by Diana Davis
Vacation Bible School—it’s not just for church kids! VBS can be a fantastic evangelism event. Catch a vision for how your VBS could impact eternity.
Here is a simple plan to involve every member of your church or small group to engage unchurched children in life-changing VBS. It’s called:
“I Invited 1”
Issue a challenge.
The goal is for every individual in your church to personally invite one unchurched boy or girl to VBS. Anyone can do that. Specifically call out every child, senior adult, youth, single adult, couple, and college student to take the challenge.
They personally invite a child in their life path who doesn’t attend church—neighbor, acquaintance, schoolmate, stranger, work associate’s child.
Ask church members to bring the first name of that child next Sunday.
Make it easy.
As you issue the challenge, give each person a VBS invitation for the child they’ll invite. It can be a business-card size invite or a card. Include the church website for details and online registration. Pray over the invitations, and ask God to direct each person to a child who needs Him.
Make it visual.
- Create a huge “Jesus loves the little children” wall display in a visible area of the church.
- A couple of Sundays before VBS, give each church attender a colorful die-cut paper doll, to write the first name of the child they’re inviting, and add it to the wall display as a prayer reminder.
- Print well-designed, round stickers with large letters “I invited 1” for every person to proudly wear. Purchase and print sheets of circle stickers, or order stickers from a print company. Picture this: grannies and four-year-olds, teens and newcomers—all wearing “I Invited 1” stickers. Wouldn’t it be fun if some needed a dozen stickers?
- Announce the total number who’ve been personally invited so far. Pray for them. Challenge others to invite one.
- Strive for 100% involvement. Though many are already fully engaged in VBS planning, the majority of members probably can’t offer hands-on help because of work, schedule or health conflicts. Every person of every age and circumstance can invite one child. Imagine what God can do if every member participates.
- Children’s Sunday School teachers give tips on how to invite friends, how to include and welcome newcomers, and how to invite them to your church after VBS.
- Just before VBS begins, encourage members to remind the child they invited to come.
- Instead of an all-church project, this could be done in your choir, women’s ministry, youth group, deacons, small group, etc.
- Plan an enormous follow-up on Saturday after VBS, and prepare to welcome many new parents and children on Sunday.
Wear your “I Invited 1” sticker with pride and prayers. And, VBS staffers–hold on to your hats! God’s at work, His church is excited about inviting, and this may be the most thrilling VBS in history.
So his master said, ‘Go out into the country lanes and behind the hedges and urge anyone you find to come, so that the house will be full.’ Luke 14:23
© Diana Davis www.dianadavis.org Her new book, Across the Street and Around the World (New Hope Publishing) will be released this fall.