Today is the final installment in this little “how to” series about backyard Bible clubs.
Once you have your dates set and an idea of what you are going to teach, you can start spreading the word. We live less than a mile from the local elementary school. So, we took a couple of afternoons in the weeks leading up to the Backyard Bible club to hand out fliers to the kids and meet some of the parents. The fliers were very simple with the basic information and my contact info. We also were very purposeful to hang out at the park and go for walks in the evenings. We met kids in the neighborhood and invited them to come. We made sure that our immediate neighbors knew about the club. We put up signs in the neighborhood the weekend before it began. We recruited our neighbors to tell their friends and gave them fliers to hand out as well. We walked door to door and invited children.
In the mornings, during the club, we had a friend that would walk over to the house with her girls and try to round up kids as she came.
I really think that your strategies in inviting kids have to be very neighborhood specific. In the suburbs (like where we currently live), it is crucial that you build relationships with your neighbors throughout the year. The kids that we had come to our most recent club were kids who were familiar with us and their parents knew that we could be trusted. In years past, we went to Haiti in the summer and did VBS in the local villages. Kids would flock to the VBS just to be part of something different. Their parents were glad to let them come. We’ve done VBS/ Backyard Bible clubs in neighborhoods with a lot of “latch key” kids who are used to making their own decisions about where they want to spend their time. Once the word was out that games and snacks were part of the package, the kids would come.
So… know your neighborhood. Know your audience. One thing I have learned in the last couple of years is to just go for it. If you feel the call of the Lord to engage in such a ministry, don’t hesitate… just go for it. Even if you only have your kids and a couple of others… go for it. One week of your life and time could impact a child’s heart for eternity. And what a great opportunity for your children to see you engage in reaching the lost with the Gospel of Jesus. What a great opportunity for them to be involved as well.