Determine the target follow-up groups starts at VBS Registration. You can do so by including a question regarding whether the registrant attends church, and if so, where? Additional questions can be asked on the VBS Registration card relating to a desire for follow-up. Why not include a place for them to request more information on the church’s ministries and/or a visit or call from the Pastor.
Target VBS follow-up groups for Door-step Visits. This would include: 1) unchurched children/families; 2) families requesting contact by the pastor; 3) those desiring more information about the church; 4) children who made salvation decisions; 5) and families where a ministry need was discovered during VBS.
For Door-step Visits, Gift Bags provide an easy stated purpose for each visit. Gift bags can include inexpensive VBS-themed items such as bookmarks, pencils, ABC cards, & Parent/Family VBS Devotionals, plus church brochures/info & a food item (microwave popcorn or homemade cookies). For children who made salvation decisions, in addition to the Gift Bag, a VBS New Testament can be delivered along with a “new Christian” booklet: I’m a Christian Now or Survival Kit for Children. Encourage parents to assist the child in working through the booklet.
Get more people involved in making follow-up contacts: by letter, phone call, and more. Follow-up can also include letters to all guests and/or all VBS participants, including those from your own church. Phone calls to all guests are another, even more personal, option. These two follow-up options allow for more participation in VBS follow-up. Additional follow-up strategies include Children Music Series, VBS Family Night events (Open House, Meal/VBS Program, Sunday VBS Musical, Concert in the Park & more), and “Follow-up in Just One Hour” approaches to Visits/Phone Calls/Letters (see Lifeway VBS Follow-up Brochure).
Additionally, “ABC&D” offers strategies for Discipleship follow-up. After sharing the ABC’s (admit, believe, and confess) of the Gospel during VBS, Discipleship can be encouraged for parents and children. Consider these actions:
- connect them with Sunday School for ongoing care and discipleship;
- offer I’m a Christian Now Class for Kids;
- offer a Parenting Workshop for Parents (ideally simultaneously with #2);
- plan summer events for Parents/Children (interaction w/families of your church); and
- invite them to your Children’s Discipleship Ministry (children’s choirs, children’s missions, AWANA, TeamKid, Family Ministry Summits, etc.).
Written by Charles Draper who serves as Associate Pastor of Education & Outreach at Nassau Bay Baptist Church in Houston, TX. For additional ideas/questions, you may contact Charles via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).