What’s your follow up plan to get kids connected to your church after VBS? Whether this is your first or 50th year leading VBS take a fresh look at this post-VBS strategy with simple steps and big returns.
STEP 1: BE STRATEGIC WITH YOUR FOLLOW UP
Early in your VBS planning meet with the appropriate church leadership and discuss your follow up strategy for Vacation Bible School. Are there other children and family programs you want to promote? Are there people who follow up with church visitors already who can be involved in the VBS follow up? Is there a gift you’d like to give new families? Work together to develop a plan for following up with the children who attend your VBS as well as their families.
STEP 2: PREP THE FOLLOW UP BEFORE VBS STARTS.
Once your strategy is in place, begin preparing for follow up before Vacation Bible School begins. Order and gather any supplies – postcards, picture frames, devotional booklets, informational packets, flyers – you need. Below are a few of the various items this year’s programs offer to help you with your VBS follow up.
POSTCARDS & DEVOTIONALS
- Shipwrecked & Babylon: Notes from Jesus
- Time Lab: Exploring God’s Word Devotional Book
- Time Lab: Thanks for Coming Postcards
- Camp Moose on the Loose Postcards
- Shipwrecked: Follow-Up Foto Frames
- Babylon: Follow-Up Foto Frames
- Rolling River Rampage: Follow-Up Photo Frames
- Hero Central: Follow-Up Photo Frames
- Splash Canyon: Raftin’ River Frame Craft Kits
- Polar Blast: Follow-Up Foto Frames
STEP 3: COLLECT RELEVANT INFORMATION
In order to ensure you have the information needed to reach out to children and families after VBS have a thorough registration form for parents to fill out. A line for where the family attends church will help you know which families do not attend another church in the area.
STEP 4: MAKE IT PERSONAL – INVOLVE YOUR VOLUNTEERS
Your VBS leaders can be a part of the follow up process too. They can help write postcards to children to send the week after VBS is over or add photos to frames and prepare them for mailing. Plan one last VBS team event to work on follow up together; provide a meal or snacks as a thank you to your team for all of their hard work before, during and after Vacation Bible School. If your leaders are involved in the fall ministry you are promoting after VBS, let the children know their VBS leaders will be at the weekly program or special event. Children and parents will be more inclined to try a new program if they already have a connection with those leading it. Encourage your VBS team to be at church the Sunday after VBS as parents and children who visit that Sunday will appreciate seeing friendly, familiar faces when they arrive at church.
STEP 5: IMPLEMENT
At the end of VBS and a week or two after VBS is over, implement your follow up strategy. Pass out flyers for your fall children’s ministries on the last day of VBS and encourage children who don’t already attend a church to visit yours that Sunday. Place postcards or photo frames in the mail or connect with families in person.
Developing the connections made during VBS takes time, energy and strategy, but reaching more families in your community with the Gospel is worth the extra effort.