Part One of our blog on promoting Vacation Bible School emphasized the importance of delegation in planning a large-scale event like VBS. It also discussed the huge impact of communication and promotion on the success of the event, and why these tasks can very effectively be delegated to the teens in your church community. Here’s why:
- Teen groups are often looking for community service projects in the summer.
- Youth members often have a lot of talent for art and technology, two key aspects of communication and promotion.
- Their involvement encourages the younger kids to attend as they witness the enthusiastic participation of the teens they revere.
Part One also outlined three key roles that are perfect for teens and described their potential assignments: Public Relations, Photographer/Videographer, and Webmaster.
Below are two additional roles and how they can help take the pressure off of adult leaders and make sure the word gets out:
Blogger/Social Media Specialist. All that’s required for this role is someone who is reliable, a decent writer and committed to attending the entire VBS. They’ll be responsible for:
- Writing a short blog each day during the event. This can be posted on the VBS page of your website and will let the community and parents know what your kids are up to each day. It will serve as a great promotional tool for the following year.
- Posting regularly on social media before, during and after the event. Posts before the event will be important for spreading the word and should link directly to your website for information and registration.
- Evaluating what works and what doesn’t. Social media is constantly changing, so it is important to have someone who is eager and knowledgeable in this role.
Graphic Designer. This is your artist. They will be an essential asset by:
- Helping you with the Vacation Bible School theme. There are lots of ideas and inspiration to be found on a number of websites including familychristian.com and lifeway.com.
- Designing your promotional materials such as post card invitations, posters, yard signs, and t-shirts.
- Editing and enhancing your photos and images. If your church has a logo, put it on the images you share on social media. Your church deserves some extra “brand recognition”.
All of these roles may seem like a lot to ask of your youth, but it is great experience for your tech savvy students. It is also a great way to keep them active and involved in church life. Empowering your youth will lead to other opportunities to serve your church and community.
The adult leader’s role in communication and promotion success
As I mentioned in my last blog, the best curriculum, theme and activities will be for naught if no one shows up for your VBS. As an adult leader, here are some actionsyou can take to ensure success:
- Send regular calls, emails and text messages (where permitted) to your youth, their parents and the church community well in advance of your VBS.
- Make sure that all of your messages link to the VBS website (hint: make the website page a top priority in your planning. It will be your go-to-place to direct people for information and sign-ups).
The use of a group messaging tool like One Call Now can be invaluable for events such as VBS.
- Once you have your contact list compiled, you can easily send email, text, and phone reminders to everyone on the list all at once or to any particular subgroup that you choose to create (parents, for example). They can receive the message in the manner they prefer – email for parents, text messages for youth, and phone calls for those who aren’t techy. Your messages can link or direct them to your page for the full details.
The subgroup feature enables you to create subgroups of parents or other adults and send messages seeking volunteers to help with various activities. The recipients can even respond to your request by pressing a key on their phone keypad and you receive a full report of the results.
- The polling, or survey feature, can be used to ask participants simple questions that they can reply to easily – “will you be participating in the water slide event tomorrow?” or “do you prefer chicken or pizza for lunch?” Again, you get a full report without having to create a tally or take a bunch of notes regarding their responses.
Getting kids to VBS is big step. It’s a great way to help kids during the vulnerable summer months and introduce new families to your church. Communication and promotion are key steps to ensuring your church reaches as many kids as possible. There’s a lot that can be done to promote it so remember to call on your teens and a powerful group message service like One Call Now.