Category Archives: Outreach

Vacation Bible School Models

If you’re planning Vacation Bible School this year, take some time to think outside the box. There are many ways to do Vacation Bible School. Don’t limit yourself to what you’ve always done. If you have a children’s ministry team, have a meeting with them to come up with new ideas. If you dont, you might want to put together a dream team made up of workers, parents, and church leaders to dream up big ideas. You dont have to use all of these ideas, but they will spark other ideas that you might be able to use.

 

Today, I’m listing some, but not all, of the ways you can have Vacation Bible School.

 

Traditional Morning or Evening Model: Traditional VBS consists of having an opening and closing session, and having a VBS teacher for each age group.

 

Rotation Model: This model is used in Group Publishing VBS. Each leader takes one group to each station. One station may have the Bible story, another craft, another snacks, and another music. Each station has a leader that only does that station for each group. Groups can be split into age groups, or they can be mixed.

 

Vacation Bible Crusade Model: This model of VBS uses the format of a Kids Crusade for the first hour. The music, Bible story, life application, memory verse, and other teaching activities are all done during the crusade. For the second hour, children are rotated. They have crafts with the craft leader for a half hour, games with the game leader for fifteen minutes, and class time with their group leader for fifteen minutes. Class time consists of attendance, snack, and reviewing the memory verse and lesson for the day. If you have a strong leader to direct the Kids Crusade, this model is easy and uses fewer workers.

 

Backyard VBS: This is a neighborhood model where people open their homes to allow a small group of children to come and have VBS. This is a great model for outreach. It works even better if you have bus or van ministry to transport the children to church after VBS, or if you plan on having a Sidewalk Sunday School or neighborhood Bible Club to continue to minister to the children after VBS.

 

Follow Up: Whatever method you decide to use, dont forget to plan a big follow-up event. You could have a carnival, a fun Sunday, or a party. Don’t let children who came to VBS, got saved, and don’t have a church they attend regularly fall through the cracks after VBS is over.

Block Parties

Block parties are a terrific way to reach the neighborhood around your church, especially if you have a lot of children living nearby. Block parties are essentially parties you give for the neighborhood. A good block party will have the following elements.

 

Invitation Blitz: If you are going to have a lot of people at your block party, you will need to go into the neighborhood and compel them to come. Print out a flier as an invitation. Then have teams go into the neighborhood by twos and knock on every door. You could also go the route of a mass mailing, but personal invitations work so much better.

 

Good Food: This is a drawing card. Whether you have a cookout, spaghetti, or vendors with different foods, print what youre having to eat on the flier. Also make sure you let them know it’s free.

 

Music & Drama Groups: Music should be upbeat and contemporary. If you dont have enough music and drama groups to entertain the whole time, invite groups from other churches to minister.

 

Entertainment For Kids: Your carnival will draw a crowd if you have lots of entertainment for the kids. If your budget allows, have inflatables such as bounce houses, slides, and obstacle courses. Make carnival games for the children to play. Have someone make balloon animals. Have a team of people do face painting. If you have somebody who does clowning or gospel illusions, have him at the block party. 

 

Evangelism: Train an evangelism team to make friends with the people who come, to share what the church has to offer, and to pray with people.

 

Prayer: This and every event should be bathed in prayer.

Park Ministry

Park Ministry is a great way to minister to children over the summer. Whether you go to different parks and low income housing projects each time, or go to the same park at the same time every week, it can be very effective. Here are some tips to make park ministry work for you.

Decide where to go. This is a very important step. Going to a park to do ministry, when there are no children there, can be very discouraging. Canvass you city. Find out when sports practices that are held in city parks are and plan to be there when they let out. Find out where children congregate. Then contact the people in charge of that area and get their permission.

Develop your team. Park ministry doesn’t just consist of front people. Teach a group of people of various ages how to witness and release them to talk with people in the park an hour before your program. One effective tool is to teach your students how to witness, then have them play in the park. They can be instructed to invite the other children to the event when it starts.

Have upbeat music and entertainment that present the gospel in a fun and nonthreatening way. Some methods you could use are balloon animals, juggling, gospel illusions, drama, puppets, and object sermons. Make sure to make each presentation short and to the point.

Have information available about your church. If someone is interested in learning more about God, have information about your church and your children’s ministry readily available.

Find a way to get names and addresses for follow up. One way could be to have a drawing for a giant candy bar or a ten dollar bill. That way, you have a legitimate way to ask people for their contact information.

Use park ministry to start other things. Park ministry could help launch other ministries in your church such as bus ministry, sidewalk Sunday school, backyard VBS, and benevolence ministries.

Bath it in prayer. Whenever you have park ministry, plan a time before it takes place to have a prayer walk around the park.

Resolution #5 – Attract More Children To Your Church

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Attracting more children to your church is a goal every children’s pastor has, and it can be done easily and effectively with four easy steps.

1. Pray.

Don’t only pray for numbers. Pray that God is in the middle of your children’s ministry and that His desire for souls is at the center of your desire to attract more children. Too many pastors, churches, and children’s ministries start with the right motives but, at some point because of pride, start wanting more numbers because it makes them look good. Your first prayer should be to change your heart’s desire into what God’s desire is not for numbers.

Your second prayer should be to ask God to give you plans and creativity. If you do ministry the way you always have, you’ll always have what you’ve always had. Ask God to show you what you should focus on changing this coming year.

2. Have an effective children’s ministry.

This should go without saying, but it doesn’t. No matter how many children you get in the doors, if you don’t have something effective for them when they get there, they won’t stay.

God will only give you what you can handle. If you have twenty children and want to double that by the end of the year, start having workers, classes, and programs that will work if fifty children show up.

3. Have Effective Outreach.

There are only so many children who will come through your doors without outreach. It’s your job to go into the highways and byways and compel them to come in.

Here are a few effective outreach activities your children’s ministry could have:

Block Parties

Park Ministry

Vacation Bible School

Sidewalk Sunday School

Easter Party

School Bible Clubs

Kids Crusade

4. Follow-Up:

This is a step that most churches fail at. They have a great outreach event, lots of children come, many are saved, but then they never hear from the church until the next large outreach event.

Once a child comes to one of your event, make a personal contact through a letter and a phone call. Meet the parents, and invite them to church. Ask if they have any prayer needs they would like you to remember. That’s what will get them inside your church doors for more than an event.

A Children’s Pastor Is An Evangelist

Every children’s pastor should be an evangelist. It’s great to minister to the children in your church, but what have you done to develop a children’s ministry that reaches out to unsaved children? Here’s a few ideas to make sure you are acting, not only as a pastor, but as an evangelist.

Altar Calls:

Altar calls in children’s church are an important way to give children an opportunity to respond to the message. Unfortunately some children’s pastors have decided end having altar calls. Here’s a link to an article by Jerry Moyer called Why I Still Have Altar Calls? It’s worth reading.

Salvation Sundays:

No matter how you decide to do it, you should have Sundays periodically that emphasis salvation. Advertise these Sunday’s to the children in your ministry as a day to invite their friends. Create excitement and have a special theme and special activities that only happen on these Sundays. Give a salvation message. Then do follow-up for the visitors who attended.

Outreach Events:

Some children’s pastors are also ending outreach events because they are costly and time-consuming. They’ve decided to focus on the children in the church. But Jesus didn’t focus on the people inside the church. He carried His message to everyone who would listen.

There are some children who will never come to your church on a Sunday morning. Some of them have circumstances, like unsaved parents who don’t think it’s important, that keep them from coming. But they will come to your special outreach events every time you have them. If your goal is only to get more children to come to your church, outreach events are not that effective. But if your goal is to share the Gospel to children who would otherwise never hear it, outreach events are worth the time and money spent.

Here’s some outreach events you could have:

Park Ministry

Sidewalk Sunday School

Kid’s Crusades

Vacation Bible School

Block Parties

Halleluiah Costume Carnival (Halloween)

Easter Egg Hunt or Party

Sport’s Ministries

School Bible Clubs

Missions:

Having a good missions program in your children’s ministry is vital for evangelism in the church. Outreach and evangelism aren’t only for our neighborhood. We should be reaching the world for Christ.

Here’s some links to help you with your missions program:

Missions In Children’s Minsitry

Developing a Children’s Ministry Missions Program

Fundraisers

Here’s a couple of ministries your children’s ministry could support:

Missionary Family In Thailand

Operation Kid Passion (Works with Operation Compassion)

Teach Children How To Share The Gospel

This will be the most effective thing you ever do as an evangelist. The children under you can reach children you will never be able to minister to. Give them the tools to share the Gospel. Teach them how. Practice with them. Then release them into ministry.