by: Bethany Brown
Production Editor | LifeWay VBS
Every year, we hear churches say follow up after VBS is one of their greatest challenges. It may be easy to invite someone to a special event like VBS, but to continue to reach out to them afterwards is always harder. So we wanted to give you some tips for continuing your impact on families and kids long after VBS is over.
There are two awesome products that can help with this goal. The first is the VBS 2019 Parent Guide. I had the privilege of editing the Parent Guide this year, so I can say firsthand that this guide offers a variety of activities and tips that can help families connect to Scripture.
But what about unchurched families? Can they use the Parent Guide? Yes! The guide includes a gospel presentation and a short letter to parents, explaining why Bible reading together as a family is so important. Part of the letter says, “research shows reading the Bible regularly as a kid is the most important factor for growing up to be a spiritually healthy adult.” Many parents who aren’t sure about God or the church may still connect with the idea of raising spiritually healthy kids. Try dropping by and explaining the purpose of this guide from that perspective as you give the guide as a “thank you for coming” gift. We’ll pray along with you that as families open God’s Word, God will speak to them and draw them toward Himself.
The guide is split into three sections. The first section walks families through the Bible content for “In the Wild” with a guide for how to study the Bible together and questions to answer as a family to help reflect on what they’ve read. Section 2 includes activities and practical ways families may encounter Jesus and each other in everyday life, divided by different locations such as their home, their community, and anywhere else they may travel! This is closely followed by section 3, with questions and discussion starters families can use any time or place to engage with Scripture, God’s creation, and each other.
A great companion for the Parent Guide is the Kids Gospel Guide. This fun, camera-shaped card has a slide out panel that unfolds the gospel plan before kids’ eyes, while pretending to print out cute animal photos. Every kid who attended your VBS can benefit from one of these, either as a way to teach and reinforce gospel truths or as a tool they can use to share the gospel with their friends.
Kids love mail addressed to them! Consider compiling a list of all kids who attended your VBS, or at least visitors and prospects, and mailing each one a copy of the Kids Gospel Guide. Include a note thanking them for coming to VBS and inviting them back to Sunday School and church.
How do you connect with families for follow-up once VBS is done? We’d love to hear in the comments!