singer / storyteller / humorist / folk-theologian
VBS DESIGN WORKSHEET
It all begins with space. We need a recreation/ fellowship hall that can be reserved and remain set up and secure from Monday morning through Wednesday afternoon. There can be no noise or other activities within sight or hearing distance of this area from 9am to 1pm, Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday. We will need tables, round tables if at all possible, one for every 6-8 participants, arranged with the chairs around the sides and backs of the tables to face the stage.
While others may attend, this event is designed for the senior adult community. Special programming for this demographic is sparse to non-existent yet they are the largest segment of our communities and churches. Therefore senior networks (Sunday School classes, study and prayer circles, travel and fellowship groups) should be the prime focus for promotion and planning. If seniors don’t sign up and support the event, it’s not going to happen.
To book an event, you should be able to get a minimum of 50 planning (as in signed-up) to attend. And hopefully, to attend all three days. This is not always possible due to occasional conflicts, but the full Monday thru Wednesday participation is expected. A group of 50-60 is the average size. The event has been done with as many as 100 participants which was a challenge. Less than 30 is even more of a challenge!
The event usually begins with my participation in worship on Sunday morning and in concert Sunday afternoon. Introducing me and having me lead the adult and children’s sermons in storytelling and music on Sunday morning and then in concert Sunday afternoon (“It’s Four O’Clock Somewhere!”) is a great kick off for the School to follow on Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday. If you do not use the Sunday option, a concert on Monday or Tuesday evening may be added. Then each day, Monday thru Wednesday, we gather at 9:30 for registration and fellowship with the VBS sessions from 10 to noon followed by a meal (it can anything from a catered box lunch to a cooked meal to potluck, up to you).
I have been a musician, storyteller and folk-theologian for over 50 years and I use all these elements in this event. We will be concentrating on Bible stories from the life of Jesus, teaching them in contemporary context and application. I’m also known as something of a humorist and I work to make every presentation both inspirational and amusing. In addition, there are periods of reflection and worship each time we gather. Finally, the interaction and storytelling around the tables is the best fun of all. Every one of us is a story.
Equipment & Materials
I provide all the sound and lighting equipment I need. I can use a stage if there is one but I also have a small riser/stage that can be put in place once we see the arrangement of the tables. Some table decorations would be nice, flowers or something festive. I also suggest some sets of colored pencils and coloring sheets on the tables for folks to doodle with during the gathering time. I will provide each participant an event booklet with the Gospel texts we will be using. A final suggestion on materials - a snack and beverage table for the pre-session gathering time and during the event.
Keep it simple. You will need someone on top of publicity making sure a series of announcements are made (in worship, Sunday school classes and other gatherings) well in advance, getting posters up and blurbs in the bulletin and on the church website. Then we need a host at the event to give instructions and announcements and a team to coordinate the planning and the details of thefacility and meals. And finally, you need someone to sit at a sign-in/welcome table to greet folks as they come in.
The Bottom Line
The honorarium for the Sunday thru Wednesday event is $2600, plus travel ($200-400) and lodging (3-4 nights - motel preferred). The Monday thru Wednesday option is $2200. A program fee of $40-60 per participant has been collected by some churches. In some instances, generous patrons or an endowment has underwritten part or all of the event.