Looking for VBS mission partnership ideas that’ll capture your kids’ hearts, imaginations, and giving? Here are six steps to follow.
Traditionally, churches have partnered with their denominational mission agencies for their VBS mission outreach. Today, however, that trend is changing. More and more VBS publishers are partnering with nondenominational agencies to provide life-changing experiences for children who attend VBS.
This year, several missions organizations are partnering with VBS publishers. For example, David C. Cook and Compassion International have joined hands to help children sponsor needy children in other countries. Smyth and Helwys and Habitat for Humanity are involving children in building homes for needy families. Group Publishing and the International Bible Society are working together to enable children to send Spanish Gospel of John booklets to children in other countries.
If you’ve chosen a VBS curriculum this year that either doesn’t have a mission tie-in or has one that you wish were stronger, consider partnering with a mission organization on your own. If you’d like to partner with a mission organization, follow these six steps:
1. Select a mission organization to partner with.
Check around your community to find a worthy cause right where you live. Or go international. For a list of mission organizations, log onto the SIM Web site to search “The Christian Missions Home Page” (www.sim.org).
2. Contact the organization.
Explain what you hope to accomplish and discuss a partnership opportunity with someone on staff. Ask for a prospectus detailing exactly how all the organization’s contributions are allocated.
3. Request visuals.
Photos, posters, artifacts, maps, letters, and more will increase children’s understanding and help maintain their interest in the mission project.
4. Set a tangible and reachable goal.
It’s better to identify a need for specific people so children can clearly understand where their money is going.
5. Design a compelling project that’ll capture kids’ interest.
Make your project very hands-on by having kids bring objects such as school supplies, food items, baby layette items, or small gifts. Collect these each day at your offering time by having kids walk up and physically lay the items on a table or altar.
Or make your project stand out with creative flair. For example, if children are raising money to buy a cow for a village, bring in a real cow to greet children as they arrive for the first day of VBS. Use a giant drawing of a cow to keep track of donations-with every $10 given, kids get to color a new spot on “Bessie”! Promise that if the children reach the goal, you’ll even kiss Bessie-then keep your promise!
6. Ask for a report.
Once VBS is over and the money or gifts have been delivered, show children a videotape or photographs of the difference they’ve made with their prayers and gifts.