VBS starts at my church in just seven weeks! My heart’s beating a little faster with anticipation—but these last few weeks are so crowded with a million details! Sometimes I have to stop and remind myself, Wait. Remember what this is about! It’s about connecting in a real way with parents of new VBS kids, both during and after VBS. How am I gonna DO that? was good or bad? I sure can!
It’s an easy question to forget in the crush of details, but it’s one of my BIG goals. Outreach is one powerful reason we do VBS!
So, I want to surprise these parents with the amount of love our church has for them and their families! And I want God’s love, expressed through us, to draw them to Jesus. I want to see God change their hearts and make them wholehearted followers of Jesus Christ! To ACCOMPLISH this goal, I have to keep on asking,
How can we make a lasting impression on new families? How do we communicate God’s love in ways that have real meaning for them?
Here are some ideas:
- Show up in places they least expect.
We don’t just say goodbye at the door. No, no, no! We “friend” them on Facebook. We invite them for coffee. We visit them, call them, text them, invite them to events—and we keep it up until they can see that we really care!
- Offer events that have value and relevance to their lives.
We offer family events they can attend with their kids. We offer them useful information about family life. We have Parents’ Date Nights, classes on parenting topics (on Sunday morning, which happen to be at the same time as our kids’ Sunday School). And we make sure they know about these things!
- Use everything in our VBS arsenal in surprising ways—it’s a week of stealth family ministry! Here are ideas.
- Go to your Wild West Décor and More CD-ROM. Print out plenty of extra coloring pages. Keep them on hand all during VBS—use them not just as time-fillers, but also as something kids can color and take home—especially pages that have a Bible verse on them! It’s a simple way to get Scripture into that kid’s home. God’s Word is powerful, even on a coloring page!
- Before VBS, hold a coloring contest—parents are more likely to see that Bible verse if they help their kids color the picture. Display the pictures all around your foyer or in the main gathering room for kids. We are going to start our coloring contest this Sunday—it gets those coloring pages into the hands of families as it builds excitement and awareness about VBS!
- Use the daily skits. In many churches, parents hang around until the opening assembly is over. What an opportunity to introduce the daily Bible theme in the skit time! The skits are most effective when performed live by people the kids know. But if you don’t have a drama team, use the Once Upon a Time in Dirt Clod Skit video to bring the Bible content right into Assembly time. This is the BEST video skit we’ve ever produced and we know you’ll love it!
- Make prayer another VBS “freebie”! Set up a prayer room at VBS. Invite parents, staff or anyone involved to go there for immediate prayer support! Create a soothing atmosphere and staff that room with a couple of your church’s great volunteer pray-ers. For those who don’t want to pray right then, provide cards to fill out and pass on to your prayer team.
- Bless parents with the Parent Pocket Guides! These handy guides not only give parents an idea of what their kids are learning but also have a devotional for them, questions for them to ask their kids, even games to play together! Best of all, it contains “How to Lead Your Child to Christ.” This article can help them understand the gospel for themselves, as well as helping them help their kids!
- Use the Parent Newsletters! These newsletters are already done and included in your Director’s Planning Guide. (See the link below!) They contain the Bible passage for the story and the Bible Memory Verse, some parenting ideas and a devotional. You can customize these newsletters with VBS announcements and information about other fun family activities that are coming up.
My final goal? I will personally meet every new family during VBS week. Make it your goal, too!
Since you are the Director, delegate! If you don’t have to do everything yourself, you will have time to greet each and every family there—and be sure to get your pastor to do the same. This awesome opportunity is well worth the extra effort! It’s all about connecting new families so that the power of VBS is long-lasting—and life-changing!
Serving Christ through you,
Gospel Light /Children’s Ministry Resources