Follow-up key for churches
Polly House, Baptist Press
May 13, 2011

Follow-up key for churches

Follow-up key for churches
Polly House, Baptist Press
May 13, 2011


— Year after year, churches indicate their greatest need for Vacation Bible

School (VBS) is help with follow-up.

“What takes place after VBS is just as important as anything

that happens during the week,” said Mike Smith of the leadership and evangelism

area of LifeWay Christian Resources. “You have opportunities after VBS that

didn’t even exist before.”

Smith led a session on “VBS and Beyond: Evangelistic

Follow-Up” during a VBS preview earlier this year at LifeWay Christian

Resources in Nashville, Tenn.

He said the first step to successful evangelistic follow-up is to have a VBS

follow-up director.

“This person is just as important as the VBS director,”

Smith said.

“The follow-up director makes certain every child is

remembered after the week. This is especially important for children who are

not already a part of the church family. The weeks soon after VBS may be the

only time a church member is welcome in the home of an unchurched family. It

can be a time of introducing what the church has to offer to the entire

family.” Smith highlighted some notable statistics from 2009 VBS.

“These numbers are just from the churches that actually

reported their information to their state conventions and to LifeWay,” he said.

“We know there are many that don’t send in a report.”

By the numbers:

  • Number of churches reporting: 24,427
  • VBS enrollment: 2,840,380
  • Professions of faith: 88,410
  • Sunday School/Bible study prospects discovered: 264,716
  • Prospects enrolled in Sunday School/Bible study: 49,541
  • Prospects added to the prospect file: 206,392


also listed a number of follow-up strategies and ideas for churches and

explained how they can help:

  • Have a fun and evangelistic family night. “This may be the

    only time some of the unchurched parents will ever step foot in the church.”

  • Follow up with the Children’s Music Series. “The children

    always love the music at VBS and the CMS is

    a great way to keep them excited about music.”

  • Use the aids in the VBS administrative guide. “This gives

    resources, PowerPoints, training ideas and follow-up plans.”

  • Gather accurate and sufficient information on every VBS

    participant. “Get as much as possible, and be honest why you need it. Tell them

    you plan to follow up.”

  • Determine your follow-up ahead of time. “Establish your

    strategy before VBS ever begins.”

    Immediately after VBS, activate your follow-up teams.

    “People will never be more open than they are right then.”

  • Send information about the church directly to the homes. “You really can’t trust the kids to make it

    home with the information.”

  • Connect everyone in the family with the appropriate Sunday

    School class. “If they get connected

    with a small group like Sunday School, statistics tell us there is an 83

    percent chance they will still be connected after five years, but only a 16

    percent chance if they aren’t.”

  • Celebrate the results of VBS during a Sunday morning worship

    service. “Have the whole service be about VBS. Do the music, have

    testimonies and have a VBS-themed sermon.”

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