Creative Tips to Promote VBS in Your Community
For many churches, vacation Bible school is a highlight of every summer. VBS programs teach and delight children, provide a wide range of fun volunteering opportunities and help create vibrant faith and lasting memories.
VBS also offers huge outreach potential for your church and its neighboring community. Parents and other caregivers seeking wholesome summertime activities for kids often gravitate to church VBS programs. After all, they are safe, stimulating, usually low-cost and filled with friends and excitement. With themed, kid-friendly Bible lessons plus active games, cool crafts, and yummy snacks, VBS is a can’t-miss programming activity. So make sure no one in your area misses out!
It’s Easy to Publicize Vacation Bible School
When your children’s ministry or church starts planning for VBS — whether it’s a weeklong event, an evening experience, or a weekend family-based adventure — remember that publicity is key. Alerting congregants to the dates and details is essential, so that’s a good starting point. But also take this important step: Designate a volunteer or team to spearhead the task of promoting vacation Bible school beyond your church walls.
Promoting VBS throughout the community helps ensure a strong turnout for the big event. Plus, your church can use vacation Bible school to fulfill the Great Commission. VBS is a valuable evangelism tool because you’re likely to introduce unchurched people to Jesus. Just think: Because of VBS, some of your church’s neighbors may step foot inside your building for the first time! Then once people come inside and discover everything you offer, you’ll have even more opportunities to encourage them to return.
Spreading the word about VBS isn’t difficult. Publishers usually provide themed marketing templates for that exact purpose. After you customize those materials, simply send, post and display them.
In this digital age, VBS publicity is easier than ever. But don’t underestimate the value of word-of-mouth advertising. Happy families (and children themselves!) make great “advertisements” as they tell others about vacation Bible school and invite them to attend.
Make the most of the beloved summer tradition of vacation Bible school by stepping up your promotion game. Read on to learn expert tips for how to promote VBS in your community. Then feel free to use them as a springboard for your own creative VBS publicity ideas!
Expert Tips to Promote VBS in Your Community
Finding images to promote VBS is a breeze. The ChurchArt Online art library is filled with clipart, illustrations and photos that work great for invitations, posters, VBS ads, flyers, signs and more. Plus, VBS publishers supply promotional materials tailored to each year’s theme. At the Communication Resources store, you will also find a pre-packaged bundle of VBS templates, certificates and forms ready for instant download. Popular teaching themes for VBS range from the Wild West and outer space to science labs and animal safaris. Bible-times VBS programs are always a hit too. Community members might be especially attracted to these events, which bring Scripture to life for kids.
Continuity is key for any publicity campaign. Repetition helps reinforce the message and generates anticipation as the VBS event approaches.
After you’ve selected your favorite eye-catching images, put them to work for maximum impact. Here’s how.
9 Fun, Simple Ways to Promote VBS in Your Community
Design and send kid-friendly postcards. Then conduct a blanket mailing throughout the neighborhood or town. You can obtain a list of addresses from the local post office for free. If your church has a day school or preschool, remember to mail postcards to all those families as well.
Create a promotional piece for local distribution. Include all the important VBS details, including dates, times, ages, and cost (if any). Then ask church members to take a stack of flyers to post and hand out in their neighborhoods. Provide enough for at least one promotional piece per family in the church. And supply extras for congregants who have the outlets (and energy!) to distribute more.
Ask a tech-savvy volunteer to spearhead a social media campaign. Post VBS images on the church website and social media accounts. Also, ask congregants to share and repost the information. Members of the church youth group, who often serve as VBS assistants, might enjoy publicizing the event (and recruiting other helpers) on teen-friendly platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat or TikTok.
Provide yard signs for members to display. Enlarge VBS artwork and print yard signs that serve as attention-grabbers and general invitations. This is a great form of cheap advertising, especially if congregants live throughout a wider area.
Place an ad in the local newspaper. About two weeks before your church’s VBS takes place, advertise in community media. If possible, also submit a brief press release to newspapers and TV or radio stations. Highlight aspects of the event that might warrant media coverage. Examples include a special missions offering or a free concert at the conclusion of VBS.
Wave your banner high! During the month before VBS, display large banners and signs in front of your church property. If your church has an electronic sign, scroll teaser announcements about VBS — as well as a countdown when the big day nears.
Make registration a snap. By providing advance sign-up opportunities, you can help bolster your VBS turnout. On high-attendance Sundays such as Easter, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, set up a table for early registration. More unchurched people usually attend worship on those special days, so take advantage of the extra “traffic” to raise awareness about VBS.
If you feed them, they will come! Free food always draws a crowd, so consider serving a meal in conjunction with your church’s VBS. For an evening vacation Bible school event, you could provide dinner for busy families. For a traditional weekday program, you could offer kids breakfast and/or lunch. These days, VBS is more high-energy than ever, so children may need more than a mid-morning snack!
Partner with other churches. In some towns, smaller churches join forces to produce a community-wide “mega” VBS. Other congregations pass along props to nearby churches once their own VBS is a wrap. Along those lines, consider collaborating with other churches to publicize all the VBS programs available this summer. Use bulletin and newsletter announcements to share details about other local vacation Bible school events, in order of occurrence. Then ask those churches to return the favor.
VBS newbies and veterans alike agree the more, the merrier for this summer sensation! Vacation Bible school is a tried-and-true children’s ministry event, guaranteed to bring smiles and fun to kids. So, start your publicity engines, and get ready to spread the joy — and the good news of Jesus — in your community.
We love art, are passionate about helping churches create professional-looking communications and are a fun bunch of folks. With an in-tune creative director and a rock-solid team of artists, we will provide the art you’ll want to use, plus templates, puzzles and extras that make your job easier.