You can have a Jamboree and backyard Bible studies whether you live in an apartment or a house. All you need is a neighborhood with kids. Even if only a few kids live on your block, you can invite them and then invite them to invite their friends. But holding an event like this takes planning. Use this checklist.
- Make friends with the kids and parents you want to invite. You need to build up relationships and trust, so that you are not perceived as some stranger trying to "convert" the neighborhood.
- Recruit people to help. Have a planning team of three or four people to help organize the event. The most likely people will be teachers and helpers at VBS, but you can also get your neighbors to help. Being involved in the process will help build friendships with them.
- Send a letter to the parents before talking with the kids about the Jamboree. Explain why you're holding these events, what some of the details are, and how they can contact you if they have questions.
- Get the materials you need. Here's a partial list: promotional materials, which can be bought with your VBS package; little giveaway items, such as VBS sunglasses, puppets, and toys--put these in a grab bag for kids who register for VBS and for contest prizes; materials for all the games, such as old tires for the obstacle race; food and drinks for snacks and lunch.
- Put up posters and promotional materials a couple weeks before the Jamboree.
- Send a reminder note to parents a few days before the event.
- Send a reminder note to everyone who agreed to help.
- On the day of the Jamboree, have a booth set up where kids can sign up for VBS. Have someone there who can answer parents' questions.
- After the Jamboree, send a letter to parents whose kids signed up for VBS. Give them the details, including time, travel arrangements, and a travel approval, claims release, and emergency medical authorization form.