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).
This theme provides content for five flexible sessions, from as short as one hour to over three hours each day. Scroll right to see all five days.
It’s a Secret
|Scripture||Matthew 13:10-11a, 16||Mark 4:2-9, 13-20||Matthew 13:31-33||Luke 15:1-10||Luke 11:5-13|
|Description||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.||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.||Mustard seeds and yeast are very small, but they produce big things. Jesus explains that they are like the kingdom of heaven.||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.||Those who ask will receive, thanks to their persistence. Jesus explains that the Holy Spirit is given to those who ask.|
|Purpose Statement||God will help us understand.||God’s Word can grow in us.||Small things can become great with God.||God loves us.||When we seek and ask, God is with us.|
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
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
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
Full guide for leading interactive activities & games each day, including advance preparation, session plan, material list, step-by-step instructions, and debrief.Preview
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
Full guide for leading craft sessions for each day, including Biblical background, materials list, advance preparation, snack ideas, and debrief.Preview
Full-color 16-page activity booklet for grades K-5, including puzzles and other interactive activities.Preview
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
Customize and post around your parish or around town.
Make it easy for kids to learn the verses day-by-day.
Engaging letters to keep parents in the loop and coach them on how to follow up with their children each day.
Featuring the music of Jesse Manibusan, Bryan Sirchio, and Oregon Catholic Press
Catholic composer, singer/songwriter, storyteller, humorist, catechist, evangelizer and encourager Jesse Manibusan leads our music and shares three of his songs for this theme.
The eResource (downloadable) starter kit includes:
The physical starter kit includes:
In addition, purchase inexpensive bulk audio CDs to send home with families, so they can continue to sing the VBS songs!
|Downloadable Starter Kit||Physical Starter Kit + Downloadable|
|Leader guide with permission to reproduce||Online access||Physical binder|
|Child booklets (preschool & elementary)||Online preview*||Physical sample copies*|
|Posters (invitation & Bible memory)||Online access||2 copies of each|
|Music audio||Online access (MP3s)**||Audio CD**|
|Music sing-along videos||Online access||Video DVD|
|Music files (lead sheets, motions, lyrics)||Online access||In physical binder|
*Child booklets are not reproducible. If you choose to use these optional components, please buy one copy for each child from us (see below).
**Music from starter kits may not be reproduced and distributed to participants and their families. If you wish to do so, please buy the very affordable bulk-priced audio CDs or MP3 download cards from us (see below).
This program is a collaboration between The Pastoral Center and MennoMedia. Adapted and reprinted with permission from Digging for Treasure. © 2020 MennoMedia, Inc., Harrisonburg, VA 22803. All rights reserved.