Ways to Promote VBS for Your Community
Most churches find Vacation Bible School a very exciting and much anticipated event. Promoting VBS can be seen as twofold: within the congregation and out in the community. For many, VBS is an “old standard” and favorite among families. But never assume everyone is knows “how it’s always done”. Early communication includes new members and serves as an easy way to ask for volunteers. Use your church’s newsletters, bulletins, screens, apps, outdoor signage, or mailings to share the VBS theme, updates, and any needs you may have.
A neat aspect of VBS is that it is often an event heavily attended by the community. Larry Yochum, Director of Youth Ministry at St. John’s in Arnold notes that before COVID-19, their congregation/community attendance was about 50/50. That is a wonderful opportunity to witness! He also observes that because St. John’s has been doing VBS for so long, the Arnold community has come to expect it. Their church even tries to pick the same week of the year to host VBS. This helps the community remember and helps to eliminate a conflict with surrounding churches’ programs.
Does your congregation have an online presence? Check and make sure the website is up to date. Consider having a special section dedicated to VBS, which can be easily found on the homepage. Churches can prepare a short paragraph which can be shared in online groups, such as NextDoor, Facebook, or even online community bulletin boards through the local government offices. These make for great resources, for often for no cost.
Fliers with a simple design can be printed at church for a lower cost. Then teams of volunteers can canvas a neighborhood and distribute the fliers at homes or on cars. This is an easy way to reach people that may not currently be in the same communication channels of the church. Not everyone will take the initiative to randomly visit a church’s website, but most people will read a piece of paper on their door. A great way to spread the flyers is to give each family in the congregation at least two…one for them and one to give to a friend or neighbor. Redeemer in Springfield mails out postcards, which they find has a better impact than placing ads in mediums like radio or newspapers.
VBS is a great blessing and a wonderful way to have unchurched or “other churched” interacting with the Lutheran faith. Everyone needs to hear the Gospel, so use your resources to maximize your church’s impact.