How to Do a Virtual VBS

Do you ever feel like there just isn't enough time during a Sunday school session to really get the message across to kids? By embracing the free time that students have during their holidays, you can help to strengthen their individual bonds with God, through an engaging and exciting vacation bible school.

Grant Glas
May 6, 2022
Kids Ministry Curriculum

With COVID changing the way that many people interact in recent years, access issues have been brought to the forefront of worship. Many prefer to stay home, staying safe in the process, but should their chances of prayer, and learning about God be limited?

Not anymore! With new digital tools at our fingertips, we can share the joys of vacation bible school, far and wide – more so than ever before. Now, from the comfort of their own homes, kids can get involved in virtual bible study while off from school, keeping them connected to their peers and community too.

Organizing a virtual VBS can feel like a daunting process, as meeting online is still a relatively new realm – that’s why we have created this handy guide. Read on to learn the simple steps to take to ensure that your virtual bible school is an interesting and dynamic environment, even through a screen!

Choose the Right Format

Planning the right content

Selecting the best format to make your VBS most digestible for your congregation is crucial. Will you opt for smaller daily sessions? Or will you release the content once a week so that families can have more agency over their weekly planning? There is no right answer, and it will all depend on your church’s unique features, and who will be attending.

There are pros and cons to each method, but it is beneficial for all of the members to congregate in an online space at least once a week. Seeing friendly faces through video chats is a wonderful way for youngsters to keep their socializing levels up, even throughout a holiday period with minimal face-to-face contact.

We recommend a weekly session online, followed by related activities such as readings, arts and crafts, and even Christian TV shows {insert link to Yippee vs. Minno blog} to watch. All of this can then be discussed the following week. This way, the kids can have one ‘booster’ session to get them really interested in the topic and have the rest of the week to reflect on it, allowing time for the message to really sink in.

Plan the Content

Brainstorm session

Next, you have to consider what kind of content you want to fill your virtual bible school’s timetable with. Will you focus on gospel, and learning through your favorite vacation bible school songs? Or, will you center scripture, using examples as the starting point to spur discussion and thought?

This is the part with the most flexibility, as there are endless routes you could go down. Some prefer the ease that comes with purchasing a set curriculum, as knowing that everything has been taken care of will take a weight off of your shoulders. Or, you can take the opportunity to get creative.

Planning your own curriculum offers you freedom, saves money, and keeps the kids in the loop, as you can ask them what they’d like to see from their holiday bible group. Or, take a look at our list of the top free VBS curriculums {insert link to top free VBS curriculums blog} that can be found online. 

Assemble Student Packs

Kids vacation bible school pack

Now you’ve got your vacation bible school curriculum sorted, it’s time to assemble the student packs. Variety is key when keeping the learning process interesting, so make sure that everything has been considered. From puzzles and painting to dances and journaling, there are numerous ways to help your kids maintain a mindful attitude. 

Providing your students with a journal that outlines the activities and learning scope will keep them at the forefront of their bible study. Plus, showing them the exact learning journey that they are embarking on will boost excitement for particular activities when looking forward. As a major element of VBS is usually the in-person connection, it is important to keep the themes and activities lively.

Distributing Resources

Dropping off a boxed delivery

Opting for entirely online methods is an increasingly popular way of sharing resources, as parents can print off activity packs for their kids wherever they are. But, this method does come with a downside, as not every family will have the same access to a printer, and so some children might end up missing out.

A weekly, or one-off delivery could help to equalize the access to learning resources, either by helpful volunteers or through DoorDash craft. Alternatively, you could have a ‘pick up’ station, where families can come and collect their resources themselves. As some won’t be comfortable with this, we would suggest a default of printing the resources, with additional methods available for those who need it.

Spread the Word

A group of friends hanging out

Make sure to spread the word beyond that of your church and access the wider community. Many children are left to their own devices during holiday times, and would benefit hugely from the social and education elements of a welcoming VBS. Spread the word of Jesus by opening the doors of worship to all young people.

A virtual vacation bible school can be just as powerful as one held in-person. Captivate the curiosities of your community’s children by igniting the desire for worship and Bible study throughout the holidays!

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