At the start of a new year, summer may seem like a long way off, but one question to consider now is, “What part will Vacation Bible School (VBS) play in the overall ministry and strategy of your church?”
No doubt, VBS is one of the most effective evangelism tools ever created. A large percentage of total baptisms in Southern Baptist churches are the result of VBS. So how can your church intentionally make VBS part of the larger strategy for outreach, evangelism, discipleship and assimilation?
As you begin planning for VBS, invite your church’s outreach and adult discipleship teams to be part of the process. Encourage them to plan for follow-up contacts with VBS guests to your church. Perhaps they will volunteer to be greeters and points of first contact at the door of your church to escort families with children to their classes.
Ask your adult discipleship team to plan for new discipleship groups before VBS, and have the group leaders present at VBS to make connections and invite guests to be part of new discipleship groups.
Encourage church members who are not normally part of the children’s ministry to consider being part of the VBS team. Recruit with the message that their presence tells guests that children are a priority of your church.
Also, the more adults who are present, the greater the opportunity to build relationships with children. The greater the number of adults who build relationships with children, the greater the opportunity to have faith-based conversations and share the gospel.
Train leaders with the intent of presenting the gospel. The Childhood Ministry of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina has developed a free resource titled, “Sharing the Plan of Salvation with Children.” Download your copy by clicking here.
Start now intentionally leading your church to make VBS part of the overall strategy for reaching your community. State this message clearly and frequently to anyone who will listen. Encourage your pastor and other church leaders to do the same.
Ask for the prayers of the church to focus on all that VBS can be and for the lives of children and families to be impacted in God-sized ways. Pray for the impact that VBS will have on your church and community.
VBS doesn’t have to be relegated to a children’s ministry event that occurs one week during the summer. With a little prayerful planning and preparation, the impact of VBS can be seen all year long.
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