This 45-minute session is geared towards those who will lead out in Promotion for the local church VBS utilizing LifeWay s Journey off the Map.

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1 File 26 VBS 2015 Journey Off the Map Promotion Ideas 45-Minute Session VBS 2015 Journey off the Map Promotion Ideas Purpose Statement This 45-minute session is geared towards those who will lead out in Promotion for the local church VBS utilizing LifeWay s Journey off the Map. Resources to Collect, Prepare & Copy Resources to Collect Super Sticky Notes (1 per conferee) VBS 2015 Takin It Home Music for Kids CD Promotional DVD (available in the VBS 2014 Jump Start Kit or online at lifeway.com/vbs) Collect a variety of the following LifeWay VBS 2015 Promotional and Decorating Resources: VBS 2015 Promotional Posters VBS 2015 Promotional DVD VBS 2015 Bulletins VBS 2015 Window Signs VBS 2015 Door Hangers VBS 2015 Promotional Banner VBS 2015 Postcards VBS 2015 Supersized Postcards VBS 2015 Registration Flyer VBS 2015 Note Cards VBS 2015 Writing Paper VBS 2015 Visual Pack VBS 2015 String Flags VBS 2015 Sign Post VBS 2015 T-shirt VBS 2015 Table Topper VBS 2015 Tablecloth VBS 2015 Takin It Home Parent Guide 1

2 VBS 2015 Cup VBS 2015 Tin Bucket VBS 2015 Decoration Punch-Outs VBS 2015 Wall Art VBS 2015 Border VBS 2015 Floor Prints VBS 2015 Logo Stamp VBS 2015 Cloth Drawstring Bags VBS 2015 Blank Map Markers Resources to Prepare Two banners that read: INSIDE THE CHURCH and OUTSIDE THE CHURCH Hang banners on opposite blank walls Resources to Copy Journey Off the Map Promotion Ideas Handout 1 (1 per conferee) If using optional activity - Journey Off the Map Promotion Ideas Handout 2 (1 per conferee) Room Set-Up Description 1 Chair per Conferee set conference style 2 Tables for Display Consider suggestions from VBS 2015 Decorating Made Easy with Clip Art CD for theme related ideas. Audio Video Needs CD Player Teaching Steps 1. Welcome (5 min) As conferees enter the room play Journey Off the Map (track 1 from the VBS 2015 Takin It Home Music for Kids CD). Invite conferees to write their favorite VBS promotion idea on the provided sticky note found on their chair. Ideas will be used later in the session. 2. Why We Promote (5 min) Quickly survey the room and determine how many people are in attendance. Ask that 10% of attendees stand. Share that VBS is the number one evangelical outreach in most churches. Studies have shown that on average 10% of children who attend VBS are unchurched. Have the group consider the 10% standing. 2

3 Share that statistics reveal that 10% for an average local church VBS means 10 people! If each unchurched child represents a family of four that would represent forty people/protects that each church who has VBS will have the opportunity to bring in to their church and build a lasting relationship. This is why VBS is so important. What if we can get more kids in our VBS and that grows our 10% unchurched kids and families? That s why we need to promote our VBS. 3. Who do we Promote To and How do We Promote (25-30 min) Old Yet Unique Ideas (15 min) Arrange conferees into groups. Distribute LifeWay promotional resources (listed in resources to collect). Instruct groups to consider 2-3 ways to use each item in a way that would be different than its intended use. (Example: make puzzles of the supersized postcards and mail the puzzle in an envelope). After 3 minutes, allow each group to share their unique ideas with entire class. Inside the Church Outside the Church (10-15 min) Direct participants to the handout, Inside/Outside and the prepared INSIDE THE CHURCH and OUTSIDE THE CHURCH banners. Ask conferees to consider the favorite promotion idea that they wrote on their sticky note when they entered the room. Ask conferees to decide if that idea is for promoting VBS INSIDE THE CHURCH or OUTSIDE THE CHURCH. Ask conferees to place their promotion idea under one of the banners. Review the ideas suggested allowing for clarification if an ideas needs clarification 4. Closing/Questions/Prayer (5 min) Close offering two or three essentials to promoting. Consider these and others you might think of: Start Early. Build your Team Early and Start spreading the Word early. Don t save the VBS t-shirt just for VBS week! Start wearing them early to promote it! Just DO IT! A good intention is only that! Put an action in to it, not just a thought. Pray for the churches and leaders represented in the room asking God to bless their efforts as they reach out and in to families attending VBS

4 OPTIONAL ACTIVITY - A MONTH OF JOURNEY OFF THE MAP PROMOTION IDEAS Gather conferees into groups, distribute calendar handout, and ask conferees to follow the instructions at the top of the handout. Use the information below to expand on ideas as needed. 1. Use JOTM Stamp on all mail sent from church office during two months before VBS. 2. JOTM Bug Gliders Tournament in the park. Invite neighborhood kids and families to join you. Hold competitions and award small prizes. Serve snow cones and pass out registration information. 3. Distribute Ask Me About the Journey buttons to church members and ask them to wear the buttons two weeks before VBS. With each button include a small card with information members would need to be able to tell others about VBS. 4. Mail Save the Date postcards at least three months in advance to everyone who attended VBS last year. 5. Place promotional posters in store windows. Use the largest poster the store owner/manager will allow. Posters from the VBS 2015 Visual Pack would be an eyecatching option. 6. Serve a different JOTM snack each Wednesday night during church dinner or at the conclusion of the service. Have someone give a brief testimony of how VBS has impacted his or her life and how it important it is to personally invite family, friends, and neighbors to attend. 7. Place displays in area businesses using JOTM Floor Prints. Use floor prints to lead to a stack of pamphlets with VBS information and a registration card. The goal is to create a display that is unexpected and memorable. 8. Distribute city maps with info at school pick-up lines. Create a city map with your church location highlighted, or use JOTM Logo Stickers to mark the location. Print VBS information on the back. For pre-printed maps, print information on a large self-adhesive label and place it in a corner of the map. 9. Neighborhood Lemonade Stands hosted by church members. Ask church members to sponsor a free lemonade stand prior to VBS. Use JOTM Table Toppers to decorate the table. Distribute information and a registration card with each cup of lemonade. 10. Give moms JOTM T-shirts to wear as they run errands. This idea can also be used to encourage all workers to help promote your VBS. Ask that the shirts be worn in public as often. Give each person a supply of small cards with VBS information that can be distributed when someone notices the shirt. 11. Church member home JOTM Door Decorating Contest. Ask church members to decorate their front doors in a way that promotes JOTM several weeks before VBS. Create a deadline and ask members to let you know they are participating. Enlist impartial judges to visit each home to choose winners. Award inexpensive prizes, but create enough categories (i.e., the door most visible from the street, the door with the most color, the door that created the biggest stir by the neighbors. Inform the community newspaper about the contest. Facebook, tweet, and share the doors in as many ways as possible. Provide each homeowner with a supply of brochures about VBS to distribute to neighbors. 12. Use JOTM Sticker Nametags for address labels. 13. Give JOTM Logo Stickers to kids to pass out at school. Kids love stickers, so encourage your churched kids to share JOTM stickers with their friends. Encourage kids to invite each person they give a sticker. 4

5 14. Twirl large signs across from school dismissal parking exits. We have all seen a guy at an intersection twirling a large sign advertising a mattress sale. Create a similar sign, but instead of a random intersection, go to your target audience and display it as parents are picking up kids from the last few days of school. 15. Parents Night Out Rock Climbing Adventure. The idea is to create an event kids will want to invite their unchurched friends to attend. If rock climbing is not feasible supplement another activity that has an element of outdoor adventure or journey. For many kids an old-fashioned cookout and hayride would be an adventure. Serve JOTM snacks. Play games from the JOTM Recreation Cards. Conclude the evening by distributing VBS information and registration cards. 16. JOTM Family Pool or Park Party. Rent a community pool or park and invite the entire neighborhood. Serve snacks and play games the entire family can play. Decorate for JOTM and share some of the fun that will be had at VBS. Distribute information and registration cards as families leave. 17. Ask church members to use specified social media hastag. Create a hashtag that is specific to your event. Ask church members to help you promote your VBS to their social media community using the hashtag as often as possible. 18. Mail JOTM Postcards cut into puzzles. Print your VBS information on the back of the large JOTM Postcards. Cut cards into puzzle pieces, place in envelopes and mail to kids on your churches prospect list. 19. Home JOTM Yard Sign Competition. Provide church members with stakes and pieces of form or cardboard. Encourage them to create a yard sign promoting VBS. Instruct them to place signs in their yards, take pictures, and post them on your church s Facebook page. Enlist a judging team to choose winners for fun awards. 20. Give kids a filled I Heart VBS Treat Bag to take to friends. 21. JOTM Pencil Blitz. Attach Come to VBS to Get the Point notes to unsharpened JOTM Pencils and distribute and shopping centers and parks. An option is to mail the pencils out to kids who attended VBS last year. 22. Kids & Parents Amazing Journey GPS Family Night. Create an evening based on the idea of the Amazing Race reality show. At the start each family is given GPS quadrants or instructions for a secret location. When a family arrives they should receive quadrants to the next location along with a task card that must be completed before traveling to the next location. Tasks could include stopping by the home of an unchurched friend to invite him to attend VBS, passing out five invitations at a shopping center, creating a short video inviting friends to VBS and posting it on Twitter or Facebook, and writing personal notes of invitation. At the final location collect notes for mailing, share videos, serve snacks, and pre-register the participating kids. At the start, and along the way, stress that the evening is a journey and not a race. Completing the tasks is the goal, not speed. 23. This Is The Way hike-a-thon. This activity could also be a bike-a-thon or walk-a-thon. The goal is to get as many unchurched families to participate as possible so avoid using the activity to raise money. Make the event an adventure by creating simple obstacles. Conclude the day by serving hotdogs and distributing VBS information and registration cards. 24. Ask members to distribute Door Hangers on their streets. Give each church member a stack of door hangers and ask them to be responsible for their street or neighborhood. 25. Distribute toy bugs with VBS information at community parade or other community event. 26. Mail JOTM Bookmarks with VBS information and instructions to Mark the Date. 27. End of School JOTM Expedition Tag Scavenger Hunt. Create a scavenger hunt with five locations. At each location kids receive one of the five JOTM Expedition Tags. 5

6 28. Neighborhood ABC Wristband distribution. Use a permanent marker to write VBS information on inside of ABC Wristbands and distribute to neighborhood kids. 29. Host The Lost Adventure JOTM Family Movie Night. Learn more about the movie at lifeway.com/films. 30. Baseball game bottled water distribution. Print VBS information on large self-adhesive labels and place on bottle of water and distribute to spectators at little league games. 31. Conduct JOTM flash mob info distribution at shopping center. Ask church members to dress in explorer or hiking gear and meet at a shopping center or park at a specific time. Parade through the parking lot or park distributing VBS information and registration cards. ADDITIONAL IDEAS Use KidEvent Pro to link online registration to your church s website. Use I Heart VBS Treat Bags to distribute small gifts, event information, and a registration card. Pass out I Heart VBS inflated balloons with messages inside. Have promotional items ready to send home with kids following the Easter service. When giving promotional items to kids always give them two one to keep and one to give to a friend. 6

7 JOTM Promotion Ideas Handout 1 Promoting Journey Off the Map! UNIQUELY DIFFERENT: INSIDE THE CHURCH: OUTSIDE THE CHURCH: ESSENTIALS FOR SUCCESSFUL PROMOTION: 7

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