Wow, summer has been roaring right along and between vacation and VBS I have not taken the time to post very much. We are a week out from our fast and furious week of VBS. We did three this year. We did morning and night at our Alabaster campus and a night VBS at our Calera campus. I think I thought it would be helpful to do it all in one week. Not so much. 🙂 It was all great, just a little tiring.
God blesses our VBS each year with lots of unconnected families and lots of kids who come to Christ. Can I be really honest with you and share that we have always just stunk at follow-up. We usually have 60-75 decisions to follow up on + over 100 families with no church home + being exhausted + there’s always something coming next… we have more times than not drop the ball. Just being real with you.
Maybe stunk is a strong word, but it has never been as effective as I would like. This year, though, I think we’ve made some significant improvements. We’ve still got a long way to go. Here’s what we’re doing:
Unchurched Families: Every year our church has a huge fireworks show and tailgate party the week before July 4. This year we are putting a vbs celebration in the middle where we will come inside (which is a blessing because we are always hot and grumpy by the middle) and sing a couple of our songs and baptize kids who are ready. We also decided to use this event as an intentional way to invite unchurched families back to our campus. I divided our list up among several volunteers and they called the parents and invited them to the tailgate party. Who doesn’t like fireworks? Typically small groups set up all across campus. We will set up a “Westwood Kids” area for our volunteers and families who don’t have a place to land.
First Time Decisions: After each child was counseled one-on-one during VBS, they were given a letter that invited them to a First Steps class with several options. It also let them know about the baptism service the following Sunday night. My staff and I divided up the list of kids who were connected in some way to Westwood and called or emailed to make sure they knew about the classes and the baptism. We have over 20 kids that will be baptized on Sunday night! Wow!
First Time Decisions from Other Churches: We will mail a letter to these parents encouraging them to communicate with their church staff and we will also send a note to the children’s pastors of the churches to follow up.
So, definitely still not a perfect system, but hopefully a bit more intentional than what we’ve done in the past.
Please share with me! What do you do when you have mass follow-up to do?