Many churches are holding or will hold a Vacation Bible School (VBS) over the next couple of months. These are usually great events that bring a church together. VBS offers a wonderful opportunity to welcome new persons and introduce them to your church. Though our world as changed tremendously in the last decades, VBS remains a great way to help children grow in their faith and reach out to the community. In our day, when parents are working and looking for something for the kids to do, VBS is an appealing alternative to high priced sport, art, or day camps.
One thing churches might think about doing is following up VBS with a late summer event to reconnect with VBS families and connect families to the fall ministry offerings of the church. This does not need to be an event as big as VBS. It can be a one day event that lasts a couple of hours one morning or one evening. For example, at one church I served we had a VBS in June and then the week before school started we had a 2 hour morning event called “Water-palooza” where we invited all the children and families who attended our Vacation Bible School.
Timing this event at the end of summer, and before school begins is a wise thing, as this is when families are thinking about getting back into the routines that come with the start of school. At this event you can further build relationships with new and loosely connected persons and send them home with a gift (a basket or gift bag) with some small token and information about the church and particularly plans for the children’s ministry in the fall.
In the end I believe VBS should be about sharing the love of Christ with children and helping to children to learn about the love of Jesus and grow in their faith. But why not at the same time use VBS as a tool to connect people to the church?
Every year for the last nine years we have been holding a Church Planting and Revitalization Breakfast at the Virginia Annual Conference. It is by far the best meal at Annual Conference. I am excited about this year’s breakfast and we are working hard to line up some great speakers. Here is the official announcement.
The Church Planting and Revitalization Breakfast will be held Saturday June 21st 7AM at First UMC of Fox Hill. The cost for the breakfast is $13.
The Church Planting and Revitalization Breakfast is an event held at Annual Conference and sponsored by the Church Development Team. The breakfast is held to celebrate the ministry of church planting and revitalization across the Virginia Conference. A series of speakers will give brief presentations about works they are currently engaged in through either planting or revitalizing churches. The breakfast is open to all clergy and laity and children are welcome. If you want to be inspired by how Christ is working in the Virginia Conference as we seek to begin and revitalize new faith communities then this breakfast is for you.
To register and make payment online please visit this link and click continue near the bottom of the page to complete your registration.
Here are some of the resources and thought provoking articles swirling around in the blogosphere and elsewhere. Hope you can use some of it in your ministry.
Engaging Your Mission Field is an article published for the Leading Ideas electronic newsletter of the Lewis Center at Wesley Theological Seminary. In this article Bob Crossman, Path 1 Strategist for the General Board of Discipleship of the United Methodist Church shares about the importance of listening and learning and turning missional gestures into missional encounters.
Never Call it a Welcome Center. Does your church have a welcome center. According to Bill Tenny-Brittian you should be calling it an Information Center. Find out why and some other practical dos and dont’s for the Information Center.
The Importance of Vacation Bible School. Steve Dunn from Outward Focused Church reminds us that Vacation Bible School is often the front door of our church for persons without a church home. If you find yourself or others in your church resenting that Vacation Bible School has become a “babysitting service” go read Steve’s post.
Ten Tips for Becoming a More Productive Pastor. Who doesn’t like tips about becoming more productive? Thom Rainer gives some good advice here in this post.
20 Church Hospitality Goofs and How You Can Avoid Them. The Evangelism Coach, Chris Walker, shares some hospitality goofs he has gleaned from the Twitterverse. Many of them are amusing. Some are just sad.