We tend to put a lot of effort into preparing for and running a church Vacation Bible School. But what about following up with the families after VBS? In this video, Director of Operations for Lifeway Kids, Chuck Peters, discusses three easy ways to follow up with kids and families after your VBS is over.
The entire video is above, and the complete transcript is below.
Vacation Bible School is a huge opportunity for your church that you need to make the most of. Now, VBS is all about the kids in one sense, but it’s not limited to reaching kids in another very big sense. With the right strategy, VBS can be the most impactful community outreach event that your church does all year. And that is no exaggeration.
But in order to be effective, you need to have a strategic plan for following up with families after your event. I’ve got three tips for you today for effective follow up after your VBS this summer.
The first one is this: recruit a dedicated team for following up with families.
Your VBS volunteers and workers are going to be exhausted from the week. They’re the focused on the kids. Don’t wear them out by having them also do the follow up. Instead, recruit a dedicated, fresh and energetic team specifically for VBS follow up with parents and families.
Look for people for the team that have the gift of hospitality. They may or may not be great with interacting with kids – that doesn’t matter. The goal is for them to connect with mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, whatever caregiver is bringing the child to VBS to engage and connect with them.
Tip number two: you need to start follow up before your VBS begins and definitely before your VBS ends.
You want have this team of friendly, hospitality-minded folks greeting parents when the kids are dropped off at the door. You need to have an organized pick-up and drop-off process and, I would encourage you, to have a hangout for those people. So they’re not just dropping the kids and leaving. Why not invite them to join the morning rally? Sit in the back of the room and see what the kids do at the big gathering. And then serve coffee and donuts so that you can have a connection session while the kids are in class or in their rotations.
At the end of your week, blow it out with a big family event where you have hot dogs and cookies and blow-up bouncy houses or whatever you choose to do. Water balloon tosses. Make a big family event at the end of your VBS so you have another opportunity to connect with those adults.
There’s no question that you’ll connect with the kids. The key is to engage with moms and dads at those key moments of drop-off, pick-up, and end of week.
Next, equip your follow up team with post-VBS resources that you can use as gifts to bless the families.
Now Lifeway VBS has all kinds of resources that we offer that match the theme. There are VBS-themed parent guides that equip discussions in the home so you can have spiritual conversations. Equipping and empowering moms and dads to disciple their own kids. There are devotional guides that match the theme each year that you can send children home with to do a 30-day study after the VBS to continue those conversations in the home. There are VBS Bibles. ABC gospel resources to help parents share the gospel and explain that to their children. And of course VBS music CDs that you can send home and keep those songs going in the minivan or in the family room after VBS.
Your VBS follow-up team is an extremely important part of your team that’s often overlooked. Make sure you recruit people with the right giftedness, with the right relational abilities, and encourage them and prepare them well to connect with families in your community so you can make your VBS way bigger than a one week event.