Summer. It’s a beautiful thing. And it’s pretty much right around the corner. If they haven’t already, families are beginning to schedule vacations, reunions, camping trips, and all sorts of fun.
While a few will seek out dates for events like vacation Bible school and mission trips before setting plans in stone, most won’t consider such factors until it’s too late. Rather than hearing comments like “Oh shoot, I wish we would’ve known!” from potential participants, leaders, and volunteers, think summer now and let the community know what’s brewing!
Create a Digital Homebase
Step one: build a digital homebase for your summer ministries and use other communication avenues to point back to this place. If you have a church website, build a page to set this up. If that’s not an option, a blog or social media page could work as well.
Whatever you decide, stay consistent. This will be the place you update first when new information is available and it is the place from which you’ll share links. Include dates, theme, and registration details, and general volunteer, leadership, and contact information to make sure this digital homebase is all up to date.
Target Easter Visitors
Churches generally see a large influx of visitors on Easter, so there’s opportunity to reach people with whom you (or your communications efforts) might not otherwise cross paths. In the weeks and days leading up to Easter, those visitors will traffic your church website and social media outlets to check on service times and such.
After locating the information they came to find, they might click around to see what else is happening in your congregation. Be sure to have, at the very least, the basic information about vacation Bible school and other summer ministries visible! Link to the digital homebase (see above) and let them know they can check that page regularly for the latest info.
Take Advantage of Icky Weather
A favorite go-to summer promo of mine? Have a social media post in your back pocket ready to pull out when the local schools are called off due to snow or cold. “Dreaming of summer on a day like today? So are we. Mark your calendars for vacation Bible school!” If you have online registration up and ready to go, consider having a snow day sign up incentive.
Using the contact info families share on their form, follow up periodically (but not overwhelmingly) to remind them that VBS is coming soon maybe even share tidbits about the week to build excitement (like this music preview video!). I know it’s already March, but depending on where you live, you might still have a winter weather related day off (sorry).
Create a Summer Hashtag
If your church is active (or would like to be!) on social media, create a hashtag for your summer ministries and use this as a way to thread together the ongoing conversation. You might also consider setting up a Remind account to schedule text message reminders for families to subscribe to once they’ve registered (again, be very selective about what you send and how often you send it, since “unsubscribe” is only a click or tap away).
Just like there are about 8,587,982 different ways to structure and run summer ministries in a congregation, thanks to technology, there’s roughly the same number of ways to communicate about them. It’s easy to become overwhelmed.
Carve out a bit of time to think through and layout a plan, which will help immensely. Figure out what you would like to share and who you what to share it with and go from there. Leverage technology to fit your mission, share your message, and enhance the face-to-face time you have with those you’re called to serve. Have a great summer!
How do you communicate summer ministries at your church? Tell us about it in the comments!
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