School is out, which means the season of Vacation Bible School is upon us! Many of us have fond memories of fun VBS days filled with themed snacks and crafts, and Bible story time. While kids enjoy the five days of VBS activities, they have no idea how many months it may have taken to prepare for this event!
Most churches have a dedicated Children’s Minister and maybe a rockstar volunteer that agrees to be the VBS Coordinator. One of the most difficult parts of planning is recruiting dedicated volunteers and helping the rest of the congregation connect with the mission and vision of VBS. A great way to make those elements a bit easier is using the power of social media.
Most churches have a Twitter, Instagram and/or Facebook account. Starting anywhere from a month to one week before VBS begins, you can start posting in specific ways to draw attention, help educate and hopefully increase interest from your congregation and community.
Here are 5 ways to use social media to promote your VBS:
- Pick a person of influence in your church that has had a positive personal experience where VBS has impacted their life and highlight their story. Video them sharing a 1-2 minute clip sharing their story and post it on your church Facebook page. I’ve heard many stories of faithful volunteers in our church that made a commitment to follow the Lord as an elementary student attending VBS. Encourage your church staff and lay leaders to share the video on their Facebook or Instagram accounts as well.
- Highlight a different specific VBS volunteer position each day. For instance share a picture of last year’s snack coordinator on Instagram and ask her to share her favorite part of the volunteer experience. Also include a description of what volunteering in the snack/food area entails. Use these posts to invite other people to come and volunteer and be a part of VBS.
- Post pictures on Instagram of graphics or decorations pertaining to the theme of the VBS. Many in your congregation that don’t have children may have no idea what VBS is about at all. VBS these days have incredible decorations and amazing themes. There may be people sitting in your sanctuary each week that would love the opportunity to help paint or decorate or create an amazing VBS environment but never realized there was a need.
- Invite other people to come and be a part. Share the need for volunteers often to the entire congregation. Some churches may even have an event where people can come to learn more and sign up to help. VBS is a great short-term commitment some people might be interested in doing and then decide to volunteer regularly in the Children’s Ministry. Be sure to share specific roles and needs. Some people have just been waiting for an invitation!
- Ask a junior or senior in high school that has attended VBS regularly in years past to share their VBS story and the memories they have made and truths they have learned. It is important for people to see that these few days can and will make a lasting impact on many of these young lives. Seeing a testimonial from a young person currently active in the church and hearing how they were impacted by VBS can be very powerful. It is also a great way to encourage students in your youth group to volunteer to help out as well. They may be too old to attend but certainly not too young to volunteer.
VBS certainly isn’t just for the kids in your congregation. It can be one of the most unifying events on your church calendar when the vision is communicated clearly. Social media is the perfect way to reach many different age groups with both the vision, excitement and opportunity that VBS brings.
How are you going to use social media this summer to spread the word and make your VBS 2017 even more successful than last year?