I am honored to lead the Resources Division at LifeWay and serve with a team of leaders who are passionate to serve the Church in her mission of making disciples. Each Wednesday, I share the heart behind one of the resources our team has developed and give an opportunity for you to register to win a free copy of the resource. Jerry Wooley, former LifeWay VBS Specialist, provided the following post. This week’s giveaway includes one VBS 2017 Jump Start Kit, and a box of 100 Galactic Devotions. Our LifeWay VBS team helped with this blog.
In 2015, the results from my church’s VBS made my jaw drop. Eighty families checked a box saying they did not attend church anywhere. When I did the math, I discovered a whopping 40% of kids in attendance came from unchurched homes. Still today, I’m shocked at the number, but I’m so thankful the ministry of VBS helps me find and reach new families with the truth of the gospel. Since that time, I’ve felt a renewed passion for meeting the needs of unchurched families through VBS.
Here are six steps to use VBS to welcome unreached families into your church:
1. Make outreach a church-wide priority.
Communicate the importance of VBS from the stage and in staff meetings. When church members see your staff has bought into the mission of VBS, they are more likely to join in as volunteers and invite guests.
2. Promote to the masses.
Find opportunities to promote far outside the walls of your church. For example, you can use outreach funds to advertise on radio stations and community calendars, send flyers through the school district, hand church members flyers to disperse, and provide yard signs for members to post in their yards and businesses.
3. Invite childcare groups to your church.
Many daycare centers and after school programs need extra hours to fill throughout the summer. Offer your VBS as an option. This could easily double your VBS numbers and reach families you would never otherwise come in contact with.
4. Plan intentional follow-up.
Make a plan to follow-up with families immediately after VBS. Consider packing VBS gift bags in preparation for visitors. Fill bags with a VBS Bible, VBS CD, and information about your church. Recruit adult groups throughout your church to help pack follow-up bags, and ask adults to pray over the families that will receive them.
5. Wear VBS T-shirts when you make trips to visit families.
Stop by the homes of families to invite them back to your church. Make sure you wear a VBS-themed shirt so they will recognize you and open the door.
6. Offer a parenting class beginning the week after your VBS.
Immediate connection is essential. Plan to lead a parenting class for unchurched families or parents who do not typically attend Sunday School or small groups. Children can hop into the appropriate age group class and continue building friendships that developed during their week at VBS.
Although many people only think of VBS as an opportunity to introduce kids to Jesus, it is also one of the best chances you have to connect with adults in your community. Every time a new face appears in your first grade class, think of the parents and siblings represented. You’re one degree away from impacting an entire household.
Today I am giving away a VBS 2017 Jump Start Kit and a box of 100 Galactic Devotions to help you get started with planning how to reach people with the gospel through your summer VBS. Enter here or in the form below before 11:59pm CT tonight, February 8, 2017. We will notify the winner within a week via email.