Listen up! Dig deep!
Jesus had a lot to say.

And those who listened discovered a treasure in his words.

At first, Jesus’ parables seem simple. Of course we know that the type of soil in which seeds are sown is important for plants to grow, but what does that have to do with us? And if someone asked us for food, we wouldn’t be rude and give a stone instead! Or, what if we lost something important to us? Of course we would look high and low and celebrate when it was found.

It turns out, however, that the parables have a greater meaning beyond what we first see. So come along, listen, and dig deeper for the treasures of the kingdom of heaven!

Digging for Treasure is a Bible and activity-based learning experience with tracks for grades K-5 and preschoolers ages 4-5 (and added options for grades 6-8).

SCHEDULE

DAY ONE

It’s a Secret

Matthew 13:10-11a, 16

The disciples ask Jesus why he speaks in parables, and Jesus explains that it is so they can know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven.

Purpose statement:
God will help us understand.

DAY TWO

Listen Up

Mark 4:2-9, 13-20

Jesus tells the story of the farmer who sowed seeds on different types of soil. Some of the seeds were unable to be fruitful, while others flourished. Jesus explains that the seeds are the Word, and the soil is how people hear and experience the Word.

Purpose statement:
God’s Word can grow in us.

DAY THREE

It’s Growing

Matthew 13:31-33

Mustard seeds and yeast are very small, but they produce big things. Jesus explains that they are like the kingdom of heaven.

Purpose statement:
Small things can be- come great with God.

DAY FOUR

Found It

Luke 15:1-10

A shepherd looks everywhere for a lost sheep, and a woman searches diligently for a lost coin. They celebrate when they find what had been lost. Jesus explains that there is much rejoicing when a sinner repents.

Purpose statement:
God loves us.

DAY FIVE

Just Ask

Luke 11:5-13

Those who ask will receive, thanks to their persistence. Jesus explains that the Holy Spirit is given to those who ask.

Purpose statement:
When we seek and ask, God is with us.

Download PDF Overview

FEATURES

Affordable & Flexible

Offered as a reproducible resource (for all components except student booklets and music to send home) and physical format.

Leader guides are conveniently formatted for reproduction. Physical leader guides are in a binder with tabs to make them easy to rearrange or duplicate.

Bulk-priced CDs can easily be sent home with every family.

Enthusiastically Catholic

Reflections from Pope Francis for each day.

Music from Oregon Catholic Press featuring Jesse Manibusan and other Catholic musicians.

A great all-around Scripture-based experience perfect for any parish!

Catchy, Meaningful Music

You will be humming along with this top-notch kid-friendly music that connects closely with the theme.

Sing-along music videos with hand motions make it easy to lead your group in song.

Features songs by Jesse Manibusan, Ken Canedo, Bryan Sirchio, and more.

Comprehensive, but Simple

We provide all the core features you expect in a VBS, without overwhelming complexity.

Our VBS is earth-friendly: fun without plastic trinkets that will litter our common home.

A separate early childhood leader guide makes it easy to include preschoolers.

The program is easy to adapt to your timeframe and preferences.

An Ideal Theme

A fun and effective way to help children learn about and experience Jesus and the kerygma.

Includes Scripture, prayer, drama, music, games, crafts, and activities, all nicely integrated to teach children meet and follow Jesus!

Bible stories with a good balance of men and women role models.

And More...

Thoughtful take-home pages will bring parents into the process and coach them on how to talk to their children about what they learned.

Extra resources included to help you market and manage your VBS.

Optional gestures/motions are provided for prayers, memory verses, and songs.

COMPONENTS

Director Guide

Overview of the VBS and guidelines for orchestrating the process. Includes a planning chart, sample schedules, tips for working with staff/volunteers, forms, Bible backgrounds, snack ideas, a book list, a letter to parents, guidelines for inviting children to faith, and more.

Preview

Early Childhood Leader Guide

Full guide for all aspects of VBS for younger children (ages 4-5). Makes suggestions for full daily schedules, including snack ideas, Bible sessions, activities, crafts, books, song/motion suggestions, and more.

Preview

Worship & Drama Guide

Full guide for leading Worship & Drama sessions for each day, including gathering (introducing theme, opening prayer, etc.), worshiping (prayer, song, Bible verse, drama), responding (offering project), and sending (schedule review, blessing, and song)

Preview

Active Response Guide

Full guide for leading interactive activities & games each day, including advance preparation, session plan, material list, step-by-step instructions, and debrief.

Preview

Bible Response Guide

Full guide for leading Bible Response sessions for each day, including Biblical background information, materials list, advance preparation, session plan, and suggestions for teaching Bible memory verses.

Preview

Creative Response Guide

Full guide for leading craft sessions for each day, including Biblical background, materials list, advance preparation, snack ideas, and debrief.

Preview

Treasure Map - Child Booklet

Full-color 16-page activity booklet for grades K-5, including puzzles and other interactive activities.

Preview

My Book of Stories - Preschool Child Booklet

Full-color 16-page activity booklet for ages 4-5, including a retelling of the Bible story for each day, puzzles, and other interactive activities. Send this booklet home so parents can follow up with their children!

Preview

Plus:

• Invitation posters.
• Bible memory verse poster and Powerpoint presentation.
• Send-home parent engagement notes.   
• Postcards to print and invite parishioners, school families, etc.   
• Logo artwork (use to create your own t-shirts or documents) 
• Music components (see below) 
• …and much more!

MUSIC


Featuring the music of Jesse Manibusan, Bryan Sirchio, and Oregon Catholic Press

A great collection of upbeat, high-energy, easy-to-sing songs that fit perfectly into the VBS theme.

Our theme song is by Bryan Sirchio, the musician behind JustFaith's J-Walkers CD.  Other songs come from Oregon Catholic Press's Spirit and Song, led by Catholic composer, singer/songwriter, storyteller, humorist, catechist, evangelizer and encourager Jesse Manibusan.

Sing-Along Video Previews

Digging for Treasure

© 2018, Bryan Sirchio. Published by Crosswind Music. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Our God Is Here

Chris Muglia

© 2001, Chris Muglia. Published by Spirit & Song®, a division of OCP. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

You Are the Way

Steve Angrisano

© 1999, Steve Angrisano, Tom Tomaszek, Pat And Christi Smith. Published by Spirit & Song, a division of OCP. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Sing Amen!

Jesse Manibusan

Words and music by Sarah Hart and Jeffery B. Thomas. © 2009, Sarah Hart. Published by Spirit & Song®, a division of OCP. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

In the Beginning

Jesse Manibusan & Ken Canedo

© 1999, Jesse Manibusan. Published by Spirit & Song, a division of OCP. 5536 NE Hassalo, Portland, OR 97213. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Bless the Lord

Jesse Manibusan & Ken Canedo

© 1995, 2002, Ken Canedo, Dan Brennan, Kevin Roth & Marc Cavallero Published by Spirit & Song, a division of OCP. 5536 NE Hassalo, Portland, OR 97213. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Something Small

Bryan Sirchio

© 2003, Bryan Sirchio. Published by Crosswind Music. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Want to preview the full songs or videos? Just contact us!

Music Components

The downloadable VBS starter kit includes the following components for use within the VBS sessions (all downloadable):
• MP3 audio files of all songs
• Songbook with lead sheets (melody line scores, lyrics, and chords)
• Hand/body motions for all songs
• Simple sing-along videos, showing the motions
• Simple sing-along lyric presentations (in Powerpoint and Keynote formats)
• Lead sheets with scores for select songs


The physical starter kit includes:
• All of the downloadable files on a data DVD
• Audio CD
• Simple sing-along lyric video DVD
• Printed songbook

In addition, purchase inexpensive bulk audio CDs to send home with families, so they can continue to sing the VBS songs!

TESTIMONIALS

"I wanted to send a quick note to you and thank you for the awesome VBS program! We are on our 4th day of Vacation Bible School, and it is going so well! We have received many compliments on the content of the program, the kids are having a great time, our teachers and leaders are so pleased with all of the activities.

One comment that really spoke volumes to me was the fact that it is a fairly simple program, and because of this, the message really is received. So many VBS programs have become a huge production, and the message of God is lost in all of the external factors of the program. I am so glad we happened upon your program. I hope you are working on another one for next year, because we will be reaching out to you! This is the first time in at least 15 years that our parish has hosted a VBS. Looks like it will become an annual event for us!"

Pam Richter
St. Anne’s Catholic Church
Berryville, AR

PURCHASE

$79

Downloadable Starter Kit

  • Reproducible files delivered electronically

  • Music for use in VBS delivered electronically

  • Online access to
    sing-along videos

  • Reproducible posters & promotional materials

  • Electronic preview
    of child booklets

$129

Physical Kit + Downloadable

  • Handy tabbed binder + CD-ROM + download access

  • Audio CD & printed music + download access

  • Sing-along video DVD + online access

  • Two copies of each poster + download access

  • Printed sample of
    each child booklet

Questions?
We have answers!

Growing Up Catholic
A ministry of The Pastoral Center
Pastoral ministers helping pastoral ministers