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WHO SHOULD ATTEND ADULT VBS?
Adult VBS can be organized into study groups in many ways, with the possibilities of multiple target groups of adults studying the Bible and enjoying Christian fellowship. Any kind of group can meet together. Consider these suggestions as possible study groups for Adult VBS:
*Single moms or dads
*Resort community residents
*Church leaders who work with other age groups in Sunday School
*Blind or deaf adults
*Parents of children attending VBS
*Nursing home residents
*Ethnic and language groups
*Multi-housing community residents
*Adults with special needs.
To determine which group or groups you should focus on for Adult VBS, identify them according to location, specific needs, or age groups. Consider scheduling morning, afternoon, or evening sessions, depending on participants availability. The important idea is to plan Adult VBS based on the needs of the target group, thus giving direction to the time and place and adults who will attend.
HOW DO WE GET ADULTS TO ATTEND?
All of the rewards of Adult VBS are no more than talk unless adults attend. Getting them to the church requires planning and persistence.
The key to success in Adult VBS is preenrollment. Conducting a preenrollment campaign two or three weeks before VBS begins is necessary for this promotion effort to work. Much of the promotion will be coordinated through the Enlistment and Promotion Committee. This committee should involve as many adults as possible, especially Adult Sunday School leaders, to create an awareness within the church and community about Adult VBS activities.
Some ways to penetrate your community might be through the Adult Sunday School prospect file, parents of children attending VBS, Backyard Kids Clubs, or Mission Vacation Bible Schools, or church members not enrolled in Sunday School. If promotional activities are conducted at migrant camps, senior adult day care centers, resort areas, shopping malls, mobile home parks, or college campuses, make a special effort to look for and preenroll adults for VBS.
The biggest challenge in getting adults to attend Adult VBS might be to overcome the mind-set that VBS is just for children. Church leaders should work on the premise that adults will respond to VBS when this opportunity is presented to them in a positive, well-planned manner. Adults will give their time to activities that are of interest to them and are to their advantage.
Written by John G. McInnis, Jr., and originally published March 1989 in Adult Leadership. At the time, mcInnis served as an associate in the Sunday School Department, Florida Baptist Convention, Jacksonville, Florida.