Being in Children’s Ministry, you understand that VBS can be a great way to reach families outside of your church, building unique relationships and interactions that otherwise would not have happened. But reaching those families is oftentimes easier said than done. Let us help make this task 9x easier with these 9 community outreach ideas!
1. Community Bulletin Boards – A free and easy way to publicize your VBS is by hanging community fliers (found in the Clip Art CD) and publicity posters on community bulletin boards. Great spots to check for these are local coffee shops, book stores, music stores, break rooms, and grocery stores. National chains such as Qdoba, Panera Bread, Starbucks, Caribou Coffee, Barnes & Noble, and Chick-fil-a are also known to have bulletin boards set up. Simply call ahead to see if the locations near you participate. And wherever you choose to hang your fliers, make sure to always ask for permission first!
2. Parent Invitations – Also included on your Clip Art CD under “Publicity Helps” is a customizable Parent Invitation. This is a great resource to mail or e-mail out to parents who don’t attend your church but have attended your VBS or community events in the past.
3. Easter Sunday – Easter is one of the busiest weekends of the year for most churches. Use this as an opportunity to reach the masses that come through your doors! Located on VBS Tools, you’ll find editable Easter Bulletin Inserts. Fill out your information and include these inserts in your church bulletins. In addition to this, consider performing the Publicity Skit found on page 71 of your Ultimate Director Go-To Guide. This is specifically designed to share with your church congregation and is a fun way to build excitement for Shipwrecked VBS!
4. News Release – Put on your ‘creative hat’ and think of a fun news release or short commercial to share with your local newspapers and radio stations! This is a great way for those in your community to hear about your VBS.
5. Local Parade – A Tidal Tip taken from our Ultimate Director Go-To Guide — consider creating a float that’s decorated as a mini shipwreck and enter it in a local parade! You can have kids and adults decked out in Shipwrecked T-shirts, shorts, sunglasses, or anything that has an island theme! Blast the Castaway Sing & Play music as you “float” by, and hand out colorful VBS fliers…. maybe even with a life-savor or two!
6. One-on-One Connections – Spring and summer are a busy time for practices, sporting events, and outdoor tournaments. Use this opportunity to connect one-on-one with parents during breaks and halftime. And don’t forget to bring a few copies of the Community Flier or Parent Invitation to share with those who show interest!
7. Invite Friends – During your church announcements, encourage parents and kids to invite friends, neighbors, and co-workers’ children to VBS! Explain that following the service, you’ll be handing out extra community fliers for families to take home and pass out to the people they know. This is a simple way to spread the word and get your congregation personally invested in VBS.
8. Outdoor Banners – Is your church located near a street? Well if so (which I’m confident is a yes for everyone), use an outdoor banner to advertise your VBS! The durable, weather-resistant banners will not only stand up against all weather, but will be seen by anyone driving by.
9. Facebook Event – Don’t underestimate the power of social media! Create a Facebook Event for your VBS, and encourage church members to share the page with their friends, or even personally invite friends to the event page. By filling out all the information on the page, this is an easy ‘one-stop-shop’ for parents to learn all they need to know about your VBS! Be sure to include your VBS Pro registration link in the description, as well.
Have other ideas on how to publicize for your VBS? Share it with us in the comments below!