10 Types of VBS Volunteers
At Youth Workin’ It, we’ve worked with many different youth workers and volunteers over our time in youth work and youth ministry. Seeing as it’s Vacation Bible School (VBS) season, we thought we’d give some tips on identifying 10 types of VBS volunteers.
All these essential helpers make up a team of VBS volunteers who can take on the world and, at the end of the week, still raise their hands in the air like Rocky:
1) The Servant: These are the people who answer the Falter Call. What’s a Falter Call? It’s when the pastor warns during church announcements, “We need some additional volunteers to help with VBS, otherwise the program will falter and won’t be able to go ahead.”
2) The Megaphone: When your calls for the children to be quiet go unheeded, this person is unleashed. Their naturally booming voice will override the screaming so effectively, children playing three neighborhoods over will be quiet and apologize for making so much noise.
3) The Cleaner-Upper: This person can be found perpetually picking up candy wrappers, plastic cups and glitter. Honestly, trash at VBS is like the flour and oil from the story of Elijah and the widow – it simply doesn’t run dry. You need VBS volunteers like the Cleaner-Upper if you don’t want to end up having your church grounds looking like the streets of Times Square on New Year’s Day.
4) The Cling-On: There are two types of Cling-On parents. The first type would break into cold sweats if they left their child at VBS, so they volunteer so they can always be around them.
The second type of Cling-On is worried their child will get into trouble, so stay on hand to make sure they behave. Either way, be grateful for an extra pair of hands.
5) The Cling-To: This is the opposite of the Cling-On. They’re desperate to leave their child at VBS and get some downtime, but their child just won’t let go. They therefore become a volunteer by default, although you’ll have to give them tasks where they’ll be within a 2-foot radius of their child.
6) The Goofy Old Person: Every VBS has one of these volunteers. To look at them, you’d think they’d prefer to be in a rocking chair outside Cracker Barrel. But the moment VBS kicks off, they’re up front doing the wildest gestures to Bible songs, like someone slipped 5 Hour Energy in their cod liver oil.
7) The Sports Coach: Seriously, where do they come from? Does every church have some kind of miracle tree that sports coaches grow on, as every VBS manages to have one in their ranks.
8) The Pray-er: You can always rely on this person to single-handedly cover the VBS in prayer – at pre-VBS meetings, before kids show up each day, before worship, after worship, before snacks, after activities, at the end of VBS, etc. (This is the VBS volunteer I wish I was, but sadly am not).
9) The Youth: These can also be split into two types. The first type are youth who choose to be there – they want to become teachers, childcare assistants, etc.
The second type of youth are there begrudgingly because their parents told them to be. By the end of the week, though, they’ll be singing and dancing with the best of them, having the children sign their T-shirts and sticking glitter over their face; they’ll also be the first people to sign up to be VBS volunteers next year because they ended up enjoying it so much.
10) The Office Manager: This VBS volunteer is crucial. In the same way that the Pray-er takes care of all the praying, the Office Manager single-handedly takes care of all the admin with military precision. Their spiritual gift is organizing parental consent forms and any other paperwork-y stuff no one else wants to do.
Question: What other types of VBS volunteers have I missed?
For more great writing from Stephen, check out his blog.