All of you remember the now famous words of Buzz Lightyear from “Toy Story.” Sometimes when you think about VBS, you feel like you are on a journey to infinity…and beyond! Planning for VBS usually begins around 6 to 8 months in advance of the event. There are themes to consider, costumes to make, sets to build, volunteers to sign up, more volunteers to sign up, and, of course, the actual classes and activities for all the children to enjoy.
In my years working with churches, I have learned that you never plan an on-site consultation with church staff near the beginning of VBS. You also don’t schedule anything right after VBS either. No one is there. They are taking a vacation from Vacation Bible School. We put a lot of energy into VBS, and the immediate results show up in the smiles on the faces of the little ones as they watch you jump around in a camel costume, but what about the long-term follow-up? How are you going to plan to reach out to the children and their families after VBS is over? Here are 4 principles in having successful follow-up after VBS.
- Get information – I know it may sound simple, but in order to reach out to guests, you need good information. Make sure your registration forms are simple, easy to use, and capture the information that will help you follow up with VBS families.
- Build a separate team – Your VBS volunteers are tired! If you want to be successful, you need to have a separate team to assist with following up with families.
- Have a plan – Write out your goals for your outreach team so they know what it is that you hope to accomplish. Great follow up is relational. Use your team to build relationships but also help VBS families form new relationships.
- Start immediately – If you wait until October to follow up with VBS families, you will have lost your momentum. Kids are excited about their experiences, and you should build on your success.
When you follow these principles in serving VBS families, they get a sense of why you had VBS in the first place. You love kids! And you love to see them learn about the love God has for them, It is a love that will last them to infinity and beyond.