VBS within your church can be used two-fold…it can be done explicitly for the children in your congregation and to grow their faith. Having a smaller, focused VBS can be a great ministry your volunteers. However, VBS can also be used as a tool for community outreach to other children. This way, children within your congregation and outside of it can experience the love Jesus had for them.
How can you reach your community? There are a lot of ways that won’t break the budget.
1 – Get yourself a church float. Is there a local festival with a parade? A Fourth of July parade? Floats can be as simple as the church sign on the back of a truck, throw candy or postcards promoting your VBS out to the crowd. (Hint – find candy that holds a sticker you can print your info on, stick it and be done!)
2 – Plant a banner outside on the grass. You can make your own or order weather proof vinyl that can be written on and withstand the elements.
3 – Enlist the help of the congregation! Challenge congregation members – kids AND adults alike – to reach out and actually invite a neighbor, a friend or a family member. Person to person invites work very well with people you have a relationship with.
4 – Go into the neighborhood. Print out colorful postcards with all the VBS info and take a walk through some subdivisions. Knock on the door and meet the neighbors or pass them out to any kids playing in yards.
5 – Sponsor a night at the park prior to VBS. Have popsicles, pass out flyers and meet the people in the park. Provide simple things that allow for interaction – sidewalk chalk, bubbles, a bike washing station, draw a hopscotch grid…or anything else you might think of.
6 – Host an ice cream social at your church. Invite kids to come with their families, serve them ice cream and offer registration forms. It’s a win for everyone!
There are many other creative ways you can incorporate relationship building, VBS recruitment and fun! Search for ideas online, through Pinterest or other websites who share ideas. Even if the kids don’t attend VBS, your presence was seen and felt within the community.