In a recent Children’s Ministry Magazine survey, we asked, “How do you get kids’ attention?” Most children’s ministers who responded agreed that the worst way to get kids’ attention is by unexcited leaders who announce the event and never do anything else.
Top-notch publicity hounds, however, use a mixture of anything from floats in parades, clowns, personal phone calls, selling tickets to the event, letters, announcements, word of mouth, getting friends to invite friends, mail-outs, signs, newsletters, Sunday bulletins, fliers, and video announcements.
Will these people stop at nothing? We think not! Look at all the wild publicity stunts they told us they’ve done!
1. Go Big! “For the Fourth of July, we erected a three-story high American flag at our site (near a busy intersection) and backlit it at night. We also get the most popular kids to sign on first. We have kids work for ‘scholarship’ money by making phone calls to invite other kids.” K.C. Jones Lakewood, California
2. Go Wild! “For a ‘jungle’ theme VBS promotional, we had a ‘gorilla’ with a VBS T-shirt do back flips down the center aisle during announcements — and the pastor interviewed him.” Jan Strykowski Libertyville, Illinois
3. Go in Character. “I’ll dress up to relate to the theme. Our VBS was a military theme, so I came in a military uniform.” Jimmy Williams Bridgewater, New Jersey
4. Go Somewhere. “We have ‘destination unknowns’; we tell the parents about the event but keep it from the children.” Darren Davidson Lincolnton, North Carolina
5. Go Bronco! “We offered pony rides (for free) our last day of vacation Bible school. One of our families had the horses they offered to us.” Byron Holz Wheat Ridge, Colorado
6. Go Silly. “We dressed up two youth as ‘Teenage Mutant Christian Fishes’ to encourage kids to come to meetings!” John Hagge Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin
7. Go Upside Down. “I turned flips on the sidewalk.” Nancy Ridgeway Fayette, Alabama
8. Go to Big Church. “For a VBS beach theme kickoff, I ‘interrupted’ the worship service wearing every type of beach item available. It got everyone’s attention.” Darrel Combs Tampa, Florida
9. Go Crazy. “If the kids brought at least 35 other kids to visitation — and they did — I let them tar and feather me with chocolate syrup and feathers.” Chuck Thomas Memphis, Tennessee