It's Vacation Bible School (VBS) week at our house–that means a full work day, dashing to church afterwards, eating late dinners and just being plain old tired. It is so easy to become consumed with the changes to our regular routine that VBS requires, that we forget why we do it. Let's take a look at the statistical side of VBS:
- In 2007, 2.8 million attended Vacation Bible Schools across the U.S. (Lifeway)
- Of those, over 88,000 made decisions to receive Christ as their personal Lord and Savior (Lifeway)
- 83% of all Christians make their commitment to Christ between the ages of 4 and 14, the target age group for VBS (International Bible Society)
How can your church successfully plan, host , and reach families in your area with VBS?
- Plan: Start early by selecting a theme, a date, and recruiting volunteers. Look for other local churches to partner with for resources, such as scenery, decorations, etc. Look online at suppliers such as Lifeway or Church-Supplies.com for great kits that make planning super easy.
- Advertise: Use quality signage in high traffic areas to direct visitors to your VBS, contact your local newspaper and Christian radio station to inquire about free postings for Community Events, ask businesses that cater to children (dance/gymnastics studios, rec centers, sports groups, etc.) about posting flyers, and ask your local schools about taking a few minutes at their PTA meetings to advertise.
- Commit: Whether 1 or 100 children arrive on VBS day, commit as a church that they will hear and see the gospel for the duration of VBS.
- Follow Up: Do NOT leave this step out! . Make sure your pastor or volunteer staff speak personally with the parents of any children who make decisions for Christ. Ask if they have a Bible, if not get them one.
Most importantly, view VBS as it is intended, as an evangelistic tool for reaching children and their families. Perhaps your church membership will grow as a result of your VBS efforts–if so, great, if not, no worries. Make seeing souls saved your primary focus for VBS and you will not be disappointed!