LOUISVILLE, Ky. (KT) – Vacation Bible School training for Kentucky Baptist churches is still a go, just not in person.
A series of VBS virtual training modules will be offered online with creative church leaders from inside the state presenting them, said Matt Flanagan, the Children and Student Ministry consultant with the Kentucky Baptist Convention.
“We have a lot of people experienced in children’s ministry leadership and VBS,” he said. “They’re accomplished practitioners and they do a terrific job.”
The training videos are 10 to 15 minutes apiece with 13 different modules available. They will be on the KBC website at kybaptist.org/vbsclinics beginning Wednesday, April 8.
In March, churches would typically bring in volunteer teams to do training for VBS, Flanagan said. But because of the pandemic, that’s not possible. However, the training will still be available through the online presence put together by leaders throughout Kentucky.
“We felt the burden because VBS is essential for church ministries,” he said. “Even as we look to get creative in scheduling VBS weeks, we wanted to make sure we provided that training.”
There is also an instructional for the leader to watch and learn how to use the content online. The idea is for the VBS leader to view the first two videos and then gather the team virtually.
“What our hope would be is they would spur conversation with the group as well,” he said. “We believe collaboration makes the best trainer. We want our folks to connect with each other.”
VBS has long been an important part of Kentucky Baptist church ministry. The training videos are for the material that is available through Lifeway. Flanagan said he understands churches may have to do VBS differently because of the coronavirus. However, he recommends they don’t cancel the event.
“Vacation Bible School for many churches is the most significant evangelistic work they will do all year long,” he said. “We want to put good training in hands to provide that. VBS also provides one of the greatest opportunities for a church to serve together and it develops unity. Thirdly, it’s the biggest community imprint that a church has all year long. They’re reaching out to more families, more of the community and neighborhoods than any other week of the year. We want to lead the best VBS possible even if it can’t be in a traditional sense.”
Flanagan said more instruction on hosting virtual VBS is in the planning stages and will be released later, if necessary.
“I would say if you’re a church that has VBS planned in June, be patient. We don’t know what tomorrow brings. Keep those on the calendar. If it gets to a point where it’s not feasible or prudent, considering postponing and doing it closer to the beginning of August or over fall break, or even over a weekend or successive series on Wednesday nights.”
And if nothing else, consider how to do it virtually and or online with families in the home, he said.