With the first days of Vacation Bible School just around the corner it’s time – actually past time – to start making plans to continue the connections begun with unchurched families during VBS.
You might assume I’m referring to follow-up (an action or series of actions), and on some level you would be correct. But continuing the connection is much more than an action. It’s a philosophy of why we conduct VBS in the first place. It’s a change from believing VBS is an end in itself, to believing VBS is just the beginning – the launch pad for future evangelistic opportunities.
Simply put, approximately 300,000 unchurched individuals attend VBS each year. During VBS we have a great opportunity to share the Gospel, resulting in approximately 80,000 professions of faith. This is a phenomenal number for one week of ministry, but what might the number of professions of faith be if we truly became intentional about building on the relationships (continuing the connections) begun during the week?
Each of the 300,000 unchurched individuals are connected to family members who did not attend VBS, yet we have their names and contact information on the registration form. When parents and other siblings are added in, we have discovered 1,000,000 (that’s one million) unchurched individuals who are at least interested enough in a relationship with a church to allow the kids to attend VBS.
Continued connections are required to reach the 1,000,000 and to disciple the 80,000 making professions of faith. This is bigger than a postcard or even a single home visit. What is required here is the mindset that says our work is not done until every person discovered through VBS is connected with the Gospel and connected with the church. We know that more people become active in the life of a church through relationships than for any other reason. VBS is not a relationship, but it is the catalyst for relationships.
Actions are required, but more importantly relationships are required. It’s time to start making plans – not for follow-up actions but for relationships!
Jerry Wooley is The VBS GUY!! He serves as the Vacation Bible School Specialist for LifeWay. Don’t expect to talk with Jerry for too long without him asking you about VBS. Jerry loves the local church and serves in various roles (including VBS teacher extraordinaire) at Inglewood Baptist Church.