VBS Evaluation Tips

{ July 10th, 2012 }

 

VBS is over for this year! It was exhilarating while it lasted and now everyone is a bit tired. Don’t stop there and forget about it until next year’s planning.  This is the time to gather your team and find out the answer to some questions.  It’s important to evaluate the experience.

How did your VBS program go this year? Was it successful? Did you meet your goals? Was the schedule a good fit? Was the week the right week? Is daytime better or evening?  Was your space effective and efficient? Big enough? Too big? Were the leaders happy with the outcome? What worked? What will you do differently in the future?

Let’s start with the curriculum.  What was the consensus from your leaders? Was the theme exciting? Was it easy to convey the message to your participants? Did you like the format? Was it God centered? Was the music appropriate with easy to learn (and remember) lyrics? Did the children go home singing the songs and return the next day singing the songs?  Did they have lots of great craft ideas to engage the children in hands-on reinforcement of the bible messages?  Were the crafts age appropriate and budget minded?  Were the children excited to bring those projects home to share with their families? Can you possibly use this curriculum again in the future? Can you use bits and pieces of it during the Sunday school year? If you said yes to all those questions then you have chosen the curriculum that fits your community’s needs. If you don’t think it worked, try a different curriculum next year.

How do you determine its success? Well, what were your goals in the beginning of the year, during the planning stages? Perhaps it was increased participation from congregation members and neighboring community? Maybe they are saying, “We can’t wait until next year!” Was your attendance good? Did the children return each day and stay the entire week? Were they excited about learning the ways God works in their lives? You need to determine what goals you were trying to meet in order to evaluate the success of your VBS program.

This is a good time to have the leaders over for a gathering.  Elicit their thoughts.  They are the crew that had to put the ideas into action and these valuable people interacted with the kids all week.  They listened and shared and prayed with the children.  What was their reaction? Did they have enough prep time? Did they have enough teen helpers? Was there enough support from the staff? Find out what worked well and what they would like to see changed in the future. Ask if they will help out at next year’s VBS.  This will speak volumes!

Lastly, don’t be afraid to query the parents of the VBS campers! Send a little thank you note, pictures from your week or other items the week following your VBS.  Along with these items send a survey of what they / their children enjoyed the most during the week. You can ask if the schedule is the best for their needs and what they might like to see during the week.

Gather all this information to evaluation the week of teaching God’s love through VBS.  This evaluation will save time and energy next year. Finding out what best fits the needs of your congregation and community. Now….about next year…….

How does your church evaluate VBS?

 

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