The most important week of the summer: VBS
by Daniel Ausbun
School is out.
Ten weeks of summer vacation.
Your church will most likely host a week-long Vacation Bible School for children. VBS will be one of the most important outreach events of the summer, possibly of the year at your church.
VBS is important because children are important to God. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me. Don’t stop them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these” (Mark 10:14).
There’s a graying of the church in America. Fewer children fill the pews than 30 years ago.
VBS provides an opportunity to share the Gospel with children in an exciting manner. Twenty-six percent of all baptisms in the Southern Baptist Convention are a direct result of VBS, and 68 percent of SBC churches host a VBS.
Don’t allow the size of your church or the lack of workers prevent your church from hosting a VBS this summer. Jesus told us to, “Pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest (Luke 10:2). God desires children to know Him.
VBS is one of the most time-consuming, largest outreaches any church will offer. As much as the work, cost and involvement is required to host a VBS, the results can be tremendous.
Here are five tips to a successful VBS:
First, promotion and prayer will determine your attendance. Begin praying for children to attend, workers to step-up and children to respond to the Gospel.
Advertising should target 20 and 30 year olds. Facebook ads, promoted tweets, and postcards should be utilized. There are a lot of options for children out there – don’t make it difficult for parents to discover your VBS.
A giant inflatable slide in front of the church is advertising children love.
Second, organization will determine your worker’s attitudes. A well-organized and well-communicated VBS establishes a positive spirit.
Last minute changes, cancellations and lack of communication ruin attitudes.
Some churches provide classes for parents during VBS. After the children are dropped off, parents can choose to attend a Beth Moore Bible study, a parenting class or a Dave Ramsey financial class. Good organization allows options for everyone.
Third, the reason children are coming to your VBS is to have fun.
They’re looking for something to do, and a week-long summer VBS is appealing. Boring workers shouldn’t be allowed. You want children to go home so excited after the first night, they bring friends the second night.
Water balloons are likely the most popular recreational game. It’s possible to create a fun, safe and organized environment that clearly shares the Gospel and allows for children to respond.
Fourth, good VBS teachers present the plan of salvation every night. Many of the children at your VBS will only attend one or two nights. They shouldn’t miss the opportunity to learn that Jesus loves them and died for their sin.
Weave the Gospel in every lesson.
The teacher can offer a classroom invitation. Every night remind the children if they’d like to ask Jesus into their heart, to talk with you afterwards.
Fifth, don’t forget the importance of follow-up. If a child was committed to attending your class every night, you should be committed to following up.
Write a thank-you note for attending. Call the parents and invite them to church one Sunday. Try to build a bridge from VBS to children’s Sunday School or Wednesday nights. Designate someone as VBS follow-up director to organize outreach. Establish a new Christian’s class for children who trusted in Jesus during VBS.
One in 16 children in America attended a Southern Baptist VBS last summer. Growing up, I attended at least two Vacation Bible Schools a summer.
Someone took the time for me to have an incredible week of the summer. You likewise should invest in your church’s VBS.