

    • Steven Cribbs June 20, 2011 at 11:00 am

      It was an incredible VBS – and the Neighborhood VBS’s going on now are proving to be just as special. I pray that your mission trip goes well.

      You are right about using the right people in the development and preparation of the event itself. We try not to have too many cooks in the kitchen; but, we also value the ideas and insight from others. We start with a core group of people that initiate the ‘whole’ of the event. Then, we bring in more peple as appropriate. For instance, we have a group that is great at developing and leading Games; so, we bring them in at a fairly early stage to get their input on everything games.

      Thanks for catching the typo – it is fixed now 🙂

  • Brandon June 20, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    Awesome stuff! VBS started for my church today…it was awesome! I’m hoping that lots of kids will come to know Jesus through it all. I already had the chance to talk to some kids in my group about Jesus (I have Kindergarten kids…). This is the first yr I have had young kids…I usually get 3-5th graders. It’s good to have a change though!

    • Steven Cribbs June 21, 2011 at 9:00 am

      Kindergartners…they will be the ones that end up running up to you for hugs by the end of the week!

      • Brandon June 21, 2011 at 11:35 am

        They have already started! haha

  • Why We Cannot Wait For Summer | Steven Cribbs July 5, 2011 at 12:15 am

    […] 7 Foundations For Creating The Best Event Of The Year […]

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