100 Ideas for VBS Community Outreach

In our end of the year survey in 2019, we asked your VBS coordinators what their biggest desire was for their Vacation Bible School in 2020. The most frequent answer, by a landslide, was better community outreach.
We took this to heart and built this giant list of ideas for connecting with your community and getting them in on your VBS. We hope you are encouraged and inspired, and can put these to good use! 
With love,
Your Team of VBS T-Shirt Pros

100 Ways to Invite Your Community to VBS

  1. Post picket signs in your church’s lawn.

  2. Get a custom banner to post on all church campuses.

  3. Put an ad in your local newspaper.

  4. Post an invitation in your community’s facebook group/page.

  5. Have all leaders post on their facebook.

  6. Ask volunteers to invite 5 families in their area.

  7. Add it to your city’s official website calendar.

  8. Add it to your town’s official website calendar.

  9. Go door-to-door in neighborhoods every Sunday.

  10. Ask for volunteers to carry & give out promo flyers around town.

  11. Host a free Easter-time scavenger hunt based on your theme, and invite attendees to be in your VBS.

  12. Give picket signs to your church members.

  13. Challenge each member to invite one unbelieving family’s kids.

  14. Give theme shirts to your kids & staff, let them wear it around school.

  15. Sponsor local sports teams and advertise your VBS.

  16. Ask the Christian school(s) in your area to promote your vbs.

  17. Ask local/Christian businesses to put signs up in their windows for your VBS.

  18. Make a page on your church’s website to promote VBS.

  19. Call your congregation individually, asking them to invite a family, or to give you a phone number you can call.

  20. Challenge your church’s children to invite one friend from school. Give them a postcard/flyer.

  21. Host a BBQ a few weeks before your VBS.

  22. Call local radio stations & ask about promotions.

  23. Put a banner on your Facebook page.

  24. Post about it on Instagram.

  25. Ask Instagram followers to share your post & invite friends.

  26. Participate in community events like carnivals & parades.

  27. Send a blanket mail-out postcard. The post office will provide you with addresses!

  28. Host a free information lunch!

  29. Have kids write one reason they love VBS, then use those reasons on promo materials.

  30. Create a prize drawing for kids who bring friends with them. Each friend is an entry!

  31. Offer dinner to the parents after VBS (this one works wonders!)

  32. Invite parents to be a part of VBS.

  33. Offer classes to the community and use those to share about VBS.

  34. Invite smaller churches in your area to participate.

  35. Send VBS invitations out with “date night” vouchers to parents. They need a break sometimes!

  36. Have a free preview event open to all. 

  37. Go live on Facebook telling people about it.

  38. Put together a shareable promo video.

  39. Make VBS stickers and stick them (legally) around town.

  40. Ask parents in your church to invite other parents to a church dinner event/class. Use the opportunity to share about VBS.

  41. Rent a pool for a pool party, invite the neighborhood!

  42. Every Sunday, give the children two pieces of candy or a treat with VBS info on it, one for them, one for a friend.

  43. Give out toys related to your theme, and ask kids to give one away to a friend.

  44. Challenge your church families to give away one flyer at lunch after church.

  45. Include a postcard in your church bulletin to give away.

  46. Offer pickup and drop off services in the neighborhood (pick someone to do so with a van/bus).

  47. If you need to charge for VBS, offer vouchers or gift cards to first-timers.

  48. Set up a table at your rec or family center.

  49. Reach out to the Parks & Recreation Department and ask about any events you could participate in.

  50. Participate in a town/city parade.

  51. Start early! Offer a discount to families who return for next year.

  52. Have an ice cream party and invite the neighborhood.

  53. Use temporary car vinyls to promote your VBS as you drive around town!

  54. Hire security for your VBS and let prospective parents know. This provides an extra level of trust & comfort.

  55. If you have a “main street” or town center, look into advertising options.

  56. Sponsor your local farmers market.

  57. Open a free hotdog stand near your church.

  58. Open a lemonade stand near your church.

  59. Host a worship night in a baseball field and invite the community.

  60. Host a block party with popcorn, hotdogs, the works, then promote VBS.

  61. Choose an area and send groups to put flyers on people’s doors.

  62. Set up an outreach at an after-school program.

  63. Get pens with your VBS info on them and distribute as much as you can!

  64. Invite members & non-members to participate in a decoration day.

  65. Post yard signs in parks & greenery around the town.

  66. Put up posters on street signs.

  67. If you have a food ministry, invite them to be involved with VBS.

  68. Deliver boxes filled with VBS promo (leave on doorstep, do not put in mailboxes).

  69. Host a social media contest. “Ex: Share this photo with your favorite summer memory.” The photo should advertise your VBS. Then select a winner for free t-shirts, admission to VBS, or a gift card.

  70. Set up an inviting table at the mall.

  71. Hand out flyers at the mall.

  72. Give promo material to parents at the park.

  73. See if other churches in your area who aren’t doing VBS would help you promote.

  74. Advertise on your grocery store’s receipts.

  75. Ask your members for ideas! We’re only a few people.  😉

  76. Suggest your members talk to their coworkers about VBS. 

  77. Host a free community class on parenting or something similar. Invite attendees to VBS.

  78. Offer free family photos on the first day of VBS.

  79. If you have business owners in your congregation, ask them to help promote VBS!

  80. Give swag to coaches to give to their players (VBS water bottles, carabiners, etc.)

  81. Host a Mommy’s luncheon with child care. Invite them to bring their children to VBS.

  82. Nominate a volunteer to dress up as a character from your VBS and walk around the mall and shopping area.

  83. Host an art day for kids. Provide local artists to teach them.

  84. Summer movie night! 

  85. Hand out VBS flyers outside movie theaters.

  86. If you have a van or van ministry, decorate it with VBS promotions.

  87. Give the congregation magnets to put on their home and/or work fridge.

  88. Add a message about it on your church service phone.

  89. Run a Google ad in your area.

  90. Run a Facebook or Instagram ad. You can target your specific town!

  91. Run a weekend VBS, to give people a taste of the the week to come.

  92. Host a volunteering day and invite the community. Invite them to VBS.

  93. Host a bake sale so you can offer VBS free to newcomers.

  94. Donate VBS decorated gifts to a local school.

  95. Ask your town news if they’d like to cover your VBS.

  96. Ask your congregation to sponsor kids in their community for VBS. Maybe create a program!

  97. Give out t-shirts for kids to wear in public. (Cutest advertisements ever!)

  98. Give out t-shirts for your volunteers and/or congregation to wear out.

  99. Visit your local Chik-Fil-A (if you should be so lucky) and ask if you could put up a flyer on their bulletin board, or if you could offer them outside. 

  100. Pray

 

Think of something to add? Write it down in the comments below!

 

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