It is all about sharing. Jesus told us to go make disciples and proclaim the message of the gospel. We are to share the Good News. No matter where you are in the VBS process, an important step is to spend some time on what is next for your families.
What is your follow-up plan?
How is your church being intentional about engaging VBS families (non-members/prospects, members that attend several times a year and regular members) in the life of the church?
No matter if you are holding an in person VBS, virtual VBS or a combination of both, VBS families need to be nurtured to the next step.
Helpful steps to engage in the life of the church
- Know your flock
In order to build connection and relationships you must gather important family contact information. Start with some form of a Connection Card, a simple tool to capture their information. Ask basic information and questions such as:
- Is this your 1st time attending a ministry program at our church?
- How did you hear about our church?
- Do you have a home church? If yes, where do you attend?
Other questions that might help you with connection building and relationships are what school does your child(ren) attend and what is the location of neighborhood, and who are some friend’s child(ren) know at this church?
- Build a connection and relationship
As VBS registrations start coming in, take time to review them. Know what families will be attending VBS. Your VBS Family ministry is not about the number of people coming but it’s all about the connecting, engaging and building of lasting relationships. Take time for a personal phone call and introduce yourself if a new family has registered for VBS. Glean talking points from your Connection Card to help facilitate a conversation. Be real, be you.
- Snail Mail
Take an hour each week and send personal notes to families where a connection has been made. Ask other staff members to assist with writing personal notes. People love having church leaders show an interest in them and their families.
- VBS newsletter
It is important that you keep VBS families interested, engaged and wanting to come back for more. Leading up to, during and after VBS a helpful tool is a VBS newsletter that is emailed to all families. Not only does it share important information and tidbits concerning VBS but also highlights what is happening at your church.
- Share fun facts on your church.
- Share the vision and mission of the church.
- Introduce yourself and key staff with a picture and a short bio of each one.
- Help VBS families get to know more about the church in addition to
important VBS information.
- Social Media
Create an event on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for your upcoming VBS. Keep posts informative, fun and engaging.
- Personal Invites
“I began attending church because someone invited me!” We underestimate the importance of a personal invitation. Create ministry opportunities that involve simple invites such as Bring a Friend Sunday or What are you doing this Sunday, Come Back Sunday? Look for ways to connect families to other ministries at your church like Sports Ministry, MOPS or upcoming events.
- Put a face to a name
Invite new families prior to VBS to stop by and introduce themselves. Give them a reason, for example a VBS Teaser Day where they come by or a quick visit. This opportunity gives parents and children an idea of what to expect and how much fun they will have while they are attending VBS at your church. It also helps relieve some anxiety of where to park and where to go. This important step helps create a welcoming, friendly environment.
As you plan your next steps for follow-up be intentional about creating various connection points with new families. Remember it does not have to be your total responsibility. Involve the whole church in this process. This action helps new families get to know other people and ministries your church offers.
It is all about relationships! Start now and provide those steps to invite, encourage and equip new families to live the full life God offers… one of love and hope.
Children’s Ministry Advocate