While they are the primary group we are reaching with this outreach, there’s no need to stop with just the children.
When we think of Vacation Bible School, we obviously think of children. And while they are the primary group we are reaching with this outreach, there’s no need to stop with just the children. Here are five tips on how to include adults in your VBS outreach.
Start with your teachers and volunteers. The topics that we dive into with Answers VBS aren’t fluffy—there’s meat to them, and there’s so much for teachers and volunteers to learn about the topic. That’s why we include an in-depth teaching video on our Promotional and Teaching DVD. We also feature other materials, such as devotionals (found in the director guide) and supplemental material (found in the teacher guides and on our AnswersVBS.com website). During training events, use these videos and other resources to help teachers and volunteers dive deeper into the topics. Not only will this help them answer children’s questions, but it will also help them grow in their own knowledge of Christ and his Word.
Offer a teen and adult track during VBS. Invite parents and teens (who aren’t volunteering with VBS) to a class just for them. We provide a Teen/Adult Teacher Guide and videos for you to use that features the same content your kids are learning but geared toward teens and adults. This teacher guide features a lesson and also comes with a daily video that provides additional information on the topic.
Host a family night and invite parents. Many churches will choose one evening of VBS (usually the final night or the Sunday morning service immediately following VBS wrapping up) to invite parents. This may be a carnival-type evening with a barbeque, bouncy house, and other fun family activities (but feel free to be creative and incorporate the VBS theme!). The children might perform their VBS songs for their parents and grandparents. You can also give a recap of what the children learned throughout the week—including the gospel! It’s a great way for their parents to hear the gospel message for themselves.
Host an evening to teach the parents what their kids are learning. One church shared with us what they did for The Incredible Race (our 2019 Answers VBS theme). They hosted an evening event (and provided childcare!) where parents could learn what their kids were learning. They said parents loved it, and it started some great conversations about the issue that VBS was addressing (that we’re one race and one family with one Savior).
Follow-up after VBS with invitations to church or other special programs. You’ve started building relationships, so follow-up on them. Invite, either by mail or even over the phone or in person, the family to come to church or to a special event the church is hosting, such as a back-to-school bash, fall festival, or Christmas program. One church shared with us that they wrote a special Christmas drama based on The Incredible Race and then invited families to come back to see the continuation of the story that was featured during VBS.
Of course, the most important thing you can do to expand the outreach of your VBS is praying, praying, and praying some more for the children and families who came and visited your church and VBS.
Discover more about Answers VBS, and our 2020 VBS Mystery Island, at AnswersVBS.com.
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