By Keith Lee, Associate Pastor
Vacation Bible School is scheduled for Aug 5-9 and the theme is To Mars and Beyond. VBS is not just one of the large events that we sponsor for the community but a wonderful avenue of interacting, building relationships, serving, and blessing our McLean neighbors. It provides a wonderful opportunity that we should develop to its fullest potential. The biggest obstacle is lack of volunteers. We turn away ten to twenty students every year due to overcrowding. The good news is that we have the TEAM strategy: Together Everyone Achieves More. Basically, it is about recruiting friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers.
In my experience, a major bottleneck to a healthy church life is a lack of volunteers. This is true in growing a church or developing children’s programs. Volunteers are difficult to recruit especially in the Northern Virginia area where over-commitment is a way of life. However, a solution might be found in utilizing a network of relationships in our lives. The effectiveness of this was demonstrated by our VBS team leaders, Marci and Jen. I noticed that one of the reasons for the success of Trinity’s VBS is that they recruited their neighbors, friends and family members.
This is an excellent approach because, first of all, church members are always asked to volunteer. Many people respond gladly. We intend to keep recruiting from our members. But we encounter limitations due to a finite number of members and conflicting summer vacation plans. Reaching into relationships outside of Trinity has been fruitful; almost half of volunteers and students are non-Trinity members. We would like to continue and develop this approach.
Second, this recruitment of volunteers invites others to share in the joy of serving wonderful children. Almost all of the volunteers including myself, find VBS to be an encouraging and inspiring experience. The energy and excitement, friendly and warm interactions, fun and memorable activities, and serving with other volunteers and students make VBS not just a program but a cherished event. Therefore, it is an opportunity to receive as well as to give.
Third, inviting volunteers is an excellent way to introduce our church. Visiting a new church can be intimidating. However, asking someone to volunteer gives a person a purpose and a time frame to check out our church. It is a neutral form of invitation.
There are many other benefits of recruiting from our personal network of relationships. But the bottom line is the idea of working together, building a team, and creating a cohesive community. To extend this idea further, let us build teams when we take on tasks in life or church because Together Everyone Achieves More!