Posted: 6/18/19 at 11:00am. Post by Tony Brooks.
Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. (Proverbs 22:6 NIV)
Most of our churches still have Vacation Bible School in the summer. Some of our churches have sports camps, music, arts, and other types of camps to reach children in the community. These are all great events, and they give you a chance to show God’s love to children and to share God’s word with them and their families. What do you do after the event is over to continue to “train up a child?” Here are some ideas:
- Make sure children’s registrations get to Sunday School classes as prospects to contact later. Often you have children from the community who come to an event in the summer, and no one thinks to contact them later. The children’s information should go to their age-graded class so they can be contacted as a prospect. Parents’ names should go to adult classes to be contacted. Make sure someone in your Sunday School leadership follows up with those classes to contact prospects. Some parents may drop their children off during VBS for a break. If there is no follow up, do they know you really care?
- Have a flyer advertising other children’s events to give out that week. Some children may still feel uncomfortable showing up on a Sunday morning. Have each class give out a flyer about other social events coming up for their age-graded class in the next few months. (Each class should have a social event at least once a quarter, including adult classes.)
- Start a fellowship group with the parents and grandparents. Have a flyer for parents about a social event. Do one for grandparents as well. During the social event, get to know them and see if a parenting class would be beneficial. I taught classes from Dr. Israel Galindo’s books at our church in Georgia: Ten Best Parenting Ways to Ruin Your Child and the Ten Best Parenting Ways to Ruin Your Teenager. (You can find the books ) Both were a big success! You will need to add scripture passages for these lessons. Let me know if I can help.
- Start a Fresh Expression of church in the community. If you can start a dinner church, messy church, or some other Fresh Expression in the community, advertise it at VBS or your sports camp/music and arts camp. Once again, you may have some families willing to drop off their children for VBS but not yet ready for Sunday morning church. This would be a great way to start something new. If you have a closing ceremony, make sure you advertise these events. Follow up with a letter and phone call to invite families.
There are many ways BGAV can help your church consider several of these ideas at a conference on Saturday, August 24 in Farmville, VA. Here is the link to learn more and to register.