VBS Teacher Appreciation: Say Thank You Without Saying “Thank You”

 VBS Teachers - Look how much the kids love them!

Whew! We just finished VBS, and the only reason I lived through this crazy week is the amazing team of volunteers I have.

Sound familiar?

Now, I get to put everything away (easy) and think of a way to show my VBS teacher’s how much I appreciate them (much harder).

Of course, I’ll send them a thank-you note. But that hardly seems enough for all the time and energy and creativity they donated this week.

So… how can I show my appreciation to them in a more creative way?

Well, here’s the most successful idea I’ve had for VBS Teacher Appreciation. It got a great response from my volunteers — feel free to use it at your church.

I printed an “open letter” to the children’s pastors of the world in our church newsletter. It’s a way of telling my volunteers how much I appreciate them, but indirectly.

It’s like when you overhear your wife telling one of her friends how much she appreciates you. That’s even better than her telling you directly.

The Letter – Feel free to use it if it can help with your VBS Teacher Appreciation.

(Of course, modify it to fit the details of your church.)

Sure appreciate our VBS Worship Leaders

Dear Children’s Pastors of the World,

We just finished our VBS program. We 175 kids attend and 275 people attend our celebration-for-the-whole family afterward.

Despite the great turnout, it was the easiest VBS yet for me as the leader. 

So I thought I would share the great wisdom I’ve gained that allowed me to host such a successful VBS so easily. Here are the 7 simple steps I recommend you follow at your church next summer:

1. Make sure you have 58 incredibly responsible, creative adults volunteering to help you out.

2. Insist that 51 of those adults (or about 90 percent!) are returning from serving last year, so they know exactly what to do and can provide an amazing program for the kids each night with minimal instruction from you.

3. Then find a few extraordinarily talented new folks to replace the people that have moved on during the last year. For example, if you need a new worship leader for VBS, just hope God lays it on the heart of a music teacher you’ve never met before and causes them to approach you in the parking lot and offer to lead worship. That worked for me this year. 

4. Then get about 25 super-responsible middle school and high school students to be Crew Leaders and Team Leaders. I find it works really well if they’re the most faithful, encouraging group of teens you’ve ever worked with.

5. Find a lady who says, “Make dinner for 275 people on Friday night? No problem. I’m on it.”

6. This one may be tricky, but it’s worth a shot – hope that your wife volunteers to take a week off of work to take care of the decorations for you.

7. Finally, have even more adults and students contact you and volunteer during the week right before VBS – so many that you struggle to figure out where to use them all. Trust me, this is a problem you can get used to.

Well, that’s it. Now you know the secrets and your next VBS is sure to be a breeze. 

You’re Welcome,
Curt Nelson
Children’s Ministry Pastor
Northwest Hills Community Church

I hope you can use that idea. It’s the best way I can think of to make sure your volunteers “overhear” you bragging about them to the whole congregation.

More VBS Teacher Appreciation Ideas - To Say Thank You To Craft Leaders Like This Young Lady

Other VBS Teacher Appreciation ideas that might be helpful:

Here’s a heartfelt letter from someone personally blessed by VBS at the “Richly Supplied” blog – check it out and pass it on to your teachers.

And here are three inexpensive gifts that I particularly like, from Traci Smith’s blog.

Or, send them the gift of laughter. Point them to a funny video on YouTube (here is one of my favorites – cats playing patty cake – always cracks me up), or one of our videos, like the funny Skittles/M&M’s reactions here.

And if you need even more ideas, here’s 61 ideas from Children’s Ministry Magazine!

And find out what robots and science object lessons can teach your kids about quiet time with God!  Click the robot for sample videos and lesson plans.Click for Spyence Curriculum



Published by

Curt Nelson

I love making fun videos that help kids get to know God better. I've been a full-time Children's Pastor in Corvallis, Oregon for the last 6 1/2 years. (Best job ever!) Before that, I was a public-school Science Teacher, Walt Disney Imagineer, and School Assembly Presenter with Bob the Dragon. What I've learned from hundreds and hundreds of school presentations is that when you teach in the form of a story - kids get excited about learning! And we want kids to get excited about learning the Greatest Story Ever Told, don't we?