So, you've spent time reading Vacation Bible School reviews - such as the ones you'll find on Ministry-to-Children and here on my blog . . . look under the tab at the top entitled VBS - and have signed out a couple kits on consignment from your local Christian bookstore. You've evaluated the themes and scope based on your vision and goals for your unique children's ministry and have selected the kits you want to use in VBS and in other ministries; so what can you do to promote your VBS so the children and families in your community know when and where they can go to participate? Consider the following . . .
The first place to look for ideas on how to promote your VBS is in your director's manual. Most of them have several pages devoted to information designed to help you think through how you could promote your VBS. In my churches we never used the VBS launch events, but I'm encouraging my church to do it this year. I love the idea of a one-day/afternoon event designed around the setting of the VBS with stations children and families can rotate through where they will get to experience a "sneak-peek" at all the fun awaiting them in your VBS! Most of the publishers give you complete directions for a VBS launch event - complete with games, crafts and even setting-related snacks! Have a table ready to pre-register children who attend your launch event and you will be ahead on the first day of VBS! These launch events are also a great way to make contact with the parents of un-churched children, so if you, like me, have not held one of these events in the past, seriously consider doing so this year! It can be a great tool to show you are enthusiastically embracing the Summer with all the additional opportunities it gives you to reach out to the children and families in your church and community!
Does your community have any type of Summer event, week-long festival or parade before the week you hold your VBS? If so, register to have a float in the parade and decorate it to reflect the setting for your VBS! Be sure to have flyers with information as to the date, time and location of your VBS and have families from your church ready to hand them out along the parade route!
Consider holding a "picnic in the park" to launch your VBS and invite families from the community to join in the fun! Plan games and be sure to bring lots of food as well as those VBS info flyers!
Utilize your youth group and/or families from your church to canvass the neighborhoods around your church. Go door to door and talk with parents. Give them flyers and invite their children to join in the fun at your VBS! Check with area ice cream shops and ask if they would be willing to donate coupons for buy a cone get a cone for free and then hand them out to the children you invite to your VBS.
Vacation Bible School is the main, if not the only, outreach of the year for most churches . . . be sure to promote your VBS so the children in your church and community know when and where they can join in the fun! What have you done in the past to promote your VBS? I'd love to hear what has worked well for you!