VBS: A Golden Opportunity to Engage Families with the Gospel

Happy family in park on a sunny day

One of the easiest ways to reach people with the gospel is Vacation Bible School (VBS). Many unbelieving families will send their children to VBS. Often, they will even attend a VBS program at the end of the week.

You could be missing a golden opportunity to further engage these families.

What if you could meet them where they are to show them how much you care?

Get the Word Out

An excellent way to invite kids to VBS is through a casual park event designed to show friendliness and love. Here are a few pointers to get you started:

  • Choose a location. This can be a public park or a community building.
  • Pick a date and time when kids would normally be outdoors. Saturdays and Sunday afternoons are good.
  • Announce the event using social media and flyers posted around town.
  • Enlist church members to join you, especially any VBS workers.
  • Prepare invitations to VBS to distribute to each child in attendance. Encourage kids in the church to invite their friends to the event.
  • Plan a treat for the kids, such as kid-friendly beverages, popsicles, etc.
  • If the neighborhood is low income, consider giving away small gift bags of nonperishable snacks: granola bars, applesauce or pudding cups, cheese crackers, etc. Place church contact information on a card inside the gift bags.

Getting kids to VBS is your goal, but you’ll want to keep the momentum going after VBS is over.


Head Back to the Park

Before VBS starts, schedule another event to wrap up VBS at the same location where you met to invite kids. Create an invitation to distribute to all children during VBS.

The goal of this event is to create an atmosphere where the entire family comes and stays longer. In order to do this, you’ll need to change things up a little:

  • Schedule the second event when parents can come. A weekday event should be between 5:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., but a Saturday event would likely bring in more families.
  • Plan a meal. Hosting a meal is a sure way to bring in the most people, plus it allows time for mingling. Make your menu family-friendly and easy to serve. Barbecue, hot dogs, sandwich wraps, taco bowls, etc., are all great choices.
  • Enlist church members of all ages to come and greet families. Encourage the men of the church to mingle, especially with any fathers who show up.
  • Bring simple games to play like horseshoes, baseball, etc.
  • Ask each family who attends to fill out a card with basic contact information, family members’ names, prayer needs, etc.
  • Play Christian music. Give away a few fun door prizes. But most of all, be prepared to witness as God opens doors of conversation. Give each family a bag with church information, Bibles, gospel tracts, etc.
  • Ask your pastor or children’s minister to give a short talk at the end, thanking everyone for participating in VBS while explaining the gospel in simple terms.

After the second park event, follow up with families who attended and invite them to church or Bible studies. Pray the Lord of the harvest would take your efforts and use them to increase the kingdom.

Sheila Gosney lives in Missouri and enjoys writing for missions and ministry. When she’s not writing, she’s enjoying everyday life, her family, her church, and her Lord.


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