School will be out soon, which means the season of Vacation Bible School is almost upon us! Many of us have fond memories of fun VBS days filled with themed snacks, crafts, and Bible story time. While kids enjoy the five days of VBS activities, they have no idea how many months it takes to prepare for this event!
Many churches have a dedicated Children’s Minister and maybe a rockstar volunteer that agrees to be the VBS Coordinator. But recruiting additional volunteers and children to attend is challenging. 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 a month before VBS begins, you can start posting in specific ways to draw attention, help educate, and hopefully increase interest among volunteers and parents with younger children.
Here are 5 ways to use social media and RealmⓇ communication tools to promote your VBS:
1) 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 in a 1-2 minute clip sharing their story and post it on your church Facebook page or Instagram and on your Realm Newsfeed. 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.
2) Highlight a different VBS volunteer position each day. For instance, share a picture of a previous year’s snack coordinator on Instagram and post the photos in Realm. Ask her to share her favorite part of the volunteer experience or her favorite snack recipe. 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.
3) Post pictures in Realm, on Facebook, and in your Instagram stories of graphics or decorations pertaining to the theme of your 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 they never realized there was a need.
4) Invite other people to come and be a part. Share the need for volunteers 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!
5) 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 made and truths they 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 and the tools in Realm are 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 even more successful than last year?