TIPS TO ENSURE YOUR VBS IS THE EVANGELISTIC FLAGSHIP EVENT OF THE YEAR!
1. Plan VBS with follow-up in mind. Too often people see the week of VBS as the big event when, in reality, it is just a prelude to the real event – evangelistic follow-up opportunities.
2. Enlist a follow-up Director. Effective VBS follow-up requires creativity, organization, and someone to orchestrate the plans.
3. Establish a goal for the number of unchurched individuals you plan to register. Start with the national average of 10 percent.
4. Make evangelism and follow-up the responsibility of every member of the VBS team and the church. The pastor cannot conduct VBS alone and shouldn’t be expected to conduct follow-up alone. Enlist every VBS worker with the knowledge that participation in follow-up activities is expected.
5. Provide follow-up training. While Christians have the greatest news of all to share, there is typically great fear in sharing it. Provide training in appropriate ways to make phone calls and home visits and to lead children and adults to Christ.
6. Connect VBS to Sunday School or an on-going Bible study ministry by recruiting leadership from all age groups to be on the follow-up team. When a child attends VBS, she represents outreach opportunities for more than just the children’s Sunday School. An important aspect of the initial follow-up contact should be the discovery of the family network. Once discovered, information should be passes on to other members of the follow-up team. The team should then invite each member of the family to the appropriate Bible study class and ministry opportunities.
7. Make initial follow-up assignments by the last day of VBS and ensure initial contacts are made immediately. Valuable opportunities are lost when follow-up contacts are delayed for days or weeks.
8. Track follow-up assignments to ensure every contact is made. Create a reporting system that requires team members to report back in a timely manner.
9. Create a plan to ensure multiple contacts during a three to six month period following VBS. Include personal visits, phone calls, mailed information, e-mails, and invitations to other events and ministry opportunities.
10. Plan post VBS events designed to continue the VBS experience. Create opportunities such as neighborhood Bible clubs, a VBS reunion, or fall festivals designed to bring together unchurched families with people they met during VBS.
11. Celebrate follow-up results with the congregation. When appropriate, include testimonies from follow-up team members and individuals who made decisions as a result of VBS.
Thanks to Jerry Wooley, Vacation Bible School Specialist for contributing to this post. Check out more VBS helps in the book, “Kids Ministry 101: Practical Answers to Questions About Kids Ministry”